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Customer Review

47 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pritkin wins at life, 1 April 2009
This review is from: Curse The Dawn (Paperback)
He really does. Curse the Dawn focuses on Cassie Palmer, now the world's chief seer the 'Pythia'. This book sees her endeavouring to gain control of her new powers, handle the thorny politics of her world and stay alive all at once. Compounded by the former are Cassie's attempts to also manage her increasingly complicated love life -- there's Mircea the Master vampire who Cassie is extremely attracted to and smitten with. And then there's John Pritkin, her tortured war mage partner, who Cassie can't help but feel drawn to. With their help hopefully she can stay alive long enough to defeat her enemies. If you're new to these books, seriously, start with the first one: Touch the Dark and read them in linear order. There are a lot of convoluted story elements and complex character dynamics that have built up over the course of the other three books that won't make sense otherwise.

I have no idea how many more books are on the way but this one certainly had a different ambiance; things seemed heightened somewhat plot-wise. Curse the Dawn is much plot focused and broke away somewhat from the contents of the last three books, sort of signifying a new arc in the story. Having said this, there's still one or two scenes that are quieter and exist to explore the characters -- but perhaps, not enough of these.

The book focuses more on Cassie trying to get to grips with her powers and her attempts to get the Silver Circle on her side once and for all. This was about time in my opinion, and I was keen to learn a little more about the Circle. There's some intriguing mythological titbits all round actually -- we learn something of value about that enigmatic Agnes too!

There's a lot of Pritkin in this book which made me happy, Mircea isn't really involved in this book the way he was in the others. I believe he's off sorting out the stuff that occurred in Midnight's Daughter with his family -- which balances out his reduced page time (sounds like he'll be more focal to the plot in the next book). The burgeoning love triangle of the prior book is still evident in Curse the Dawn, as if simmering under the surface of things (I guess it'll come to a boil at some point) -- yet in general there wasn't as much as usual going on in the romance department. There was, however, some really nice character banter and bonding between Cassie and Pritkin. For instance, there's a moment where Cassie is told something that she categorically cannot believe... until she merely glances at Pritkin and it immediately shatters her disbelief. It speaks to the trust and the bond that they've built up between them, and there's another moment when Cassie's feeling sad and Pritkin makes her laugh to comfort her. It was sweet. It's exactly those little moments that make me love them together.

The book was extremely action packed, and there's some serious hilarity towards the end portion of the book that was suitably mortifying for all involved -- I won't spoil it... but reading it had me stifling giggles! As usual there's the funny stuff which makes Chance novels better than most. There's also a heck of a lot of secondary characters now and I enjoyed the return of most of them. It was a shame Casanova and his particular brand of shrillness wasn't around as much as before. There were quite a few new characters introduced too, I especially adored Marsdon who seemed particularly barmy. Tremaine and Caleb were fun too!

I was quite impressed with Cassie here. She didn't grow a great deal but she was exhibiting the more admirable traits she had learned in the other books -- like mature self awareness in examination of her love life. She was also self sufficient, brave and actively sought out the solution to problems.

Keeping with altered tone there's some definate 'ground laying' at work in terms of future story; as mentioned above. Pritkin's apparent death wish has been brought up in every book; said issue was brought up again here in Curse the Dawn. Another character even questioned him directly about whether he would die for Cassie. This is obviously some heavy handed foreshadowing of a choice that Pritkin will be faced with one day; likely at the end of the series. When it comes to it, I hope chooses life. This would indicate a diminishment of the self-loathing he has appropriated for himself and what he is -- it would indicate growth for his character. In esscence it would be about realising he has something to live for, but beyond that it would allow him to realise that he wants to live and deserves to do so instead of being so gun-ho and ready to die in every fight we see him get into. I think there's the very early signs of this occurring here. And anything other than realisation would be, quite frankly, completely unacceptable to me!

Anyways, all in all an excellent addition to the series. Curse the Dawn closes one or two threads whilst building on others -- all with a healthy does of humour and wit. Happy reading.
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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 12 Apr 2009 23:05:37 BDT
I am so, so with you! I am getting angry whenever Cassie hooks up with Mircea. I love vampire-human relationships idea in general, but in these books.. It's just not that. Pritkin has this immense, yet funny way of being. You don;t really know if you love of him or if it's the exact opposite. As for the general plot, I've also had this feeling about possible to-the-end-avenue. Thankfully it wasn't so and hope there will be more books. They really have that particular -un-wind-re-wind-go-on-living impact on me. Especially when everything and everybody around is so serious. Karen Chance's light and funny style is really awesome, I think I'll never forget the Latin stuff at Dante's and the quote from the previous book "If you die stoned, does your ghost stay that way?"
All in all, book is really good apart from the general problem with repeating-taking-a-reader-back explanations that are kind of annoying and sometimes too much descriptions. Other than that - fun.

Cheers!

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Apr 2009 14:38:34 BDT
Last edited by the author on 15 Apr 2009 14:44:43 BDT
Customer says:
Yeah, from what I've seen online Pritkin seems to be the one most root for. Mircea is a good character but as a love interest I don't like him. Cassie is Pritkin's equal, I don't think Mircea would ever truly see her that way. And Pritkin is the ONLY one to have had any honest to god natural attraction to her without influence from geis's or vamp feeding. I think he hated her so much in the first book because he was convinced she was a demon and was angry with himself for thinking she was Hott Stuff, lol. In Book 2 he gets well and truly zapped by her geis which proves that point... and even past Pritkin kisses her.

I thought there was going to be six books altogether, but apparently there'll be nine! So yeah, not quite the end just yet! And I agree Chance's sense of humour is great; it's probably one of the strongest aspects of the books IMO. I could tell right from the first book that she was a Buffy fan -- it's that same ironic sense of farce and the ridiculous.

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Aug 2009 13:05:35 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 23 Aug 2009 13:08:30 BDT]

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Aug 2009 13:07:46 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 23 Aug 2009 13:09:46 BDT]

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Aug 2009 13:09:24 BDT
Feylinn says:
Actually, I think that from the second of the Cassie Palmer series, Chance is developing Mircea as a very powerful but tortured character who, as Cassie Palmer, tries to have a quiet familiar life (that can also be noticed in Midnight's Daughter). Also, the transition of Mircea's way of thinking about Cassie is pretty tangeable as can be seen in the final dialog of this book (I won't spoil it) and the respect for Cassie's actions are obvious and numerous on this novel and on the previous one of the series. Personally, I LOVE Mircea, he is sensual, powerful, dangerous but also caring, loving, tender and protective of his family (i.e., the best imaginable father and husband).

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Aug 2009 00:21:38 BDT
Ginny says:
wow, possibly the first reviewer i've found who chooses mircea over pritkin! an interesting viewpoint, although i am, ofc, team pritkin myself :P I think mircea's being used in a way to give the books the sex they need while allowing cassie and pritkin's relationship the chance to develop unhurried

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Nov 2009 18:02:38 GMT
B. Booth says:
What?! I can't beleive what I'm reading! I'd never even considered Pritkin and Cassie over Mircea and Cassie becasue the issue never even occured to me as an issue! I comletely agree with Feylinn, Pritkin is undeniably brilliant but Mircea is the real love interest here! I can't believe everyone has sided with Pritkin where here I am not even realising there were sides to be made!
Team Mircea. Who's with me?
P.S. This is the best series I've ever read, I really hope Chance keeps her writing up to it's usual genius and doesn't throw it all down the pan.
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