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

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

by davincikittieJune 30, 2011

TLDR recap:

With her coronation quickly approaching, Cassie Palmer would give anything short of the power of her office for a reprieve from the danger that perpetually dogs her, so she can sort out the many political and emotional complications in her life.  As usual, there’s to be no downtime for our spunky little Pythia, as a new Big Bad sets its sights on her, forcing her to push herself to her physical, emotional, and magical limits yet again, learning a few handy new tricks along the way.

  • Title: Hunt the Moon
  • Series: The Cassie Palmer series – book #5
  • Author: Karen Chance
  • Prominent Characters: Cassie, Pritkin, Mircea
  • Recommended reader age: 16+
  • Sexual content level: moderate

***** This review is spoiler-free.  However, if you are new to this series, I recommend skipping this review until you have read the first four books, to avoid inadvertently learning too much! *****


For readers of the Cassie Palmer series, almost dying really does never get old…

My name is Cassie Palmer, and I’ve cheated death more times than anyone has a right to exect.  In the past two months, I’ve been shot, stabbed, beaten and blown up a few dozen times, and that doesnt count all the magical ways I’ve almost been killed.  I’d have been dead a long time ago if not for my friends, one of whom had just jumped off the cliff after me.

I’d have been more appreciative if he hadn’t pushed me first.

How can one woman get into so much trouble?  How can one woman get into so much trouble and still survive?  How can one woman get into so much trouble and STAY SANE?!  Heavy on the accidental slapstick with a healthy helping of sarcastic wit  and a side of genuine bleeding heart, Cassie Palmer stories are a whirlwind of hair-raising close calls fraught with near-constant mortal danger and comedic relief.

Hunt the Moon has a few giganto-sized action sequences, stuffed with the usual deadly peril and seemingly-unending frustration on Cassie’s part.  These sequences are a large part of what defines the series and makes it as incredible as it is, but they also seem to be growing in length and intensity as the series progresses.  One sequence in particular lasts for nearly a third of the book, and I thought ” OH MY GOD, JUST DIE ALREADY!!!” right as the bad guy turns around and says the same to Cassie.  That’s either an eerie coincidence, or further proof of Ms. Chance’s story-telling skills and ability to gauge and guide her audience (I vote for option #2!).

The relationships binding our three favorite characters all get a romantic boost, culminating in a conclusion no one expected… okay, a conclusion *I*didn’t expect! As usual, I can’t want for the next one, to see where all craziness this is headed.  Does anyone else have trouble deciding who they like more, Pritkin or Mircea?  Ugh, what a tough choice!!  Can’t a girl just keep both?  The answer to that, of course, is “no, not with these two!”

Memorable quotes:

The irony of escapism is that you can never truly escape…

I started to pull off my t-shirt.  It was far too flimsy for where I’d been, but the saying on the front fit my moond perfectly: “I keep hitting escape, but I’m still here.”

Stamina… needs more stamina!

Marco patted my shoulder.  “It’s okay.  You aren’t my type.”

“What is your type?”

“Someone who gets in less trouble… I decided I was wrong.  I don’t like the wild side. I ain’t got the master’s stamina.”

“I don’t require stamina.”

“Babe, you require a freaking tank.”

The great Brit-American beer debate…

“I thought you Brits liked it hot.”

“Hot beer?” Pritkin looked revolted.

“That’s the rumor.”

“Because we don’t drink it iced over, thereby leaching right out whatever flavor you Yanks accidentally left in?”

You know what they say about a man’s hands.  You know, about how refined they are…?

Pritkin’s hands were oddly refined compared to the rest of him: strong but long fingered, with elegant bones and short-clipped nails.  They always looked like they’d wandered off from some gentleman, one they’d probably like to get back to, because God knew they weren’t getting a manicure while attached to him.

A good life-philosophy…

“Tarot is an indicator, not an absolute.  Nothing about the future is decided until it happens.  We create it every day by the choices we make, good or bad.”

It’s good to have a plan…

“Do we have a plan?”

“I need to touch her.”

“That is not a plan, dulceata; it is an objective.”

Just to set the record straight…

“Candy is candy.  Chocolate is therapy.”

Home is where the… crazy… is?

This was Dante’s.  Crazy was what we had for breakfast when we ran out of Corn Flakes.

