Ride the Storm by Karen Chance

Cassandra Palmer, #8

Source: ARC Netgalley rating

The New York Times bestselling author of Reap the Wind returns to the “fascinating world”* of Cassie Palmer.

Ever since getting appointed the chief seer of the supernatural world, Cassie Palmer has been playing catch up. Catch up on the training she missed being raised by a psychotic vampire instead of at the pythian court. Catch up on the dangerous world of supernatural politics. Catch up on the powerful, and sometimes seductive, forces trying to mold her to their will. It’s been a trial by fire that has left her burned.

But now she realizes all that was just the warm up.

Ancient forces that once terrorized the world want to return, and Cassie is the only one who can stop them.

The Cassie Palmer series has addicted me for years. I'm not a time travel fan - in fact, I avoid a lot of books with that in the description - but I make allowances when it comes to Cassie and her paranormal gang. The world building is unique, involving different races of being, an all-powerful Pythia office amidst political struggles, legends and myths of old 'gods and legends. With Ride the Storm it was easy to fall back into the storyline again and see familiar characters I've grown fond of, but I started getting frustrated around 30% in. I started worrying a big nuisance of a plotline that I wanted to be resolved LAST book still wasn't resolved. I was waffling between 3 and 3.5 stars in general until the last quarter half, which brought it back up to the 4 rating.

Pros and all the good stuff first
• It’s a weighty book of the Cassie Palmer series – big checkmark
• We get to see a LOT of backstory information on major characters, and one of them is Mircea. Cassie learns not only about a change in his position, but also at least two major secrets/past details he didn’t share before. You mainly see him in the second half of the book, although there are some connections earlier on in different ways.
• We get more information on Pritkin’s past with his mother, father and the Arthurian legend, again tidbits readers didn’t know that add more oomph to the existing storyline. Roser is in the book more than any other character (besides Cassie of course), and you see different sides of the incubus. Fans of the time period will be happy to see Arthurian legend come to life with Camelot.
• We get more information on Cassie’s parents and the truth about what happened – there are surprises and more layers than previously imagined.
• Lots of ghost and necromancer stuff – I was delighted to see the author finally spend more time with Cassie’s underrated and sometimes ignored ability of connecting with ghosts. She learns more about her powers and potential of power in this book, big time, and there’s so much more about ghosts, necromancy, her father’s abilities, other ghosts – intriguing stuff that opens the door to future possibilities. Finally we get good doses of Billy too.
• There is a wrap-up of a major story arc/potential villain.
• A few seriously steamy scenes – the pages almost started smoking.
• Cassie basically chooses – yes, chooses!
• A final battle was epic in its intensity and action. Well-done.
• With so many things revealed and answered, we can move on with some dangling plotlines and relationships.
• THAT ENDING – Last few chapters, adored them.

Cons and negatives
• Those stupid annoying OTHER Pythias. I got irritated in the previous books when they kept popping up and going after Cassie without listening to her or believing her. They keep doing it here and interfering in major ways. I wanted to growl in frustration – or, maybe I did actually growl a few times out loud. So frustrating. Wanted to smash all their faces in. Surprised at how much they annoy me…
• Way too long to resolve a storyline that I wanted resolved LAST book. We get almost two full books of that particular storyline and it frustrated me silly.
• Cassie indulges in frustrating dialogue too much with the characters interrupting each other and ending in exclamation marks.
• So much action it was overwhelming. There was tons of fighting, catastrophes, running and hiding, near death experiences, and all-out action battles for the majority of the book. Very little breathing room. If the action stays too high, the suspense lowers and it becomes numbing. Also, I got confused at several points.

Overall, it’s definitely worth a read for fans of the series. In some ways this book is the long-awaited one with a few plot-lines, but we also need to grin and bear it waiting for the next book and hopefully more modern-day fun details popping up. We shall see, but I hope it’s soon. The last wait for this one was killer. Cassie comes into her own more in this book as she’s still finding out her powers, potentials and all she’s capable of.

Reviewed from an ARC received from Netgalley 

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