Category Archives: 4.75 Fangs

Review: Hunt the Moon (The Cassie Palmer series #5), by Karen Chance

TLDR recap:

With her coronation quickly approaching, Cassie Palmer would give anything short of the power of her office for a reprieve from the danger that perpetually dogs her, so she can sort out the many political and emotional complications in her life.  As usual, there’s to be no downtime for our spunky little Pythia, as a new Big Bad sets its sights on her, forcing her to push herself to her physical, emotional, and magical limits yet again, learning a few handy new tricks along the way.

    • Title: Hunt the Moon
    • Series: The Cassie Palmer series – book #5
    • Author: Karen Chance
    • Prominent Characters: Cassie, Pritkin, Mircea
    • Recommended reader age: 16+
    • Sexual content level: moderate

***** This review is spoiler-free.  However, if you are new to this series, I recommend skipping this review until you have read the first four books, to avoid inadvertently learning too much! *****

Thoughts:

For readers of the Cassie Palmer series, almost dying really does never get old…

My name is Cassie Palmer, and I’ve cheated death more times than anyone has a right to exect.  In the past two months, I’ve been shot, stabbed, beaten and blown up a few dozen times, and that doesnt count all the magical ways I’ve almost been killed.  I’d have been dead a long time ago if not for my friends, one of whom had just jumped off the cliff after me.

I’d have been more appreciative if he hadn’t pushed me first.

How can one woman get into so much trouble?  How can one woman get into so much trouble and still survive?  How can one woman get into so much trouble and STAY SANE?!  Heavy on the accidental slapstick with a healthy helping of sarcastic wit  and a side of genuine bleeding heart, Cassie Palmer stories are a whirlwind of hair-raising close calls fraught with near-constant mortal danger and comedic relief.

Hunt the Moon has a few giganto-sized action sequences, stuffed with the usual deadly peril and seemingly-unending frustration on Cassie’s part.  These sequences are a large part of what defines the series and makes it as incredible as it is, but they also seem to be growing in length and intensity as the series progresses.  One sequence in particular lasts for nearly a third of the book, and I thought ” OH MY GOD, JUST DIE ALREADY!!!” right as the bad guy turns around and says the same to Cassie.  That’s either an eerie coincidence, or further proof of Ms. Chance’s story-telling skills and ability to gauge and guide her audience (I vote for option #2!).

The relationships binding our three favorite characters all get a romantic boost, culminating in a conclusion no one expected… okay, a conclusion *I*didn’t expect! As usual, I can’t want for the next one, to see where all craziness this is headed.  Does anyone else have trouble deciding who they like more, Pritkin or Mircea?  Ugh, what a tough choice!!  Can’t a girl just keep both?  The answer to that, of course, is “no, not with these two!”

Memorable quotes:

The irony of escapism is that you can never truly escape…

I started to pull off my t-shirt.  It was far too flimsy for where I’d been, but the saying on the front fit my moond perfectly: “I keep hitting escape, but I’m still here.”

Stamina… needs more stamina!

Marco patted my shoulder.  “It’s okay.  You aren’t my type.”

“What is your type?”

“Someone who gets in less trouble… I decided I was wrong.  I don’t like the wild side. I ain’t got the master’s stamina.”

“I don’t require stamina.”

“Babe, you require a freaking tank.”

The great Brit-American beer debate…

“I thought you Brits liked it hot.”

“Hot beer?” Pritkin looked revolted.

“That’s the rumor.”

“Because we don’t drink it iced over, thereby leaching right out whatever flavor you Yanks accidentally left in?”

You know what they say about a man’s hands.  You know, about how refined they are…?

Pritkin’s hands were oddly refined compared to the rest of him: strong but long fingered, with elegant bones and short-clipped nails.  They always looked like they’d wandered off from some gentleman, one they’d probably like to get back to, because God knew they weren’t getting a manicure while attached to him.

A good life-philosophy…

“Tarot is an indicator, not an absolute.  Nothing about the future is decided until it happens.  We create it every day by the choices we make, good or bad.”

It’s good to have a plan…

“Do we have a plan?”

“I need to touch her.”

“That is not a plan, dulceata; it is an objective.”

Just to set the record straight…

“Candy is candy.  Chocolate is therapy.”

Home is where the… crazy… is?

This was Dante’s.  Crazy was what we had for breakfast when we ran out of Corn Flakes.

If you like Hunt the Moon of Cassandra Palmer series…

If you enjoyed Hunt the Moon and the rest of the Cassie Palmer series for its insane action sequences and over-the-top bad guys, check out the Fever series by Karen Marie Moning (beginning with Darkfever).  Mac may start off a little vain and princess-y, but she has as much spunk and spine as Cassie, and her two suitors are just as enthralling (mmmm, Barrons!!).  The Fever series is the only series I have read to date that actually matches the Cassie Palmer series in the scale of the action scenes, and the magnitude of the offensive potential of the Big Bads.  Addicting, addicting, addicting!!!

