Tag Archives: Karen Chance

The Day of the Dead

This is a review of the Tomas short “The Day of the Dead” by Karen Chance. It is a short story belonging to the world of the Dorina Basarab and Cassandra Palmer Series. Karen Chance says that chronologically, this short is ahead of both series, and can be read anytime after “Claimed by Shadow“. You can download a (free!) copy of the short here, on Karen Chance’s official website.

Tomas has returned to Mexico to kill Alejandro once and for all. He’s been trying for so long, and been through so much, that he’s more than ready for this day. He’s not afraid to die, just as long as he takes Alejandro with him.

Alejandro is as bad as they come. On this day, known to locals as “The Day of the Dead” every year, he sets up a hunt. He traps people, and then sets them loose in his underground maze. If they make it out, they are allowed to live. But no one ever makes it out alive.

Sara is looking for her younger brother Jason, but it seems like he’s been captured by Alejandro. Which is strange to say the least, because her brother is a Mage and Alejandro usually leaves magic practitioners alone…

I enjoyed this novel. I did think that the scene hotted up a bit too quick, but it is a short after all.

I am looking forward to reading the newly published “Tempt the Stars”!

For more information on the timeline of the Cassandra Palmer Series and the Dorina Basarab Series (and associated short stories) please follow this link. (Found on Karen Chance’s official website).

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Hunt the Moon

This is a review of “Hunt the Moon” by Karen Chance. It is book 5 in the Cassandra Palmer Series. It follows on from “Curse the Dawn“.

As this book is a part of a series, the following review may reveal some details of the previous novel/s. Do not read if you intend to read this series in the future and don’t want to know of any potential plot spoilers. As this book is also part of a larger series (it ties in with the Dorina Basarab Series) it may be wise to use caution when reading these reviews on the Cassandra Palmer Series. I may unintentionally give out spoilers for part of that series, though Karen Chance is pretty good at keeping the two story arcs fairly separated.

Cassandra is discovering her Pythian power. She’s getting a little help from Jonas Marsden, leader of the Silver Circle, but she’s still not making a whole lot of ground. She’s finding it more than a little tricky to get a handle on some of her abilities. Her official coronation is coming up, and she’s nervous about the dress that Augustine may be cooking up to take revenge on her for utterly destroying his other masterpieces. Oh, and there’s also been a few attempts made on her life. And they’re not trifling attempts either. They’re wily and tricksy. And those behind them are not beyond trying to eliminate her before she’s even been born.

That’s right, they’re not afraid to take her mother’s life. And while Cassie’s always dreamt about meeting her own mother, she’d never thought she’d be going back in time to do it. What if it were to affect the future?

Cassie is still trying to figure out her relationship with the sexy Master Vampire Mircea. She’s trying to date him, but it’s not going so well. Aside from the fact that Mircea has already given her his mark, and that means the supernatural world sees them as pretty much married, she really wants to take things slow, and be on equal terms. At the moment, she’s pretty much feeling like his property.Things are also a bit confusing when it comes to a certain War Mage. They had a moment in the last novel, and while it was a life-threatening-emergency kinda moment, it was a moment nonetheless.

Life sure isn’t getting easier as Pythia for Cassie.

I enjoyed this one. I am loving the direction that has been taken with Pritkin, and I liked learning some info about Cassie’s parents. The ending is a cliffhanger, so I am super glad that this second reading of mine has taken place just a few days before the release of book #6 “Tempt the Stars”. I can’t wait to see if Dorina and Cassie will actually cross paths! After that little scene in Mircea’s room in “Fury’s Kiss” (and Dory’s new status bestowed upon her at the end of that novel) I can’t really see how Mircea will able to keep his secret for much longer!

For more information on the timeline of the Cassandra Palmer Series and the Dorina Basarab Series (and associated short stories) please follow this link. (Found on Karen Chance’s official website).

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A Family Affair

This is a review of the John Pritkin short “A Family Affair” by Karen Chance. It is a novella belonging to the Cassandra Palmer Series. It follows on from “Curse the Dawn” and takes place before “Hunt the Moon”. It can be downloaded here (for free!) on Karen Chance’s official website.

