The Kingdoms by Natasha Pulley
**We received an ARC of this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. We’d like to thank Natasha and Bloomsbury for the opportunity. This book comes out on May 25th and you can get it here or at your local independent bookstore**
Reviewed by GGGinny
What I drank: Well first there was a smoothie with a healthy portion of rum, and then some rose that had previously been a cooking wine.
For fans of The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle and David Mitchell, a genre bending, time twisting alternative history that asks whether it’s worth changing the past to save the future, even if it costs you everyone you’ve ever loved.
Joe Tournier has a bad case of amnesia. His first memory is of stepping off a train in the nineteenth-century French colony of England. The only clue Joe has about his identity is a century-old postcard of a Scottish lighthouse that arrives in London the same month he does. Written in illegal English—instead of French—the postcard is signed only with the letter “M,” but Jo.e is certain whoever wrote it knows him far better than he currently knows himself, and he’s determined to find the writer. The search for M, though, will drive Joe from French-ruled London to rebel-owned Scotland and finally onto the battle ships of a lost empire’s Royal Navy. In the process, Joe will remake history, and himself.
From bestselling author Natasha Pulley, The Kingdoms is an epic, wildly original novel that bends genre as easily as it twists time.
Drunk Overview: The main character, Joe, wakes up at the age of 42 with no memory of his life. It turns out this is due to changes the timeline 100 years before his actual life. Through weird circumstances, he ends up on a pirate ship in the 1800s and is forced to try to change the future by a madman named Missouri
Drunk Thoughts: This book was really interesting especially because I feel like a lot of time travel books are set in the present day with traveling to a different time. It was interesting to see a book set during the early 1900’s where the travel ends up in the 1800’s.
- This isn’t necessarily a selling point but this book did remind me slightly of the movie Looper, where people in the future are affected by what’s happening in the past in a way that they sometimes notice.
- This world was built in such an interesting way, starting with the alternate histories. The idea of a world where French had overtaken England was fascinating to me.
- Also, the main character is a person of color which I absolutely didn’t realize until far enough into the book that it would be kind of embarassing to admit.
- But I really enjoyed Joe and his character, especially as the time travel started and the mystery started to unfold.
- I do think that some of the revelations with Missouri were handled in an interesting way.
- Remembering some memories wouldn’t completely overwrite the new memories, right?
- I mean, people have a bias for the things they’ve interacted with more recently, which means that the feelings of betrayala and general fear wouldn’t be overwritten by the positive feelings from a previous life….
- I did really enjoy the mystery of it all. There are a number of questions about why Joe is important, and even if you figure it out early, it’s interesting to watch Joe figure it out.
- Missouri’s past with his sister is also fascinating. I feel like that could have been a whole book on it’s own.
- Which makes me a little sad about how part of that story ended.
- Just in general, I think this was a really interesting way to adjust history to see what happened.
What I’d Pair it With: Zinfandel. I think you need something that’s rich and full bodied to match this book. 4/5