Author: Karen Chance
Series: Cassandra Palmer, #6
Release date: October 1st 2013
Publisher: Signet Select
Mass Market Paperback, 432 pgs
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: The Book Depository
Being a goddess is a lot less fun than you might think. Especially when you’re only a half goddess, and you only found out about it recently, and you still don’t know what you’re doing half the time. And when you’ve just used your not-so-reliable powers to burglarize the booby-trapped office of a vampire mob boss.Yeah, that part sucks.But that’s just the tip of the iceberg for Cassandra Palmer, aka the Pythia, the freshly minted chief seer of the supernatural world. After all, Cassie still has to save a friend from a fate worse than death, deal with an increasingly possessive master vampire, and prevent a party of her own acolytes from unleashing a storm of fury upon the world. Totally just your average day at the office, right?
Even though it’s not among my favorite urban fantasies, not anymore, the Cassandra Palmer series is, at the very least, consistently good. Admittedly, Karen Chance’s writing takes some getting used to – her action scenes tend to be somewhat confusing and often cartoonish, and the emotional sides of her characters are rarely believable, but overall, these books can be counted on to amuse and entertain.
Unfortunately, Cassie remains emotionally immature and often frustratingly dense. Her inability to face her emotions and her tendency to cheat on the person she claims to love continue to drive me insane. Despite Cassie’s blissful ignorance, the solution to the Mircea – Cassie – Pritkin love triangle is finally starting to take form, and while I can’t say I like the direction it’s taking, I know most people will. However, I’m at least comforted by the fact that the whole thing is coming to an end.
I still much prefer Karen’s spin-off series, Dorina Basarab (because, among other things, I get to spend time with Mircea without the stress of seeing him cheated on), but it’s always a joy when one of these comes out. The next book is titled Reap the Wind and will be released sometime in 2014.
A copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher for review purposes. No considerations, monetary or otherwise, have influenced the opinions expressed in this review.
Author: Tate Hallaway
Series: No info
Release date: August 7th 2012
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Paperback, 308 pages
Buy: The Book Depository
Recent college grad Alex Conner is thrilled to have landed a job as the Hughes County coroner/medical examiner in Pierre, South Dakota. But when her first day on the job ends with a missing corpse, Alex starts to wonder if she would have been better off collecting unemployment...When the cops made some cryptic comments about being careful with the body they brought in, Alex just thought the boys in blue were messing with her. That is, until something freaky happens that no amount of med school could have prepared her for. By the time Alex gets herself together, the body has disappeared and the other residents of the morgue start talking her ear off.After working up the courage to report the missing body, Alex is transferred to the mysterious Precinct 13 where she discovers that her new co-workers—including a cute technomage named Jack—are paranormals just like her. Now, Alex is being encouraged to use her ability to speak to the dead to solve crimes. And despite being in the middle of nowhere, Hughes County sure does have a lot of paranormal activity…
Precinct 13 is a nifty combination of urban fantasy and police procedural, quite a pleasant surprise for someone who adores both like I do. Running from her old life, Alex gets a job as Hughes County medical examiner and becomes even more involved in the very thing she fought so hard to run away from – anything and everything supernatural. On her new job, she is forced to work with Precinct 13, a special police division in charge of all paranormal crimes. Alex questions everything about this, especially her own sanity, and her voice is what makes Precinct 13 a truly interesting read.
While the plot isn’t exactly original, the main character certainly is. It’s not often that we find heroines who truly question their sanity for seeing/believing in the supernatural, to the point of seeking medical assistance and agreeing to take heavy medication. Following doctor’s advice, Alex also runs from her beloved boyfriend Valentine because he tends to encourage her explorations of the paranormal, which Alex believes to be catastrophic for her sanity. The romance is a bit odd, perhaps, but that only makes it all the more interesting. Valentine is as mysterious as they come, and Alex is unsure whether she should trust him or stay as far away as possible from him.
There’s nothing to suggest that a sequel will ever be published, which is a shame, in my opinion. These characters have heaps of potential that could have been turned into a great urban fantasy series, and we’re always in need of those.