As this novella is a part of a series, the following review will reveal some details of the previous novel/s. Do not read if you intend to read this series in the future and don’t want to know of any potential plot spoilers. As this novella is also part of a larger series (it ties in with the Dorina Basarab Series) it may be wise to use caution when reading these reviews on the Cassandra Palmer Series. I may unintentionally give out spoilers for part of that series, though Karen Chance is pretty good at keeping the two story arcs fairly separated.

John Pritkin is a war mage pledged to protect the newest Pythia, Cassandra Palmer. He’s also half-human and half-demon (an incubus to be precise). His father is Lord Rosier, ruler and master of all incubi. John hates him, and all other demons and as a result, he’s become a most formidable demon hunter. Which makes it just peachy that Rosier’s decided to pay his son a visit. What he wants is to make a deal. He’ll leave Cassie alone (he hasn’t in the past) if Pritkin traps an escaped ancient demon battle queen for him.

To keep Cassie safe, Pritkin enlists the help of Casanova, manager of Dante’s (a hell themed casino in Vegas, and Cassie’s current place of residence) and incubus-inhabited vampire. Basically, Casanova has got to keep Cassie out of trouble… or else. Which is a task that sounds far easier than it actually is.

I really enjoyed this novella. As I have said in other reviews, I love it when authors tell part of a story from another character’s perspective. In this novella, we see events from the perspectives of Pritkin and Casanova. I loved gaining insight into these two. I liked learning about Rian, the incubus that inhabits Casanova, and getting more acquainted with Pritkin only made me love him all the more.

For more information on the timeline of the Cassandra Palmer Series and the Dorina Basarab Series (and associated short stories) please follow this link. (Found on Karen Chance’s official website).

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Curse the Dawn

This is a review of “Curse the Dawn” by Karen Chance. It is book 4 in the Cassandra Palmer Series. It follows on from “Embrace the Night“.

As this book is a part of a series, the following review may reveal some details of the previous novel/s. Do not read if you intend to read this series in the future and don’t want to know of any potential plot spoilers. As this book is also part of a larger series (it ties in with the Dorina Basarab Series) it may be wise to use caution when reading these reviews on the Cassandra Palmer Series. I may unintentionally give out spoilers for part of that series, though Karen Chance is pretty good at keeping the two story arcs fairly separated.

Cassie is still pretty clueless when it comes to all things Pythia-related. But she’s trying to learn. Her predecessor isn’t much help. Even a conversation with the Agnes of the past, sheds no real light on Cassie’s dilemma. All she gets is a basic tip: to avoid making catastrophic decisions when it comes to maintaining the integrity of the timeline, Cassie must use her clairvoyant ability. Which would be simple enough if Cassie could control her ability. Her gift ebbs and flows, it comes and goes. Great. It looks as though she’s stuck with learning on the job. And it appears that the magical community won’t recognise her as Pythia until she’s been inaugurated into the role. Unfortunately the coronation must take place in the offices of the Silver Circle. Even more unfortunately, the Silver Circle still wants her dead.

When Cassie begins getting visions that seem to foretell of an impending apocalypse, she knows she’s got to be on the lookout, and be extra cautious when it comes to decision making and Pythia-related business. She really wishes that her visions were a little less vague. From what she can gather, the foretold doom is related to Apollo and his plans to return. That cannot be allowed to happen. The last time the ancient mythical beings that refer to themselves as “Gods” roamed the Earth, humankind was almost destroyed. There’s no way Cassie wants to see Apollo on Earth. But it seems like somebody does. On top of the Dark mages wanting to see Apollo return, it looks like there may be a traitor or two on the “good” side.

Nothing’s simple when you’re Pythia.

I really liked the dynamic between Cassie and Pritkin in this novel, I have my fingers crossed for a HEA (you know, Happily Ever After) for those two. Sorry, Mirc! And I just lurrved Dee-Sire.

For more information on the timeline of the Cassandra Palmer Series and the Dorina Basarab Series (and associated short stories) please follow this link. (Found on Karen Chance’s official website).

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Embrace the Night

This is a review of “Embrace the Night” by Karen Chance. It is book 3 in the Cassandra Palmer Series. It follows on from “Claimed By Shadow“.

