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46
4.5 out of 5 stars
Tempt the Stars (Cassie Palmer Novels)
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 6 October 2013
When I started this book, I intended to spread my reading over at least three days to savour it for longer, but by the second day it rapidly became un-put-downable!

Since finishing, I've read a bunch of other reviews where people are saying either 1) the actions scenes were too confusing or 2) they didn't like something or other about Pritkin/Mircea in this book. I would have to respectfully refute these points.

If you take the time to read, rather than skim, I don't get the first complaint at all. Crazy, chaotic, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants action scenes have been a trademark of Karen Chance's since her first book, and you either love them or you don't. But they're not new. I'm honestly a little bemused by this complaint.

As for the second point, well, my take on this is quite different. I would sum up this book in a single word: epic. I think we need to look beyond the fangirling over Pritkin or Mircea. Karen Chance is on record for saying she dislikes her books being confused with romance novels. That's not to say we can't fall in love with her characters, but this is firmly an Urban Fantasy story. And the story in this book was amazing!

I love a series where each book builds on what went on before, and where the author drops hints towards a far greater story arc. I love to pick over mysteries and clues and there's enough fodder in this book to easily tide me over till the next release. We learn a great deal about Cassie's parents, who really weren't quite what I expected (understatement), and Pritkin's rescue naturally dominates much of the story, but it's the revelations about 'the big picture' that we get along the way that make this a five star read for me.

I love a hot book boyfriend as much as the next guy/gal, but I feel judging this book in terms of what Cassie did or didn't do with Pritkin or Mircea is a colossal injustice. KC has created an amazing, huge world in her books, and her characters become more deliciously grey with every release. You can see Cassie developing and growing before your eyes, as she juggles the burdens of responsibility and dependency (and she's not the only one.)

Finally, on the "cliffhanger" ending ... I didn't even class it as a cliffhanger. I found myself grinning with anticipation as I read the final sentences.

Desperately waiting for Reap the Wind, due out at some point in 2014.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 21 October 2013
I love the Cassie Palmer series and always devour each new instalment in one or two sittings before reading back through all the best bits again, which this time will probably mean reading the whole thing again!

The story picks up with Cassie trying to track down her missing war-mage protector Pritkin and that individual quest takes places against the backdrop of a bigger conflict unfurling.

The books are always frenetic with one crazy action scene after another and this book is even more dementedly action-packed than normal. There are some genius scenes in this book, I loved the crazy chase through the forest with potion-wielding ghost-robot and the magic carpet windsurfing ride before a sandstorm - the writing of the scenes is brilliant, breakneck speed and the usual Cassie / Pritkin teamwork enlivening each moment.

The bigger story arc that starts to unfold is fascinating and the scale of the forthcoming battle is slowly becoming clear. I loved learning more about Cassie's parents, who were interestingly unexpected. The demon realm and its capricious court was also brilliantly realised.

I like the character of Mircea but I much prefer him as Dory's father rather than Cassie's 'boyfriend' as Cassie refers to him in the book. The awkwardness of the term emphasises why their relationship and his long term manipulations don't work for me, so I didn't miss his almost total absence from the story, but was interested in the hints about his past interactions with the Pythias.

But for me, this book was all about Cassie and Pritkin and their relationship. I loved every intense, twisty angsty moment of their interaction. There is so much that is still unacknowledged (never mind unsaid) but it's so much more compelling for it. I can't wait for them to leap off that cliff Cassie's mother refers to...

Cassie has grown and developed as a character throughout the books and in this one you can see she is really starting to grow into her power and it's beginning to become clear that it's not just luck that's kept her alive all this time. At the same time, we see how much formal training she's missing and maybe that's why she makes the right choices based on instinct.

Pritkin is as awesome as ever and I adore his character. The intensity of his personality, the hair-trigger temper, moments of gentleness and his willingness to go all out in a fight.