If you like Hunt the Moon of Cassandra Palmer series…

If you enjoyed Hunt the Moon and the rest of the Cassie Palmer series for its insane action sequences and over-the-top bad guys, check out the Fever series by Karen Marie Moning (beginning with Darkfever).  Mac may start off a little vain and princess-y, but she has as much spunk and spine as Cassie, and her two suitors are just as enthralling (mmmm, Barrons!!).  The Fever series is the only series I have read to date that actually matches the Cassie Palmer series in the scale of the action scenes, and the magnitude of the offensive potential of the Big Bads.  Addicting, addicting, addicting!!!

The Merry Gentry series by Laurell K. Hamilton (starting with A Kiss of Shadows) and the Southern Vampire Chronicles (Sookie Stackhouse) series by Charlaine Harris (see Dead Until Dark) are also similar to the Cassandra Palmer books.  The Merry Gentry series is set mostly in Faerie (and Meredith’s Fae are no less dangerous than Cassie’s version!) and involves significantly more sex, both in frequency of occurrence and graphic detail.  Sookie tends to deal more with politics than sex (although she has her share too, just not as graphic) and seems to get into trouble nearly as often as Cassie.  Both series are excellent reads and will keep you laughing, crying, and jonzing for more!

Final thoughts:

Ms. Chance has definitely found the magic formula for keeping readers engaged, enthralled, entertained, and eagerly coming back for more, book after book!

It is extremely tempting to give Hunt the Moon a perfect score, considering its wealth of action, adventure, humor, warmth, and quirkiness, but two of the major action sequences drag on just a little too long for my tastes.  I found myself skipping through a few pages to get to some sort of conclusion, in order to keep myself from stressing out over all the “almost”s and close-calls.  That, and the fact that Cassie STILL hasn’t learned better control over her powers… for the majority of the book at least.

I LOVE Cassie Palmer books.  LOVE LOVE LOVE them!!  However, they always leave me feeling exhausted, mentally and emotionally, and I feel like I need a break from books for a while after finishing one.

4.75 fangs: SAVOR IT! 

Related links: (The Cassie Palmer series website) (The Fever series website) (The Merry Gentry series website) (The Sookie Stackhouse series website)

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About The Author
Sue "DaVinciKittie" Brown-Moore is a veteran romance blogger and reviewer and the primary voice for Sue has been shamelessly pimping book boyfriends since 2010 and has won several blogging awards with GraveTells. Sue is also a freelance Developmental Editor passionate about helping authors bring out the best in their stories. She loves reading romance, fantasy, and sci-fi and edits any genre she reads for pleasure. You can follow Sue's editing blog, with tips and tricks for authors, at
  • Heidi
    June 30, 2011 at 10:17 am

    Did you recommend book one of this series for our bookclub? Sounds like a good one!

    • June 30, 2011 at 11:20 am

      Yes ma’am! I submitted Touch the Dark (Cassie Palmer #1) and Darkfever (The Fever series #1). The Fever series has a similar feel to the Cassie Palmer series and with only 5 books total in the series, it’s a really fast read (for me at least!).

  • JennV
    July 3, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    I love the Cassie Palmer books! Wouldn’t miss one. And, like you after reading one I’m exhausted! I was shocked to read the line about it only being 2 months since she became Pythia…so much has happened!

    But I highly recommend the books, they are fantastic.

    And I’m counting on Ms. Chance rectifying the cliff hanger at the end. I have no problem choosing between Mircea and Pritkin. Pritkin all the way baby. ALL THE WAY! (Please God, at some point. 🙂 ) If the cliff hanger doesn’t resolve, I’ll be swearing off future books. Really. Well, maybe.

    Waiting for the next one is killing me!

    • July 3, 2011 at 10:00 pm

      At first I really disliked Pritkin, but it didn’t take long for that to change! Dude is seriously intense, and his loyalty is unsurpassed! How can someone who’s so dirty all the time come off so sexy?! Aaah! After this last book, I gotta say that I’m leaning JUST a little toward Pritkin over Mircea. I like how Ms. Chance is letting us experience both of them without forcing Cassie to choose… yet. I imagine that’s coming, and god help anyone in Mircea’s way when he finds out the bad news (assuming Cassie picks Pritkin)!