As this book is a part of a series, the following review may reveal some details of the previous novel/s. Do not read if you intend to read this series in the future and don’t want to know of any potential plot spoilers. As this book is also part of a larger series (it ties in with the Dorina Basarab Series) it may be wise to use caution when reading these reviews on the Cassandra Palmer Series. I may unintentionally give out spoilers for part of that series, though Karen Chance is pretty good at keeping the two story arcs fairly separated.

Cassandra Palmer is the newest Pythia. Her power has come to her in its entirety. Only problem is, she has absolutely no idea how to properly use it. And on top of that, the geis has gotten worse. Mircea has been driven close to madness, and if Cassie doesn’t figure out how to remove the geis soon, it’s possible that Mircea could die. Cassie’s only hope at the moment is to retrieve an ancient spell book, the mysterious lost volume of the Codex Merlini. She has double motivation to find it, as she promised to deliver it to the Dark Fey King as part of a deal she struck with him.

The Codex is proving extremely difficult to locate. Its author (the Merlin) presumably died hundreds and hundreds of years ago, and any references to its last known location are obscure. Cassie has grown closer to the war Mage Pritkin, and as her sworn protector, he’s aiding her in her quest to locate the Codex. He’s still as aggravating and as bossy as ever, but they’re friends. So why does Cassie get the feeling he’s hiding something from her? The Silver Circle still wants her out of the picture, and a bunch of magical misfit children have turned up at Dante’s in need of her help. Looks like Cassie’s old friend Tami has gone missing, and the band of misfit children she usually takes under her wing (as she once did Cassie) are in need of protection and a safe place to stay…

Anything else? Of course. There’s always something happening to keep Cassandra Palmer busy.

I enjoyed this Cassie novel. I particularly liked the storyline involving Pritkin. I think I’m more Team Pritkin to tell you the truth. Mircea is ok, but I think I like him better in the Dory Series, and I don’t know, the fact that he’s known Cassie and cared for her since she was a child, on top of the fact that he’s a few centuries older than her, just kinda weirds me out. As always, I really enjoyed the time travelling, and I liked the twists and turns in the plot of this novel.

For more information on the timeline of the Cassandra Palmer Series and the Dorina Basarab Series (and associated short stories) please follow this link. (Found on Karen Chance’s official website).

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Claimed By Shadow

This is a review of “Claimed By Shadow” by Karen Chance. It is book 2 in the Cassandra Palmer Series. It follows on from “Touch the Dark“.

As this book is a part of a series, the following review may reveal some details of the previous novel/s. Do not read if you intend to read this series in the future and don’t want to know of any potential plot spoilers. As this book is also part of a larger series (it ties in with the Dorina Basarab Series) it may be wise to use caution when reading these reviews on the Cassandra Palmer Series. I may unintentionally give out spoilers for part of that series, though Karen Chance is pretty good at keeping the two story arcs fairly separated.

Cassie is on the run again. She doesn’t want to be Pythia. She really doesn’t want all that responsibility, especially when she has no idea how to wield the Pythian power properly. The mages don’t want her to be Pythia either. They’ve never before had a Pythia that they haven’t trained themselves, and they’re not at all keen on finding out what it will be like. They want her out of office, permanently. The Vampire Senate only want her to be Pythia so that they can control her, so she will be their “Pet Pythia”. Cassie wants no part in any of it. But she sure as hell doesn’t want the power to go to the crazy and murderous Myra (who was supposed to be next in line for the Pythian title) either.

While Agnes (the previous Pythia) bestowed the Pythian powers onto Cassandra, the transfer won’t be fully completed until Cassie fulfils the Pythian rites. (Erm, and that means when she loses her virginity). And while Cassie is really busy running for her life and trying to locate the treacherous Myra and the fat a-hole Tony (with whom she’s got even more of a major beef with after information was revealed about her father in “Touch the Dark”), she has been feeling a little…attracted to the males around her lately. More than likely, it’s an influence from the Pythian power; the rites clamouring to be completed. Only trouble is, she’s also discovered that a certain Master Vampire beginning with M has placed a geis on her.