At the end of the book I was grinning with Cassie looking forward to the next instalment. Just not looking forward to the wait!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 20 October 2013
I'm a massive Karen Chance fan. And this book was my favourite so far.

The continued character growth, dynamics and story arc are just fabulous. I spent three days after finishing this book in another world - work productivity was at an all time low as a mooned about and tried to adjust to not being in Cassie's world. Cassie's growth as a character is so subtle and brilliant that you can't help bursting with pride.

I agree that some times you really have to pace yourself when reading Karen Chance's action scenes, but you should already have read the rest of the series before getting to Tempt the Stars. So you'll already know whether reading Karen Chance's novels are for you.

I'm now more of a Pritkin fan, and it's the source of endless debate as to where the story is going and whom the love interest will be. (I'm voting for both or Pritkin!) But the storyline is so interesting, unexpected and the characters so real that the rollarcoaster is one I'm happy to stay on.

I just hope I manage to stay sane with not knowing until Reap the Wind. I didn't find the cliff hanger ending annoying, I was grinning from ear to ear when I got to the end. And all I could think was 'here we go again!' The end of the book felt like a natural conclusion for this chapter of Cassie's adventure.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 21 January 2014
This book is just WOW!! No other way to describe it, Karen Chance certainly delivers hook, line and sinker. I am so hooked on this series im like a little child waiting for the next one to come out. Why cant I have it now? You know those series where youre getting to the fifth and sixth books and you think can they really drag this out any further and they are starting to get tiresome well this is definitely NOT one of those. I feel like i know the characters and really dont want to have to wait for book 7 but all good things come to those who wait and i cant wait to carry on the adventure.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 27 February 2014
I couldn't put this book down and can't wait to read the next one in the series. anyone who doesn't love this series needs to see a doctor because they must have something wrong with them. all hail Karen Chance.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 10 October 2013
Fast paced as ever and with moments that had me wanting to laugh and cry and a few that made me want to throw something... But I'm reading on a kindle so that would be generally unwise. This a a great addition to Karen Chance's Cassie Palmer series and it ends on enough of a cliff hanger that there had better be another one coming at some point. Now, I really need to eat something, read time is about 4 hours and food seemed so very trivial when Cassie is being chanced and really staring to become the pinthia.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 12 November 2013
I have to say i love this book.
I love all the series of this book and if you haven't read any of them then you should
they are a treat.
this review is simply to say - yes if you are thinking of reading them please do.
This last installment leaves you wanting more as there is no resolution from the last book - seems like a gap filler but it is advertised as part one.
So can't wait for the next one. wish they came out every few months.
Karen Chance - work harder!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 17 November 2013
There's so much action in these books I get confused, but I love the characters. It is getting slightly annoying that Cassie still feels like she knows nothing after all she's been through. Also she keeps whinging that nobody tells her anything except every time they do she's not listening. That's my one tiny gripe. I love these books, they make me laugh.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 7 October 2013
I think it's safe to say that I love this series. Not only because of what it did for me as a reader (it was my first introduction to the amazeballs Urban fantasy genre which is what got me back into reading after years away) but because of its brilliance, its wit, and its unrivalled cleverness. I cannot even express how mind-boggling some of the time-shift stuff is! Scenes that take place in one book that don't make sense until much later when you realize how much time travel back and forth has been going on. The amount of planning and foreshadowing involved in all that... I can't even. It's just too awesome to compute. And Ms Chance's world, although complex, is so solid. There's not a single grey area in her worldbuilding, and even if there were, it would be because she planned for it to be there three books ago. 'Cause she likes grey. And because she can. Seriously, people quiz her nigh on a daily basis through her Facebook page as they try to get their heads around some of the more head-bending aspects of her plots, and she's thought of everything and then some. There are no chinks in her armour of awesome that I've found.

