Review: Masks (Cassandra Palmer #6.5) by Karen Chance

(Cassandra Palmer #6.5) by Karen ChancePublisher: Penguin
Author: Karen Chance
Released: March 18th, 2014
Received: Own
Warnings: Slavery, sexual abuse/assault
Rating: 4 kitties

Masks is the first and only novel (so far) written entirely from the perspective of Lord Mircea. Granted, this entire novel is also set before he became a lord. This is the tale of how he learned to be a proper political vampire.

Originally this was supposed to be a novella, but it ended up growing and growing until it became the novel it is today. It’s absolutely perfect for those that adore Mircea, and wouldn’t mind seeing a whole lot more of him.

Masks is numbered at 6.5 in the series, and you should probably read it at that time. Not because there will be spoilers – it’s set far back in Mircea’s past, after all – but because that’ll be the moment when you’ll be the readiest to learn about our leading character. Or at least, that is how it worked for me.
Because I’m doing a reread with a group of people (the Karen Chance Street Team – message me if you want to know more about it) I’m also going to include the discussion prompts we’ve been using. That will be at the end of the review, so if you’re curious, check it out.

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Review: Tempt the Stars (Cassandra Palmer #6) by Karen Chance

Review – Tempt the Stars (Cassandra Palmer #6) by Karen Chance

Author: Karen Chance
Released: September 5th, 2013
Received: Own
Rating: Kitty Rating

Tempt the Stars is the sixth book in the Cassandra Palmer series, and the series is still going strong! This novel starts off an epic journey on Cassie’s part, one that is going to take some time for her to resolve. It also brings along with it plenty of twists, turns, and chaos for this heroine.

I’ve actually read Tempt the Stars before, several times. It’s one of my absolute favorites of the series, so I’m probably a little bit biased here. And I’m okay with that. Cassie Palmer’s series in general is one of my favorites, and I honestly feel like it deserves more attention than it gets. The series is just so unique!

Side note before we begin: I’ve actually read this whole series multiple times (it’s one of my favorites), but it wasn’t until recently that I realized that I’ve never reviewed the older books in the series. So here I am, reading them all again, and loving every minute of it.
Because I’m doing a reread with a group of people (the Karen Chance Street Team – message me if you want to know more about it) I’m also going to include the discussion prompts we’ve been using. That will be at the end of the review, so if you’re curious, check it out.

Spoiler Warning

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Review: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra Vol. 5: Worst Among Equals

Doctor Aphra Vol 5Publisher: Marvel
Released: June 25th, 2019
Received: Own
Issues: Doctor Aphra 26-31
Rating: 4 kitties

Doctor Aphra is back, and once again she just keeps finding herself in worse and worse situations. It seems like no plan of hers will ever go smoothly. But it does make for an interesting read for the rest of us!

Doctor Aphra Vol. 5 is titled Worst Among Equals, and it’s probably my favorite title so far. And in many ways, it fits her relationship with Triple Zero perfectly. This volume has six issues in it, but the first one is going to feel more like a one-shot at first. It does become relevant later. It’s just not told in order.

This volume picks up where The Catastrophe Con left off. Meaning that she’s been connected to Triple Zero – who is no longer all that fond of her – via a set of bombs that will detonate if either one gets too far away from the other. Not exactly an ideal situation, is it?

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Review: Brave the Tempest by Karen Chance

Brave the Tempest
Publisher: Berkley
Author: Karen Chance
Release: July 30th, 2019
Received: ARC Review
Rating: 4 1/2 kitties

I received a copy of Brave the Tempest in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Brave the Tempest is the latest installment in the Cassie Palmer series, and man could I not be happier to have a copy of this book in my hands! I know some fans have only been reading one series or the other (Cassie or Dory), but there is some backstory that is very relevant in Dory’s series (and short stories) that you probably don’t want to miss out on! Plus they’re a blast, so there’s that.

