Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Pub Date: June 7, 2011
Note: Received review copy from publisher.
Hunt the Moon: A Cassie Palmer Novel
Hunt the Moon at Book Depository
In the fifth entry in Karen Chance's Cassandra Palmer series, Cassie is busier than ever preparing for her upcoming coronation as Pythia, the world's chief clairvoyant. But someone doesn't want Cassie to become Pythia---and will go to any lengths to make sure the coronation ceremony never happens.
I've been a fan of this series since book one, but I do have to admit that often times I find the books are so fast paced and action packed with so much going on that I end up feeling lost, confused and frustrated. Also, in previous books I've found Cassie to be a bit of an irritating protagonist. Now, one has to stop and remember that even though there were four previous books, they only take place over the span of a couple months whereas by this time in most series we would have had at least a year go by, so I really do have to consider that it's not reasonable or realistic for me to expect Cassie to morph into super butt kicking, uber hero chick in that amount of time. Especially considering that most of that time she's been flying by the seat of her pants, jumping from one crisis to the next and basically just trying to keep herself and the ones she loves, alive. Enter Hunt the Moon.
This book has to be my favorite in the series so far. As L. Blanchard from Dangerous Romance said on my goodreads review, this book is a game changer. It was much easier to follow. Still action packed (with some of the best action scenes yet, in my humblest of opinions) as ever and fast paced, full of twists and turns and new developments that will knock one's socks off, but I didn't feel as lost. There was a cohesiveness and engaging quality that made me pay attention better and keep up. Not to mention that I just really enjoyed Cassie as a character in this one. She really shines. She goes on an emotional roller coaster and finds her footing fast. She's more decisive, and the reader can see her starting to know her own mind and heart better. She's getting comfortable in her skin and owning her powers and the world is on notice: Cassandra Palmer is no one's pawn and she's getting ready to play with the big boys, and quite possibly make them cry.
The secondary characters were fabulous in this one. Not only has there been definite character development in Cassie, but it's noticeable in the supporting cast as well. We learn more about Pritkin and Mircea as well as the Circle and the Vampire Consul. I feel like the world is beginning to expand a bit and I can't wait to see more of it and Cassie's dealings with it instead of her just having to react to assassination attempts and Armageddon on the daily.
Now, for the part where I lose my cool and show my true colors.... PRITKIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ok, so I like Mircea. I do. I believe he honestly loves Cassie and does his best by her. I also believe she loves him in a layered way of him always meaning comfort, security and safety for a girl that knew of none for a large part of her formative years. Also, he's a father figure (which really doesn't squick me out, just sayin) and he's always been around. Now, that admiration and security turned into attraction (also based heavily on the geis) and desire and I think it's all valid and he's a fascinating character that I don't want to completely lose in the series, BUT the dynamic that Cassie and Pritkin has just blows all else right out the water. I love that she really doesn't come out and define her relationship with Pritkin nor does he ever really lay out all he feels for her, but their actions and Cassie's inner dialog speak volumes my friends. I'm not saying it's cut and dry, and I really don't want it to be; however, when two people are as committed to each other and have the combustible chemistry of Cassie and Pritkin, you must forgive this reader for her absolute and unfettered delight. For fans of Mircea, don't fret, he gets some great scenes in this one and I think he's much more likable in this one as well. For fans of Pritkin, well, honestly he just steals the show for me.
And the ending? Wow. I have read two UF's in a row now where the endings have just been EPIC and left me frothing at the mouth (accurate but perhaps unflattering) for the next installment. That would be Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews and Hunt the Moon. It was so satisfying and yet so damned teasing as Cassie is catapulted on to another adventure that is sure to be one hell of a ride (excuse the pun for those who've read it) and I wanted to jump straight into it with her. I was so bummed and yet so keyed up and happy when the I turned to the last page. I cannot wait for the next book. This series has picked up momentum, which doesn't seem possible considering its already crazy pace, and it's getting stronger with each new entry.
For those new to the series, I really recommend you start with book 1. So much happens in each book that I think it would be really hard to start in the middle and really understand what's going on and who's who. Also, in my own personal opinion, the books really start picking up around book 3 and then 4 was a much stronger installment and now 5 is just killin it, so give the books a chance to unfold and take you on a wild and crazy journey.
Final Grade: A-