Cassie Palmer

Ride the Storm – Karen Chance

Ride the StormTitle: Ride the Storm
 
Author: Karen Chance
 
Genre: Urban Fantasy
 
Series: Cassie Palmer #8
 
Goodreads Rating: 4.34/5
 
 
Synopsis: Ever since getting appointed the chief seer of the supernatural world, Cassie Palmer has been playing catch up. Catch up on the training she missed being raised by a psychotic vampire instead of at the pythian court. Catch up on the dangerous world of supernatural politics. Catch up on the powerful, and sometimes seductive, forces trying to mold her to their will. It’s been a trial by fire that has left her burned.

But now she realizes all that was just the warm up.

Ancient forces that once terrorized the world want to return, and Cassie is the only one who can stop them.

 
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What I thought about the book:
Wow!! I said finally so many times reading this book!!!
Amazing, it was everything I wanted and so much more and of course now I’m dying for the next one.

My only complaint is that the action scenes sometimes slow down the story and I ended up skimming them a bit after a while. Chance writes great action scenes but I’ve noticed with the last 2/3 books they’re getting more frequent and it kinda stalls the story. Cassie does often make important discoveries during them but there’s more than one way to do that.

***Some Spoilers Ahead***
Some great things about this book:
  • Cassie finally starts taking charge of situations
  • We get so many questions answered
  • Pritkin!!! So much amazing Pritkin stuff
  • We find out what Mircea is really about
  • A certain someone finally makes an appearance

There’s a lot of really interesting character development in this one, especially with Rosier and Roger. Fatherly love seems to be a bit of a theme here with three Dads influencing Cassie in major ways.

And Mircea! I always really liked Mircea (but loved Pritkin) but after this, I’m not sure how I feel. Especially after the last few sentences of the conclusion.

Book Depository Link

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My Rating:
 5 paws
Ride the Storm
I got this as an ARC from NetGalley.
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Buying Trouble – Karen Chance

5957496Title: Buying Trouble
 
Author: Karen Chance
 
Genre: Urban Fantasy
 
Series: Dorina Basarab 0.5
 
Goodreads Rating: 3.99/5
 
 
Synopsis: In Midnight’s Daughter, New York Times bestselling author Karen Chance took us to a new corner of Cassie Palmers world and introduced us to the lives of the mysterious vampires who rule the night. Now, read the eSpecial, Buying Trouble, the companion novella to Midnight’s Daughter, and learn why vampires aren’t the only creatures to fear.

Claire just wants to keep out of trouble. But that isn’t always easy when you’re a mage with the extremely unusual ability to block all magic around you. And when Claire’s sleazy boss decides Claire herself is the most valuable rarity to sell at a magical auction, trouble finds her. Now, her only hope for survival is to trust a mysterious and handsome stranger, a Fey Lord named Heidar. As their pursuers close in, there’s one thing for sure, saviour or threat, Heidar can show Claire things she never imagined in this world, and in herself. . .

 
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What I thought about the book: Loved it! I tend to gush over everything Chance writes to be fair but this was still awesome! Lots of action and fun. Great intro to Dorina’s world.
 
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My Rating:
5 paws

Top 5 Vampire Characters

Man, this was one hard list to write!

While I was thinking about who to include I realised I have a variety of favourite vampire fiction from several genres. I enjoy horror, gothic classics, paranormal romance and urban fantasy and the vampires in each of these tend to be quite different. A PNR vampire has very different goals to a horror vampire! I also noticed I’ve read very few books with female lead vampires. Terrible stuff!

I thought about including the vampires from The Dresden Files but no single member really stands out to me. They are more interesting as a whole (to me anyway). Carmilla and Eli also didn’t make the cut because I found the story they’re in more interesting than them as individuals.

So here’s my list of Top 5 Vampire Characters.

1. Kit Marlowe
Kit Marlowe

Kit Marlowe is one of the main characters in Karen Chance’s Cassie Palmer and Dorina Basarab series. He tends to be more active in the Dorina books. Based on the Elizabethan playwright, poet and apparent spy for queen Elizabeth, Chance’s Marlowe is one shady character. He runs the Vampire Senate’s spy network getting up to god only knows what! He is cunning, mysterious, charming, and often quite funny. Marlowe has his own short stories which are available for free on Chance’s website.

2. Mircea Basarab

MirceaI know I know I’m terrible choosing two characters from the same series (although technically it’s two series). Mircea is an integral character in both the Cassie and Dorina series and one of the most intriguing vampires out there. It’s very hard to know what’s going on behind those seductive eyes but you know he’s got a plan. Mircea, a former prince and current vampire senator, could sell salt to a slug! He is persuasive, suave, seductive, ambitious, and maybe…just maybe…. a little bit manipulative. But there is a lot more to Mircea than it seems. He doesn’t reveal everything up front (if at all). You have to peel back the layers of this Wallachian to get to the squishy centre. Mircea has a novel all to himself as well which really helps  you understand his motives.