The Merry Gentry series by Laurell K. Hamilton (starting with A Kiss of Shadows) and the Southern Vampire Chronicles (Sookie Stackhouse) series by Charlaine Harris (see Dead Until Dark) are also similar to the Cassandra Palmer books.  The Merry Gentry series is set mostly in Faerie (and Meredith’s Fae are no less dangerous than Cassie’s version!) and involves significantly more sex, both in frequency of occurrence and graphic detail.  Sookie tends to deal more with politics than sex (although she has her share too, just not as graphic) and seems to get into trouble nearly as often as Cassie.  Both series are excellent reads and will keep you laughing, crying, and jonzing for more!

Final thoughts:

Ms. Chance has definitely found the magic formula for keeping readers engaged, enthralled, entertained, and eagerly coming back for more, book after book!

It is extremely tempting to give Hunt the Moon a perfect score, considering its wealth of action, adventure, humor, warmth, and quirkiness, but two of the major action sequences drag on just a little too long for my tastes.  I found myself skipping through a few pages to get to some sort of conclusion, in order to keep myself from stressing out over all the “almost”s and close-calls.  That, and the fact that Cassie STILL hasn’t learned better control over her powers… for the majority of the book at least.

I LOVE Cassie Palmer books.  LOVE LOVE LOVE them!!  However, they always leave me feeling exhausted, mentally and emotionally, and I feel like I need a break from books for a while after finishing one.

Rating:
4.75 fangs: SAVOR IT! 

Related links:

http://www.karenchance.com/ (The Cassie Palmer series website)

http://www.karenmoning.com/ (The Fever series website)

http://www.laurellkhamilton.org/ (The Merry Gentry series website)

http://www.charlaineharris.com/ (The Sookie Stackhouse series website)

Not yet a subscriber? If you liked this post and want to see more, follow me on Twitter or subscribe via RSS feed below!  Wordpress and Email subscriptions are at the top of the sidebar.
Follow davincikittie on Twitter  Subscribe in a Reader
Advertisements

Review: Born of Night (The League series #1), by Sherrilyn Kenyon

TLDR recap:

An ex-League assassin with multiple contracts out on his life, Nykyrian Quiakides fears neither danger nor pain.  A reknowned dancer and daughter of a prominent political leader, Kiara Zamir is sheltered but strong after the torture and murder of her mother as a child.  When political schemes put Kiara in the sights of  some of the Ichidian universe’s most vicious hunters, Nykyrian and his crew are hired to protect her, and he gets way more than he bargained for in the process.

    • Title: Born of Night
    • Series: The League series – book #1
    • Author: Sherrilyn Kenyon
    • Prominent Characters: Kiara Zamir, Nykyrian Quiakides, C.I. Syn & crew
    • Recommended reader age: 16+
    • Sexual content level: Moderate

Thoughts:

One of the pioneers of the futuristic and paranormal genres in the ’90s, Ms. Kenyon is well-published and -celebrated with over 40 novels across 6 different series.  It’s daunting, choosing a place to start, and I couldn’t be happier with The League series as my introduction to Ms. Kenyon’s style.  Born of Night was one of the first novels she wrote and was originally released through a different publishing house than she uses today.  If you’ve read BoN or #2 in the series, Born of Fire, you know that the timelines for these two stories are concurrent.  Because they were originally published by different houses, she had to change some of the names and timelines so that the two works appeared unrelated.  In 2009, Ms. Kenyon was able to re-release these two novels and begin telling the rest of the story, and she adjusted the timeline and character names to fit her original plan.  SO, if you read BoN (or BoF!) when it was first released in the ’90s, give it another go and get caught up on the current state of The Sentella’s affairs!

I haven’t previously read a futuristic romance before (no wizards, vampires, or demons!), so the first few chapters of this novel were somewhat difficult to immerse myself in.  It reminded me a lot of the Star Wars universe, with multiple habitable planetary systems, alien races (more than a few humanoid – does “Andarian” make anyone else think of annoying blue-skinned guys with antennae?  Yes yes, I know, Andorians are Star Trek not Star Wars!), and advanced tech (spaceships, blasters, etc).  The story also reminded me a little of Star Wars, with the disreputable (but skilled & crafty!) hero taking on a paid mission to protect a beautiful (yet strong & independant) heiress, then falling in love against their better judgement and running from any and all authorities in the galaxy as they both become hunted.