This novel continues the battle that Cassie and her allies (not quite the accurate term, all things considered, but we’re going with it) have been prepping for and dealing with for years. And yes, it lived up to all of my hopes and expectations.

Cassie has had to put up with a lot over the past few months (though it’s hard to believe what has been years for us has only been months for her), and Brave the Tempest didn’t give her any breaks. She’s still learning how to be a Pythia, on top of dealing with multiple senates and courts, plus prepping for a battle to end all battles. One that they’ll hopefully win. And somehow Cassie has to get all of these different factions to work together in order to have any chance of having everybody survive it all.

The Cassie Palmer series (and the Dory series by extension) has been one of my favorite series for a long time now. And while we may be more than a dozen books in now, I still can’t get enough! So I may be just a tiny bit biased in this review. But only as biased as any fan would be.

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Review: This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone

This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar & Max GladstonePublisher: Saga Press
Authors: Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone
Released: July 16th, 2019
Received: BookishFirst
Rating: Kitty Rating

I received a copy of This is How You Lose the Time War through BookishFirst in exchange for a fair and honest review.

This is How You Lose the Time War wins my award for best novella for 2019. Seriously, this novella was absolutely amazing. Beautifully written, whimsical, witty, everything. I had high hopes for this one, but they sincerely exceeded them.

It’s not every day you see a novella written by two authors, so this one obviously caught my attention. It helps that I’m a fan of both Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone as well. This collaboration was so much more than I could have ever hoped for…day I say that I hope we see more from these two authors working together in the future? Because I think that needs to happen.

This is How You Lose the Time War is the tale of two rival agents. Red and Blue. They’re both fighting in the same war. But at some point, the war changed for them. Something changed. They changed.

I absolutely loved reading every page of this novella. It was beautiful and intricate, and oh so human in ways that I could only begin to explain. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

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Review: Fury’s Kiss (Dorina Basarab #3) by Karen Chance

Fury's Kiss

Publisher: Penguin
Author: Karen Chance
Released: September 26th, 2012
Received: Own
Rating: 4 1/2 kitties

Fury’s Kiss is the third novel in the Dorina Basarab series, but it also fits in well with the Cassie Palmer series. If you’re new to both, I strongly recommend that you read both in order together, because they tend to interact a lot more than you might expect.

Dory is a dhampir, and perhaps my favorite of her kind. Dhampirs are half human, and half vampire. The most famous example is probably Blade, but Dory is what usually comes to mind for me.

Dory is forced to do all sorts of different things in this novel, all in an attempt to stay a war. A fact that wouldn’t normally be her problem, if not for her friends and family being at risk during the war.

This is one of my favorite series. I adore Dory and the absolute chaos she tends to bring with her. She’s sassy, determined, and not afraid to do what is right – regardless of what it costs her.

Side note before we begin: I’ve actually read this whole series multiple times (it’s one of my favorites), but it wasn’t until recently that I realized that I’ve never reviewed the older books in the series. So here I am, reading them all again, and loving every minute of it.
Because I’m doing a reread with a group of people (the Karen Chance Street Team – message me if you want to know more about it) I’m also going to include the discussion prompts we’ve been using. That will be at the end of the review, so if you’re curious, check it out.

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Review: The Philosopher’s War by Tom Miller

The Philosopher's WarPublisher: Simon Schuster
Author: Tom Miller
Released: July 16th, 2019
Received: NetGalley
Warnings: Graphic deaths, wartime, sexism
Rating: Kitty Rating

I received a copy of The Philosopher’s War through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

The Philosopher’s War is the second novel in the series by Tom Miller. And it is an epic sequel by any means. This is a world where magic exists in the form of Philosophy. It’s also a female dominated practice, due to their innate talents.

The series follows Robert Canderelli Weekes – one of the only male Philosophers of note. And the only male R&E flier out there. Because of his unique circumstances, as well as his drive to follow his passion, Robert finds himself in a series of plots and schemes to end the war. But what will it cost him?