Moving on to this particular book, now that I've paid my dues for never really reviewing any of the others back in the day (lol). Cassandra Palmer - Cassie to most - has advanced as the series has progressed, as all good main characters should, and as evidenced here in TEMPT THE STARS. Resolutely putting the kibosh on people - vamps, mages, and now witches! - trying to manoeuvre her from point A to point B all the time, and just being more dominant and forthright in general. She could also possibly maybe hit the side of a barn with a gun now, too, thanks to Pritkin, and her power quotient has gone through the roof when compared to that of the smiley face T-shirt-wearing girl we met back in Touch the Dark. Having said that, it's not a complete transformation - the girl whose first instincts are to run and hide hasn't been completely smothered. Indeed, running and hiding are sometimes the best options available to a savvy heroine. But recently, and most especially in this book, she's been letting her "take no prisoners" side out a lot more. That, combined with the intelligence and common sense she's always shown around the vamps, who, in this series are about as sneaky and manipulative as they come, though rarely evil, and you've got yourself an incredibly well-rounded and sympathetic character - who now also kicks ass! Don't you just love it?

In TEMPT THE STARS, Cassie is also forced to take a look at her somewhat closed-off emotions. Not that she's ever been cold, exactly, but wary? Reserved? Oh, yes. Letting people in is extremely difficult when it's been proven time and again that those people will be the first in the firing line by any who wish to control her and her powers, which are now more than just potential - they're a smack-you-in-the-face reality. But being a closed book can be lonely, and there are certain characters who have been slowly chipping away at her emotional shields for quite some time now, and it might just be time to let them in, whether she wants to or not!

Of course, the BIG thing everyone wants to know about TEMPT THE STARS is where the heck Pritkin is, right? Well, I'm not going to tell you. Ms Chance herself is notoriously strict about spoilers so it would be more than my life's worth to spill the beans. But, let's just say that being the world's chief seer - officially now, even - has its perks as well as its pitfalls. And it also has the potential to make the impossible... slightly less so.

And that's it. That's all you're getting from me.

As with all instalments in the series, TEMPT THE STARS is bursting with incredible action scenes with spells whiz-popping here, there and everywhere, often followed directly by the most exquisite introspection scene or a hushed conversation with one of the now treasured stable of characters such as Marco (LOVE him!) or Billy Joe (LOVE him, too!). Some people might say the pacing is too up-and-down, but not me. I think the balance is perfect. For fans of the series who already know this world well, I'll just say that it was business as usual - though with a slightly different feel to it as we explored different settings and magics - and just as incredible as you thought it would to be. Plus twelve. Some authors just seem to have a Mary Poppins-like carpet bag full of endless ideas, and Karen chance is definitely one of them.

There's not a lot else to say without revealing naughty things I'm not supposed to, so I'll just leave you with this: TEMPT THE STARS IS THE BEST OF THE SERIES SO FAR - BY A COUNTRY MILE!

And I love John Pritkin.

5 Stars ★★★★
ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 13 October 2013
What was all that about? So I've been checking Kindle everyday to see when this book would be published in anticipation of the next tome in a much loved series - and yes I read it in a day. But I'm feeling a bit disappointed to be honest.

My head is spinning a bit, I can't help think that somewhere in this well written action is a story but I seem to miss it due to the epic pace at which events unfold. So what did just happen?

Urrrm Cassie kind of does what she was predictably going to do at the end of Hunt the Moon - which I also felt a bit exhausted by.
Great to see Caleb step to the fore but the Pritkin hole did need plugging. I wish
Cassanova would vanish perhaps now that Rian has gone he will too. Mircea was absent,
perhaps this character has reached its zenith because he was similarily written in the Dory series.

The witches seem interesting, a good bit of story as does the Pythian court. Exploring
Cassies powers would also be interesting, what
happens if she drains a demon? Perhaps we
will find out soon and in the next book we may
be able to pause for breath and actually get a
grip on what is actually afoot.

It was enjoyable, but left me wanting, which is not good given the wait and anticipation. Perhaps Karens energy was all poured into Furys Kiss which was great - but sad given that this is the better series overall.

I love Pritkin however :)
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