The emotional impact of this story is tremendous.  Neither Nykyrian nor Kiara has been spared hardship and suffering throughout their lives, but Nykyrian’s past is the gift that just keeps on giving… in bad ways and good.  I’ve already read through the next three League books and I’ve noticed that torture seems to be a theme for these poor guys.  In all three novels, the hero has suffered extreme torture of some sort, either in his past or during the story, and the heroines get a dose of  pain too.  Ms. Kenyon’s mastery of these characters makes it easy to get into their heads and to let them into your heart so you feel empathy for the ringer they are put through, both physically and emotionally.  That’s the hallmark of a good author, right?  To make you able to feel and understand, but Ms. Kenyon goes above and beyond to make experiencing this novel a real treat for the readers.  Spanning the gamut of emotional and physical developments, the novel Born of Night is very nearly an epic story… aaaalmost (using true epics such as Lord of the Rings as a standard)!  *wink*

Memorable quotes:

An assassin’s take on love…

And he was born of night.  His mother was the darkness, her cold embrace was all he had a right to crave.  Just as the sun destroyed the night, he was sure she would destroy him, provided their enemies didn’t kill her first.


If you like Born of Night…

If you enjoyed Born of Night by Sherrilyn Kenyon, you should check out the Psy-Changeling series by Nalini Singh.  Both series are futuristic and emotional, with very strong male leads and independant females.  The much-anticipated 10th novel in the series, Hawke & Sienna’s story “Kiss of Snow”, will hit bookshelves later this month.  If you’re a speedy reader and start now, you can finish books 1-9 in time to get caught up in the hype!

If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you probably know what I’m going to say next.  *grin*  If what you liked about Born of Night was the emotional ride, then definitely check out the Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R. Ward.  Ms. Ward is a master of drawing in her audience emotionally and keeping us enthralled.  Her sex scenes are pretty hot too.  *wink*  The BDB is not futuristic, however, so if more of that is what you’re looking for…

This may sound silly, but even with the massive exposure of Star Wars across our culture, I STILL meet people who have not ever read or seen Star Wars!!  I know, craziness!  It’s almost unfathomable to me, who grew up memorizing and re-enacting “Return of the Jedi” weekly in my back yard!  If you are one of the Star Wars deprived, do yourself a favor and watch (not read, not yet – watch it first!!) Episodes 4 (A New Hope), 5 (The Empire Strikes Back), & 6 (The Return of the Jedi) of the original Star Wars trilogy.  Yes, I know it might sound like it makes more sense to start with Episode 1 (The Phantom Menace), but trust me on this… Ep.4 first, THEN Ep.1!  Star Wars is set in a galaxy far far away, is futuristic (ignore the “a long time ago” bit), and has space battles, smugglers, political intrigue, and romance.  So basically Born of Night, with less emphasis on the romance and more emphasis on the overall picture (and with Jedi & lightsabers, woo!!).  =)

Final thoughts:

If this is an example of Sherrilyn Kenyon’s early work, I am very excited to read some of her more recent series, considering all the time she’s had to hone and master her craft.  The publishing world is vicious to career authors, especially in the romance genres, and the sheer number of novels and series Ms. Kenyon has created speak volumes about her skill.  I would like to give this story a 5 fang rating, based on its nearly epic span of struggles and events and the depth of the emotions it portrays, but I had some trouble assimilating into the story at the start of the book.  4.75 fangs it is!  =)

Rating:
4.75 fangs: BITE IT!

Related links:

http://www.sherrilynkenyon.com/ (The League)

http://www.nalinisingh.com/ (Psy-Changeling)

http://www.jrward.com/bdb/ (Black Dagger Brotherhood)

http://www.starwars.com/ (Star Wars)

Not yet a subscriber? If you liked this post and want to see more, follow me on Twitter or subscribe via RSS feed below!  Wordpress and Email subscriptions are at the top of the sidebar.
Follow davincikittie on Twitter  Subscribe in a Reader

Review: One Foot in the Grave (Night Huntress series #2), by Jeaniene Frost

TLDR recap:

This second novel in the Cat & Bones series is packed with even more action, romance, and plot twists than the first!  The storyline moves swiftly and skillfully, keeping readers’ attention riveted to the pages.  The fighting is fierce, the sex is steamy, and the plot continues to bring on the surprises.  Do yourself a favor and add this one to your “must read” list!

  • Title: One Foot in the Grave
  • Series: The Night Huntress (Cat & Bones) series – book #2
  • Author: Jeaniene Frost
  • Recommended reader age: 17+
  • Sexual content level: Moderate

Premise:

After a painful 4-year forced separation from the love of her life, Cat finds herself once again face to face with Bones… the vampire who taught her everything she knows about loving, fighting, and life as an undead.  The Red Reaper has a price on her head now, and Bones is back to make sure it stays in one piece, literally.  Cat must decide whether to accept him fully back into her life (and bed) or continue trying to keep in at arm’s length as they fight side-by-side to defeat new enemies and defuse clever new traps.