3. Gallowglass de Clermont

Gallowglass first appears in the second book of Deborah Harkness’s All Souls Trilogy. He is a big burly part Scot part Norse vampire. Full of honour and very protective of his family (*swoon*). He has a bit of a tough time during the trilogy but you can’t keep this guy down! I really really wish Harkness would write a book all about Gallowglass. I WANT MORE!!

4. Claudia

Claudia is one of the main characters in Interview with the Vampire from Anne Rice’s The Vampire Chronicles. Turned as a child by Lestat (another awesome vampire) as a manipulation over Louise, she fully embraces life as a vampire. Fiendishly playing with victims and manipulating those around to her own selfish gains. She’s one of the most interesting characters I’ve read.

5. Merit

Merit is a newly minted vamp introduced in Some Girls Bite book 1 of  Chicagoland Vampires by Chloe Neil. (I’m only up to book 4 in this series so I’m not sure how I will feel about her come book 13 but as of now I am a fan.) She is the protagonist of the series, turned against her will to save her life. Merit is a rare combination of the warrior woman and every woman archetypes. She came from a relatively normal background to the often violent world of vampires. Despite this drastic change she manages to stay true to who she is while embracing her new life.

Honourable Mention

How could I write a list of vampire characters without mentioning the main man himself Dracula! I’ve read so many versions of this guy it’s hard to keep his character straight in my mind. But it’s great his legend is so powerful people just can’t get enough of him. That is a strong character!

Agree or disagree with any of my choices? Think I’m an absolute nutjob for including Claudia instead of Lestat? Come on like, she was a little brat, right?… Who would you put on your Top 5?

 

Embrace the Night – Karen Chance

1233478Title: Embrace the Night
 
Author: Karen Chance
 
Genre: Urban Fantasy
 
Series: Cassie Palmer #3
 
Goodreads Rating: 4.9/5
 
 
Synopsis:
Recently named the world’s chief clairvoyant, Cassandra Palmer still has a thorn in her side. As long as Cassie and a certain master vampire—the sizzling-hot Mircea—are magically bound to each other, her life will never be her own…

The spell that binds them can only be broken with an incantation found in the Codex Merlini, an ancient grimoire. The Codex’s location has been lost in the present day, so Cassie will have to seek it out in the only place it can still be found—the past.

But Cassie soon realizes the Codex has been lost for a reason. The book is rumored to contain some seriously dangerous spells, and retrieving it may help Cassie to deal with Mircea, but it could also endanger the world…

 
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What I thought about the book:
I am a total fangirl for this series. I don’t care what anyone says about it. You could walk up to me and tell me you think this series is a steaming piece of hairy poop and I would not care. I love it that much!
I’m rereading the series at the moment in anticipation of Ride the Storm’s release in August. And it was just as awesome the second time around! I’m picking up on little hints to future events much better this time.
What I love about this series is how fast paced it is. There is never a dull moment for Cassie. Non-stop action and adventure.
 
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My Rating:
5 paws

Masks by Karen Chance Review

7894524Title: Masks
 
Author: Karen Chance
 
Genre: Urban Fantasy / Historical
 
Series: Casandra Palmer #4.3 / Dorina Basarab #3.5
 
Goodreads Rating: 3.93/5
 
Why I read this: I am a huge fan of this series! This book also fit perfectly with my category on a reading board game on Goodreads.
 

Synopsis: Fifteenth century Venice is a safe haven for the masterless dregs of the vampire world, a city where they can live without the fear of retribution for violating another’s territory.

Still, there are plenty of ways for a young vampire to die in the glittering city, a lesson that prince turned pauper Mircea Basarab must learn quickly. But there are opportunities, too—in the service of a secretive courtesan, in the bed of a beautiful senator, and in the hunt for an ancient assassin.

As a vendetta older than Venice itself comes to a climax, Mircea struggles to evade the dangers of his current life, to come to terms with his past, and to uncover the truth hidden behind a city of masks…

 
What I thought about the book:

I love Karen Chance’s books. LOVE THEM! So, this review is totally biassed from the get go.

I’m firmly on Team Pritkin but I really enjoyed this insight into Mircea’s character. It’s a lot easier to understand his actions later from reading about his formative years as a baby vampire. He struggled a lot as a masterless vamp in an unknown world, which made for tedious reading some of the time. He was a little complainy but we’ll forgive him, he’s just too pretty not to! There’s a lot of development of the Consul as well; where she’s from, who she was as a human, how she was made, and how their relationship developed.

The tone and pace are different from the Cassie books. It’s a bit darker, similar to the Dory books, but there are some very humorous moments and action. Though, there is less action than the other books.

The imagery in this book is just beautiful. The dresses, the city, the food, the spectacle of convocation had me wishing I could time travel. It made me think of Victoria Frances artworks quite a bit, as well.

I find myself being way more sympathetic to the vampires now. I was never a big fan of the mages but they annoyed me less than the vamps. It was interesting to see things from their perspective.

 
Favourite Character: Bezio

My Rating:
4 paws
 
Smutometer: 
Smut 3