The Philosopher’s Series is in many ways, a historical fantasy series. It’s set during the First World War, which is going quite differently thanks to the use of Philosophers. It takes a little bit of getting used to, but it’s worth it.

This series has been a complete whirlwind for me. I first discovered the series thanks to Book of the Month club, but I was too hooked to wait and see if it would be featured again this year. And I’m glad I was impatient – because The Philosopher’s War held up to all of my expectations.

The Philosopher’s War is four hundred and sixteen pages – but they all passed by in a blur for me. I devoured this book. But then I was left with one of the worst book hangovers – I just couldn’t get this world out of my head!

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Review: Hunt the Moon (Cassie Palmer #5) by Karen Chance

Hunt the Moon by Karen ChanceAuthor: Karen Chance
Released: May 25th, 2011
Received: Own
Rating: 4 1/2 kitties

Hunt the Moon is the fifth Cassie Palmer novel, and man, that girl just can’t catch a break, can she? Cassie isn’t given much time to recover after defeating a god – now she has to deal with all the death threats coming at her. And naturally, as Pythia, those threats aren’t just coming at her from the present.

I absolutely adore the Cassie Palmer series, and this novel is probably one of my favorites. Not that I’ve ever been very good at picking my favorites or anything like that. This whole series has been a thrilling whirlwind, and I honestly can’t wait for the next novel to release.

Side note before we begin: I’ve actually read this whole series multiple times (it’s one of my favorites), but it wasn’t until recently that I realized that I’ve never reviewed the older books in the series. So here I am, reading them all again, and loving every minute of it.

Because I’m doing a reread with a group of people (the Karen Chance Street Team – message me if you want to know more about it) I’m also going to include the discussion prompts we’ve been using. That will be at the end of the review, so if you’re curious, check it out.

Spoiler Warning

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Review: The Dark Tower II: The Drawing of the Three by Stephen King

The Drawing of the Three by Stephen King

Publisher: Signet
Author: Stephen King
Released: August 5th 2003
Received: Own
Warnings: Language, target violence, graphic injuries, overdoses
Rating: 4 kitties

The Drawing of the Three is the second book in the Dark Tower series by Stephen King. It’s an epic series with a huge following, and yes I do feel bad that it’s taken me this long to read the series. I wish I had read it sooner.

The second novel is very different from the first, and in many ways. Roland is still the main character, but he’s dealing with a completely different set of situations from the last time. You have to give him credit for his adaptability though!

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Review: In Vino Veritas by Karen Chance

In Vino VeritasAuthor: Karen Chance
Released: November 29th, 2012
Received: Own (Free online)
Rating: 4 1/2 kitties

In Vino Veritas is a Dorina focused short story in the Cassie Palmer world. And honestly, if you’re a fan of Dory and all of her antics, then you’re going to love this one! It fits in between two Dory novels, Death’s Mistress and Fury’s Kiss, and I’d honestly suggest reading them in that order.

This short story actually takes place just a few days after the events in Death’s Mistress – so Dory is still coping with and healing from everything that happened. But that doesn’t exactly stop her from finding herself in a load of trouble. Not that any of us are surprised in the least by that bit of news.

In Vino Veritas brings Dory into a new mess, though for once she sort of isn’t at fault? Mostly? It all comes down to Ray and the mess that he’s brought along with him. But on the bright side, it was interesting to read about Dory’s way of…resolving the situation.

This short story shows Dory at her best, but in her own way. It shows us how compassionate and caring Dory is. Though it doesn’t skimp in the trouble making, I promise you that! And of course, there’s Louise-Cesare in all his finery.

This short story is perfect for all the Dory fans out there. It’s funny, it’s sassy, and it even has a cute moment or two that will make you squeal. In short, it’s everything I could have ever hoped for when it comes to a Dory short story.

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