Friday, October 18, 2013

Mini Reviews - UF Edition: Tempt the Stars and Precinct 13

Tempt the Stars (Cassandra Palmer, #6)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.

Precinct 13Author: 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.


  1. Hah! I love the synopsis for Tempt of Stars, I read them because, I'm not sure I'll ever get around to this series and if I do, I'll probs forget everything I just read lolz. Hmm, immature characters turn me off. :(

    Lovely reviews, Maja! <33

  2. Huh, these are two UF novels I haven't heard of and I somehow doubt I'll pick them up. Karen Chance's novels don't seem to be for me with their protagonists and the lack of a sequel for Precinct 13 is disappointing. If the series is ever contined, I'd love to read that one, though. Fantastic reviews, Maja! :)

  3. Ack. Yeah, okay. Not a fan of a cheating character so I'm passing on the first book. Second book sounds interesting though I hope all the procedural stuff doesn't bog down the book.

    Wonderful reviews, Maja!

  4. Kind of wanted to smack Cassie. I did enjoy the story but didn't love it. Too much confusing time-hopping and darn that lurking love triangle! I think the reason I really liked Precinct 13 was the MC, Alex. I'd definitely check out the second, if there's going to be one.

  5. I am not familiar with either of these titles, but thanks for sharing your thoughts! As you know, I'm not much of a paranormal romance / urban fantasy reader, but if I were to read one of these, I'd probably prefer Precinct 13, it just sounds more appealing :) Thanks for great reviews!

  6. I read the first 3 in the Cassie series Maja and then got distracted by a lot of other books and never went back. I have to say after this review I'm really glad, because there was no cheating in those first 3. At least that I remember. And I so love Mircea, so it pisses me off that she cheats on him. Grrrrrr. That's a deal breaker for me in any books, so I'll be sticking with Dory's books as well and not continuing Cassie's!

  7. I read the first Karen chance (at least I think I did) and liked it. I am sorry this wasn't better for you, actually sorry that neither were outstanding reads.

    I think I have the second book buried somewhere in my TBR pile.

  8. Precinct 13 appeals to me more..I mean urban fantasy, crime and an original character. I can take a little predictability.

  9. You're one brave girl for continuing the Cassandra Palmer series despite the main character being immature, Maja, I would have given up after the second book. I like to watch my MCs grow throughout a series, especially one as long as the Cassandra Palmer series, so I don't think that it would be for me.

    Now, Precint 13, I like the sound of. The main character already fascinates me just from your review and despite the plot not being as original, I will give this book a shot.

    Lovely honest reviews, Maja!

  10. I'm really upset that I didn't like the Karen Chance series as much as I did because they do sound like fun... maybe I should give the spin-off series a try.
    I really like the sound of Precinct 13! Will definitely be checking it out now. Great mini-reviews. :)

  11. Great mini-reviews, Maja! I think I will be checking out Precint 13, since it sounds the most appealling to me!

  12. I confess I'm like you this Karen Chance series isn't my fav, but I'm behind too, and I have book 4 to read too. I also agree I love the Dorina Basarab series.

  13. I think Precinct 13 sounds really good. That's a bummer it might not be a series though; it certainly sounds like it could be a nice one.

  14. Hm, I do wanna try a Chance book

  15. I'm behind on the Cassie stories so I haven't hit that wall yet. I usually love her secondary characters and it still seems like you enjoy it enough to keep reading.

    It's too bad that it doesn't look like a sequel will be published for Precinct 13. I've been wanting to get into it, but now I don't know. I don't want to fall for a series that will never be... :(

  16. I I know Candace is a big fan of the Chance series and I want to check it out sometime, but I am a bit discouraged if you have fallen out of love with it. One of these days..,. the second series well that just sucks if it has potential and then it is just dropped. Why bother to start?

  17. Why can't the story continue? It's sad when good characters can't have more books, that's sort of why I love series. Terrific reviews Maja! Too bad Cassie is so fickle.

  18. I was just wondering today if there would ever be a Precinct 13 sequel, so that's really sad. I loved both of these books actually though I do agree the action scenes are a bit hard to follow in the Cassie Palmer series. If I were to read them back to back instead of the two years apart as they release I may have more issues with some things. As it is though, with forgetting so much in between, I still love them and am happy to spend each moment with the characters I've grown to love.

    I haven't read the Dorina books yet, but I do own at least the first one so I should get busy and read it!

  19. I'm just lost among all these UF series. Usually ever series has like 6 books and which book belongs to which series is a mystery. I have probably heard of Cassandra Palmer series somewhere but haven't read it. I'm so sorry it's not your fave anymore. Huh.
    I haven't heard of the Precinct 13 though. I love the sound of the main character, she sounds really good. Too bad there might not be a sequel to it. I mean I usually have problems that there is a sequel when it's not needed :D
    Great reviews Maja :)

  20. You're a Mircea fan! I seem to have forgotten about that. I hope you not being happy about the direction of the love triangle means that I will be. ;) I can't remember much of what happened in the last installment now though, other than the ending.

    And Precinct 13 is new to me, but I'm glad you thought it was an interesting read overall. Perhaps one day there will be news of a sequel. Thanks for sharing, Maja!

  21. The main character is Tempt the Stars would probably drive me insane. I can't handle cheating.

    Precinct 13 sounds interesting though!

  22. Ugh, I hate cheaters so there's no way I'd like the MC of Tempt the Stars. Precinct 13's MC on the other hand sounds more relatable. If I discovered that I had paranormal abilities, I'd probably seek help too.

  23. Sounds like a couple good ones to relax with. :) Thank you.

  24. Hmm. The second one sounds really good - questioning your sanity after seeing something paranormal is without a doubt logical, and I'm so proud to see that she was a unique character! The first one doesn't sound like my thing, but I'm glad that you enjoyed it. Awesome reviews, Maja! :)

  25. I have to say, after reading your Tempt the Stars review I'm not feeling so bad that I'm behind in this series, it sounds like I'm not missing too much. I think Cassie would annoy me and I'm not sure I'm up for cartoonish action scenes. But Precinct 13 sounds cool! I love police procedurals and UF and this just sounds interesting and unique. Definitely going to check it out. Hopefully it will get a sequel. Lovely minis!

  26. I have not read either of the books, thought I wanted to read Cassandra Palmer... unfortunately the fact that after so many books the character is still immature kind of scares me. I have a hard time with that in the first book, I think it would drive me nuts after the second.


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