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. 


  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.

  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.

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


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