Thoughts:

In Ms. Frost’s second Night Huntress novel, we get to meet Ian, Bones’s vampire sire and good friend since they were both humans.  Spade is also back, briefly, and we get a glimpse of the mysterious Mencheres, who we’ll get more info on later in the series.  Now that Cat’s team of special ops vampire killers is up and running, we get to meet some great new characters who will pop up here and there in the rest of the series, and we learn more about vampire society and Cat’s heritage as a half-breed.

The plot of this book moves a lot like Cat & Bones both do – quick and to the point, with a dramatic flair.  Even the beginning chapters, before Cat sees Bones again, the story is enjoyable and spirited.  Ms. Frost is smart in making her heroine and hero strong and like-able on their own, without needing to be constantly paired up in order to drive the plot.

I don’t want to say much more because there are some really fun plot twists in this story and I’d hate to spoil them.  *wink*  HOWEVER, I will say this… DO NOT SKIP CHAPTER 32!!  You’ve probably noticed that I’m writing this review after the review for C&B #5 that just recently released.  I decided to go back and re-read the first books and write reviews on them for any potential readers new to the series.  Chapter 32 of One Foot in the Grave has become one of Jeaniene Frost’s most well-known passages.  It’s sexy, ballsy, and pushes the boundaries of what we have come to expect in contemporary romance scenes, without (in my opinion) being too over-the-top or unbelievable (okay, respectively – he IS still a vampire!).  If for no other reason than to read this chapter, you absolutely MUST MUST MUST read Halfway to the Grave (Cat & Bones #1) and then this one!  After that, I’m certain you’ll be just as excited about these books as I am… and the legions of Jeaniene Frost fans out there!!

You might also like…

If you like Cat & Bones (Night Huntress series), you might also like the Cassandra Palmer Pythia series by Karen Chance or the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J.R. Ward.  The Southern Vampire (Sookie Stackhouse) series by Charlaine Harris is also somewhat similar in its early books, but becomes too politically mired in the later ones to keep up the fast pace that the Night Huntress series is known for.

The Cassie Palmer books are a crazy-fun trip through chaos, danger, time-travel, & vamp/mage politics, with a little romance on the side.  If Cat & Bones are your favorite couple, you’ll probably also like Cassie/Mircea/Pritkin (yeah I know that sounds weird- read it and you’ll see what I mean!) and several of the Black Dagger Brotherhood pairings.

Memorable quotes:

There aren’t many one-liners in this book, and it’s difficult to pull out sections of the in-between-action scenes without giving away parts of the plot, so I don’t have as many quotes for you this time…

You won’t like him when he’s angry…

Grendel wasn’t in as jolly a mood.  He got to his feet, rubbed his throat where the skin was healing back into place, and gave me a very unpleasant look.

“You will pay with pain for that.”

What was I supposed to say?  It wasn’t good for me, either?

Paying your respects…

(Bones) “Congratulations on a magnificent display of unsportsmanlike conduct.  What a dirty fighter you are.  Somebody really skilled must have trained you.”

I laughed even though it hurt.  “Yeah.  An arrogant bastard.”

Final thoughts:

I enjoy all of the Night Huntress series books, including the expanded world ones (Spade & Mencheres), but One Foot in the Grave is one of my favorites… not just of this series, but of all the books I’ve read in general.  This one and the next two have a really dynamic chemistry to the characters and story arc that just draws you in and keeps you there.  I can go for days at a time with my nose in these books, completely forgetting about everything else (which really annoys my husband! hah).  This series is quite distracting!

Cat & Bones are one of my absolute favorite couples in paranormal romance (or any romance, really).  I don’t know if it’s her independence and temerity, his confidence and charm, the fact that they’re both kick-ass fighters, or the combustible sparks between them, but something about this chemistry is just RIGHT.  READ THIS SERIES!!

Rating:
4.75 fangs: BITE IT!

It’s really tempting to give this one 5 fangs, and I’m still not sure it doesn’t deserve a full 5!

Related links:

http://jeanienefrost.com/books/

http://www.jrward.com/bdb/index.html

http://www.karenchance.com/books.html

http://www.charlaineharris.com/bibliography/bibliog-sookie.html

Not yet a subscriber? If you liked this post and want to see more, follow me on Twitter or subscribe via RSS feed below! WordPress and Email subscriptions are at the top of the sidebar.
Follow davincikittie on Twitter Subscribe in a Reader

%d bloggers like this: