Several words and analogies come to me when I try to describe how I feel after closing the covers on a Karen Chance book and none of them are ‘blah’, ‘meh’, ‘boring’ or ‘okay’. This sixth book into the Cassie Palmer series and I am still knocked on my can by her creative ability to send me reeling. It’s like watching a huge pyro-technical display, listening to a rock concert, eating hot peppers and riding a tilt a whirl- all senses are bombarded at once. And like with most of those things, I took a moment to gather myself and then said ‘That was fun. Let’s do it again’. The sensation just gets more powerful with each book in the series which explains why I leaped at the chance to read this one and what my reaction was when I finished.
*Deep breath* So onward… As I pointed out, this is part of a series and it most definitely is a series that must be taken in order. Lately, each time I pick up the newest one, the opening scene always makes me feel like I was dropped into the middle of something. It took some getting used to the first time it happened, but I’ve adjusted to the writing style. It’s for people who are literary adrenaline junkies for certain. Because I don’t want to stop anyone from experience even one of the surprises, I kept my summary deliberately vague and well…I have no clue how to summarize the wild, mad dash that is a week in the life of Cassie anyway.
This one jumps in about a week from where the last one left off. Cassie is still reeling from the shocking sacrifice that Pritkin made for her. She is so shocked that she is still dealing with her feelings which she hasn’t taken the time to analyze much while she seeks a way to reverse his sacrifice. Things come fast and hard for her on a normal day, but these days are all hyped up on steroids. Cass’ itinerary includes a few stopovers in the past to discover some pretty enlightening things about herself and changes her perspective on her parents, a few pop-ins on her suite which is now overrun by a few extras and the discovery of a dangerous power she never knew that she had, a stopover in a demon realm that brings the usual huge reveal and shocker leaving me nearly foaming at the mouth for the next book.
I never know quite what to say about the plots on these. It’s like trying to decide whether a time travel book should be contemporary or historical or something else altogether. They are definitely fast-paced and action filled which is cool and totally unrealistically over the top (yes, I do realize that I shouldn’t look for realism in an Urban Fantasy), but it’s just hard to keep up after awhile. I get desensitized to the action. There is a part of me that rebels and just wants some slow character development or romance time which this story possibly was devoid of on purpose. There were scenes particularly with Cassie’s parents and then with Pritkin where Cassie was on the verge of quality moments in those relationships, but then the mayhem would barrel through and carry her off again. I was particularly frustrated (and I suspect I was meant to be based on the way stuff is written) when Pritkin is trying to get her to acknowledge something- yes that special ‘bare all your feelings’ something I think- without spelling it out for her. He wants her to understand her connection with him, but she hasn’t had time to analyze it so the moment slips away. Oh and for all you Mircea fans out there, I’ll just say you might be called upon to be patient a bit longer since his page time is minimal. This is both the joys and frustrations of ready a series-long story arc particularly when the book your reading is mostly a transitional/set-up book in the series. It’s a delicious frustration that I voluntarily more than endure- even enjoy.
So in the end, this was a fantastic ride full of new and old characters where the ante is upped in the war with the gods and leaves one with an eagerness for what is to come.
My thanks to Penguin Group and Net Galley for the opportunity to read and review this book.