Yup. Mircea has whacked a giant metaphysical “Keep Off” sticker onto Cassie. It warns others away from her (sometimes very painfully), and makes her more attracted to Mircea. It’s like a love spell. If the geis is completed, Cassie would most probably be under Mircea’s control. Which would not be a good thing. She’s got to find out how to remove the geis. And she has to find Myra and Tony, who are more than likely both hiding out in Faerie. Additionally, Myra is a bitch. She’s been travelling into the past trying to disrupt it in order to get rid of Cassie. So Cassie’s got to time-travel too to make sure nothing happens to affect the current timeline. It’s safe to say that Cassie is one busy gal.

I enjoyed this one, I loved the tattoos, Mac, and the foray into Faerie. I was happy that Pritkin was back again. There were some sad parts 😦 but there was also a lot of humour. Additionally, this novel also provides some back story to the events leading up to “Midnight’s Daughter”. Again, I love the detail in Chance’s work, the richness of her characters and her world-building skills.

For more information on the timeline of the Cassandra Palmer Series and the Dorina Basarab Series (and associated short stories) please follow this link. (Found on Karen Chance’s official website).

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Touch The Dark

This is a review of “Touch The Dark” by Karen Chance. It is book 1 in the Cassandra Palmer Series.

Even though this is the first book in a series, it is also part of a larger series (it ties in with the Dorina Basarab Series). Keep this in mind as you read my reviews for the Cassandra Palmer Series, as I may unintentionally give out spoilers for part of that series.

Cassandra Palmer is a clairvoyant. She’s young. And she’s on the run. From vampires. Mobster vampires. Her parents were killed when she was very young and she was raised by the vamp (Tony) who ordered their hit (she didn’t find this out until she was a teen) as he thought having a Seer on hand might be nifty. She got her revenge by selling him out to the human feds. Which would have been awesome, except he didn’t get caught. So hence, she’s on the run.

All her life Cassie has Seen things; events before they happen, psychic imprints left in places where traumas occurred, that kind of thing. Her visions are never particularly nice. But hey, you can’t control what you See. Oh and she can talk to ghosts. Which is pretty sweet, if you’ve got a helpful ghostly friend. Which Cassie does (kinda). His name is Billy Joe, he’s a card-game cheatin’ cowboy who cheated one too many times. He and Cassie have an understanding. She feeds him energy and he feeds her info.

Cassie’s been doing good lately, she’s got a job, and she’s steered clear of Tony for a few years now. But when she comes across a threatening message left on her computer, she knows she’s got to get moving again. And then everything gets even messier. Cassie finds herself in demand from vamps other than Tony’s boys, including high-ranking Master Vampires from the North American Vampire Senate, and mages of the Dark and Silver Circles. Cassie’s got no idea where to hide, so it seems she’ll have to make some friends and find out why the hell she’s become so popular all of a sudden in the supernatural community.

I really enjoyed this book. There is a rich array of characters, all very interesting and complex. Chance excels at creating a complex world with complex characters. Cassie is a fun heroine. She’s tough and yet she’s innocent. She’s gutsy and she’s thoughtful. I just love her. We see a very different side to Mircea in this series than we do in the Dorina Basarab Series, which is pretty nifty. I enjoyed having Louis Cesare in this novel and I enjoyed getting to know his back story. Billy Joe is a humorous side kick, and I loved being introduced to War Mage, Pritkin.

For more information on the timeline of the Dorina Basarab Series and the Cassandra Palmer Series (and associated short stories) please follow this link. (Found on Karen Chance’s official website).

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Fury’s Kiss

This is a review of “Fury’s Kiss” by Karen Chance. It is book 3 in the Dorina Basarab Series. It follows on from “Death’s Mistress”.

As this book is a part of a series, the following review may reveal some details of the previous novel/s. Do not read if you intend to read this series in the future and don’t want to know of any potential plot spoilers. As this book is also part of a larger series (it ties in with the Cassandra Palmer Series) it may be wise to avoid reading these reviews on the Dorina Basarab Series. I may unintentionally give out spoilers for part of that series.

