BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Bea Reviews Swashbuckling Cats: Nine Lives on the Seven Seas, Edited by Rhonda Parrish

Publisher: Tyche Books
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: May 26th, 2020
Buying Links: Amazon* | Apple Books* | Barnes & Noble | Kobo |
* affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.

Blurb from goodreads:

If you think cats and water don’t mix, think again.

Plunge into worlds of piratical cats: on ships, in space, and beyond the veil.

Fourteen "tails" of adventure-loving cats, puns, and fun, featuring: Beth Cato; Krista D. Ball; Rebecca Brae; Grace Bridges; Lizz Donnelly; Megan Fennell; Chadwick Ginther; Joseph Halden; Blake Liddell; Frances Pauli; JB Riley; Rose Strickman; Leslie Van Zwol; and SG Wong.


My Thoughts:

Cats! How could I resist, lol. I saw the publisher talking about this on Twitter and knew I wanted it. I pre-ordered it and then I got a review copy. Cats on the seas, I was curious about this premise especially as house cats in the real world usually don't like water (there are a few big cats who enjoy the water). A few stories take place in outer space, which doesn't quite fit the premise, and several stories explored the belief that cats have nine lives. I liked most of the stories and there are few where I'd like to read more in that world. There are 14 stories so I'll given a 2 or 3 sentence review of each one.

The Pride by Megan Fennell - 3 stars. I liked this world. We had jackal shapeshifters, cat shapeshifters, cat pirates, jackal pirates, a M/M romance, and a wonderful story of redemption.

The Comeback Kitty by S.G. Wong - 2.5 stars. The writing was decent as was the world building, a mix of steampunk and science fiction, but it just didn't click with me. Kit was manipulative and single-minded, at times to the detriment of her human. This is one of the stories that deals with the nine lives of cats.

The Motley Crew by Rebecca Brae - 3 stars. A little weird and a little spooky, but I liked it. The pirates are humans but there's a domestic cat aboardship and a mysterious, magical jungle cat.

Whiti te Ra (Let the sun shine) by Grace Bridges - 3 stars. Also odd, but not spooky, it was magically mysterious. I didn't recognize the mythology but I'd like to know more. Not quite sure how it fits in a pirate anthology however since it lacked any pirates. But there is a cat.

The Growing of the Green by Lizz Donnelly - 2.5 stars Despite a kidnapping and intergalactic politics, the story lacked tension or any real conflict. I was never worried about the outcome. Decent world building but lacking in development, it was pleasant but not memorable.

The Cat and the Cook by Blake Liddell - 2 stars. I was so confused as to what was happening and why. There was a catnapping, some stalking and terrorizing, a supernatural cat and a human cook who was apparently something extra. In the end, the cat got her freedom back. Yay?

Pirates Only Love Treasure by Frances Pauli - 3.5 stars. This one had a semi-retired piratical cat, orphaned kittens, evil cat pirates, treasure, and enough action to be a true pirate story. It was sweet, a little sad, and dealt with the topic of death in a tender manner while still being an adventuresome story.

Buccaneer's Revenge by JB Riley - 2 stars. An odd mix of fantasy, history, and Hollywood. It just didn't work for me.

The Furgeldt Collector by Joseph Halden - 2 stars. Story-wise, this could be a 3 or 3.5 stars but I knocked it down because one character is deliberately set on fire and dies, and then later, there's another attempt at setting a character on fire, and I just couldn't. I mean, people can be evil and hey, these are pirate stories. Pirates are not nice people, but that was a level of violence I did not expect and did not like. The actual story? I liked it and the concept of furgeldt, which I believe is based on a real-life concept. Interesting world-building but by far the bloodiest and most violent of the stories.

Cat Out of Hell by Leslie Van Zwol - 3 stars. Egyptian mythology! Time travel! Body switching! Blood! Sacrifice! I was confused at first but slowly I caught on. It was different, and interesting.

The Perfect Kibble by Krista D. Ball - 4 stars Ball is one of my fave speculative fiction authors and one of the reasons I wanted this book. The story didn't disappoint. It takes places in space, and I wouldn't call either of the MCs a pirate but it was so funny I didn't care. Ball has cats, she knows cats, and Tinky is all cat. Or is she? Ball put in a twist at the end that completely surprised me.

All Cats Go to Valhalla by Chadwick Ginther - 3 stars. Nice use of Norse mythology. A little confusing at times but an original take on both pirating and the mythology.

Cat at the Helm by Rose Strickman - 3 stars. A good mix of magic and science fiction, the real world and a fantasy world via gaing. The cat portrayal was spot-on. I would like more in this world.

A Royal Saber's Work is Never Done by Beth Cato - 3 stars. Romance, politics, pirates! Enjoyable, exciting, and another world I'd like to see more of. I particularly liked the use of gray morals instead of black and white. 

4 comments:

  1. This one would be worth picking up for the cover alone! It's unfortunate that the stories within the book were not quite a impressive.

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  2. The cover is pretty awesome, isn't it? The stories were a mish-mash but there were some good ones. Mostly, I liked the stories.

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  3. Fun concept, but seems like the stories were not overly spectacular. Glad you enjoyed!

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