Review: “Ride the Storm (Cassandra Palmer #8)” by Karen Chance

Review:

A review by Amanda.

This review contains spoilers from the previous books in this series.

Ride the Storm picks up right where the last book ended. Cassie is still chasing after Pritkin’s soul with Rosier, hoping to counter the deadly curse that has been cast on the rugged war mage. Cassie’s court had just been attacked, and losses and injuries are everywhere. Betrayal from those she has been trying to help has affected Cassie’s usual good spirits. Even vampire master Mircea is struggling to recover from the recent events. Cassie is yanked back and forth in time, shifting from Arthurian times, where they have tracked down a young Pritkin and are awaiting the arrival of his soul, to present day at Dante’s, where the attacks keep coming from all sides. Exhausting both the Pythia power and her personal energy takes its toll, with devastating consequences. An unexpected revelation from a trusted person in her small circle of allies has Cassie (and readers) questioning everything that has happened since the events set in motion in the very first book.

This book is an absolute whirlwind of action and exposition. The first half of the story is nonstop action, with a few too many back-and-forth shifts, making it difficult to follow. No rest for our protagonist means no rest for readers. It feels as though the author tried to fit two books’ worth of plot into one book. Thankfully, the story slows down a bit and the pace evens out by the second half. Long-awaited answers to burning questions come to light, and the romantic entanglement that Cassie has found herself in might finally be unraveling. While some long-standing issues get wrapped up, others, frustratingly, do not. Cassie heroically maintains her snarky and irreverent sense of humor despite the adversity. There are a couple of steamy sex scenes, although these are somewhat mild compared to previous books. I, for one, am looking forward to the next book with the great hope that we won’t be strung along for too much longer (at least in certain areas). While the convolution of the first half of this book did affect my overall rating, the second half still makes it worth reading.

If you would like to start this series from the beginning, book one is Touch the Dark. Karen Chance also has a crossover series, featuring characters we know and love (or hate), and exciting new ones. The first book is Midnight’s Daughter.

My rating: 3.5/5 stars.

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Review: “Reap the Wind” (Cassie Palmer #7)” by Karen Chance

Reap the Wind by Karen Chance A review by Amanda.

I would like to thank the author and the publishing company for allowing me to read this ARC in exchange for an honest review. This review may contain spoilers for the previous books in the Cassie Palmer series.

When we last left Cassie, in Tempt the Stars (Cassie Palmer #6), she was exhausted, filthy, and determined to save our favorite war mage yet again. Having just rescued him from his father, the demon prince Rosier, Cassie is understandably devastated when the demon council curses his soul to travel backwards through his own timeline until he blinks out of existence, forever. In the midst of trying to rescue Pritkin, Cassie is also tasked with protecting her young court – child acolytes to the Pythia who are in danger from dark mages and traitorous adepts. She must find a way to accomplish all of this with no help from the Silver Circle, and no official help from the vampires. Different factions of supposed allies are manipulating Cassie for control over her power as Pythia and she has had enough. It’s time to stop being the figurehead that they want and learn to use her power on her own terms. What better place to start than saving the life of an irascible, half-demon, war mage, who matters more than she can admit to herself?

Karen Chance has given her fans another action-packed, edge-of-your-seat thriller with the latest in her popular series. Readers will be happy to see Cassie continue to grow into her own, learning more about her role as Pythia and figuring out exactly what she can do. She faces her fears, confronts both allies and enemies who seek to use her or destroy her, and stands up for herself and those she has chosen to protect. She accomplishes all of this while keeping her unique, endearing sense of humor and her positive determination to succeed. Those of us on Team Pritkin will enjoy getting to know more about his early life, and glimpses into the young man he was before his father intervened. Not to fret, Team Mircea – Cassie’s powerful vampire lover makes his presence known as well. We also get to see another side of Rosier as he and Cassie are forced to work together. Their clashing personalities had me laughing out loud on several occasions. As per usual, this book contains several of the steamiest sex scenes known to man and I had a difficult time reading it in public without blushing bright red. As this book ended on a cliffhanger, I will be eagerly awaiting the next one, due out in 2016.

My rating: 5/5 stars.

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