Review – Bookshops & Bonedust

Posted June 18, 2023 by Nicky in Reviews / 0 Comments

Cover of Bookshops & Bonedust by Travis BaldreeBookshops & Bonedust, Travis Baldree

Received to review via Netgalley

This book had a lot to live up to, given my love for Legends & Lattes. It’s a prequel, following Viv when she was a young idiot, running with her first mercenary band and getting a massive injury. There’s a bit more action in this book, as a result, though the stakes are different because they’re not as deeply personal to Viv (though she does care very much).

It’s mostly a new cast, aside from Viv, though one particular character from Legends & Lattes gets a chance to shine. I didn’t latch onto them in quite the same way, except perhaps for one — about whom I shouldn’t say too much, except that I was deeply relieved they got what they wanted out of life. I wonder if I’d latch on more on reread, knowing what to expect.

Like Legends & Lattes, there are some very profoundly cosy aspects (such as discussion of books they all like! and how to sell more books!), and it’s very enjoyable to see the seeds of where Viv gets to later. I’d definitely recommend having read Legends & Lattes first, so that you can appreciate that, despite the fact that this is a prequel — plus, the epilogue of this book is spoilery for the original novel.

To call either this book or Legends & Lattes “low-stakes” is a bit misleading, I think. Life and limb are on the line in both, and loss of someone’s livelihood — not to mention a place full of memories of their family, for example — is not “low-stakes”, emotionally speaking. Sure, the world isn’t going to end, but there are things on the line here. I didn’t care quite as much as I did for Legends & Lattes, perhaps, but I did very much care about what was happening.

Rating: 4/5

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