Dory is still helping out Mircea, and the North American Vampire Senate, on their task-force for cleaning up the illegal smuggling of magical objects and weapons from Faerie into our world. But their latest operation has gone wrong. Not only does Dory have no memory of the last operation, but her partner and a great number of Master Vampires have been killed. Dory is the only one alive. Every vamp on the Senate wants to know why. Especially Kit Marlowe.

To find out what happened and what went wrong, they must enter Dory’s memories. Dory is not too keen on this idea, Mircea deleted a little too much of her past the last time he was in her head. But she (and the others) really needs to know what happened. She’s just not sure she wants to know what happened. Usually, when she can’t remember the fine details of an event, it’s kind of a blessing. It doesn’t look like it this time.

On top of all this, she’s not too sure how she feels about her relationship with Louis-Cesare. Can they last? Should a vampire and a dhampir ever get together? And while we’re on the topic of relationships, there’s the one she has with Mircea. And ain’t that all kinds of complicated?

I really really liked this one. I liked getting to know more about Dory’s dhampir nature and specifically her vampiric half. I loved the insights into her past with Mircea. I enjoyed the interactions with Kit (especially one scene in particular). Ray was as humorous as ever, and Claire and the Fey always make it interesting. It was a little confusing to read at times, but it does all come together really well in the end.

**Sneaky Spoiler**
Psst. Look out for a teeny appearance from everyone’s favourite Pythia!

For more information on the timeline of the Dorina Basarab Series and the Cassandra Palmer Series (and associated short stories) please follow this link. (Found on Karen Chance’s official website).

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In Vino Veritas

This is a review of the short story “In Vino Veritas” by Karen Chance. It is a Dorina Basarab short, and slots in after “Death’s Mistress“, just before “Fury’s Kiss”. It can be downloaded here or found in the anthology “Chicks Kick Butt”.

As this short story is a part of a series, the following review may reveal some details of the previous novel/s. Do not read if you intend to read this series in the future and don’t want to know of any potential plot spoilers.

Dory finds herself with another Ray-esque problem. She’s got to convince Lord Cheung that Ray is under her protection, and Lord Cheung is none too impressed with his ex-employee squealing his guts out to the Senate.

This was a fun little Dory snippet. It’s not necessary to understand anything in the main series, but it was a cool addition. I enjoyed it, and how awesome is it that Karen Chance has provided it for fans for free on her website?

For more information on the timeline of the Dorina Basarab Series and the Cassandra Palmer Series (and associated short stories) please follow this link. (Found on Karen Chance’s official website).

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Buying Trouble

This is a review of “Buying Trouble” by Karen Chance. It is a novella that takes place in the same book-verse as the Dorina Basarab Series and the Cassandra Palmer Series. It is a companion to “Midnight’s Daughter“, book 1 in the Dorina Basarab Series. It can be found in the anthology “On The Prowl”, but is also available for purchase on its own as an ebook.

As this novella is a part of a series, the following review may reveal some details of the novels in the series. This applies most to the novel “Midnight’s Daughter“, first novel in the Dorina Basarab Series. Do not read if you intend to read this series in the future and don’t want to know of any potential plot spoilers.

Claire Lachesis is a projective null. This means that she can by will, nullify any magic within a certain radius. Nulls are in demand from the magical community, not only for their unique ability, but also because their power can be drained and transferred into an object, thereby creating a kind of weapon, which unfortunately, kills the null.

Claire’s had some family problems, there’s a tricky inheritance issue and her cousin Sebastian wants her out of the picture, preferably permanently (a-hole!). She’s been able to hide from him so far, bringing in money by working at a dodgy auction house that specialises in magic items. But the auction house won’t be a safe place for long, and Claire has to save her hide by running off with a strange (if cute) Fey.

If you’ve ever wanted to know more about Claire’s whereabouts and adventures while reading “Midnight’s Daughter” then this is just what you’ve been looking for. It was a great little novella, which gave the reader a really big insight into Claire. I also liked reading about how she and Heidar met. It’s humorous and touching and just as action-packed as the Dorina Basarab and Cassandra Palmer Series.

For more information on the timeline of the Dorina Basarab Series and the Cassandra Palmer Series (and associated short stories) please follow this link. (Found on Karen Chance’s official website).

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