  • JennV
    July 5, 2011 at 10:28 pm

    But just think of all the fun things you can do with a guy who is dirty…ya know, in the shower…… 🙂

    And he wants Cassie to be able to take care of herself, to fight her own battles and live. That’s sexy as hell to me. Not your typical “I’m going to rescue you because I’m the romance novel hero and you’re the helpless female in need of rescuing.”

    Pritkin is in a class by himself. Hot, sexy, dirty, muscled-up Pritkin. *sigh*

    • July 6, 2011 at 11:44 am

      Hehe, I have a little Pritkin crush myself. *grin* It’s fun to gab about him with someone who feels the same way!

      Oh, have you read the Fever series? I think you might like Barrons… (same gruff, strong, invincible type sexy guy who isn’t the straightforward hero)

  • JennV
    July 6, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    I just read the first book and stumbled across some spoilers that have me wary of buying the rest. I may test the waters by getting the next from the library. Although (if you remember it) that crack he makes about Mac usually having something else in her mouth and that’s why she doesn’t talk made me snort and think to myself, “Well, isn’t he naughty? Just what little miss sunshine up my petunia might need.”

    And, thanks for dealing with my fan-girl gushing over Pritkin. Most of my friends (when they read) stick to YA stuff. Which some of it is great, but I like a little steam in my books, ya know?

    Oh, and if I ever find a bracelet of shirt that says Team Pritkin or Team Dirty War Mage, We’ll Lay Our Incubus All Over You –I am sooooo buying it. 🙂 (And if there was a little green lizard on it, even better.)

    I like the unexpected Dark Horse A-typical hero. I’m a fan of Lucas from Kelly Armstrong’s books too. (He first shows up in Dime Store Magic) His physical description reminds me a little of my husband. lol.

    • July 7, 2011 at 1:29 pm

      The first book in the Fever series is by far my least favorite. I kept reading since I’d heard that Barrons was pretty awesome (and boy is he – he won the Alpha Showdown competition recently) and I’m glad I did. It’s not as steamy as I usually prefer my books to be, but it makes up for that in the 3rd (? I think) book after some serious stuff goes down. I REAAAALLY disliked Mac’s “I’m so pretty” inner monologue, but luckily that goes away quickly after she grows up a bit. The action and pace reminded me a lot of Cassie Palmer.

      I am MORE than happy to gush about Pritkin! He was such a surprise! I mean, he goes from trying his best to kill Cassie, to nearly dying for her on a regular basis. If I get my hands on some Team Dirty War Mage bracelets I will most definitely let you know!

  • JennV
    July 7, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    Okay, I’ll take your word for and soldier on to book 2. You have good taste, so I’m trusting you.

    Why doesn’t Karen Chance have a Cafe Press site or something? Can’t make my own, it would violate copyright. Not cool. Even to show love for Smexy Dirty War Mage ‘O Hottness himself.

    There’s always Bones merchandise, but he’s not as angry as Pritkin (generally — there is the rant in Book 4 :”I’m a Master bloody Vampire!”) and some of the really funny stuff he says I wouldn’t be comfortable having around my kids. The four year old is starting to read, can you imagine a cute little four year old going “Mom, what does “Lucifer’s Bouncing Balls mean?”! lol.

    All that anger of Pritkin makes me want to help him be, ya know, happy. Relaxed. Orgasmic.

    • July 7, 2011 at 7:10 pm

      I really want one of the Red Reaper tshirts! I have red hair and the temper to go with it, so my husband would say it would be ridiculously appropriate. HAH!

      A Cat & Bones fan too! It’s too bad you’re not in Austin TX. We have a fantastic “Twilight” group (our mascot is Cardboard Edward – he gets lots of photo ops with random passersby) that gets together regularly to hang out and discuss our favorite books, including many of the ones on this site… and we are crazy about Bones.During the recent tour that Jeaniene Frost did with Pamela Palmer, they had Team Bones slap bracelets. I wish I knew where to buy one of those!

      Give Mac & Barrons another try. If you hate it, I take absolutely no responsibility! *grin* (but seriously, I think you won’t hate it…)

      • JennV
        July 7, 2011 at 9:55 pm

        I think it’s too nad I’m not in Texas either. Would be much better than the burbs of Cleveland. Although, the hubby has family in Irving, so I might just pop in someday, you never know. Would love to have my picture taken with cardboard Edward. Probably be doing something borderline illegal to him. He’d be all worried about my soul, I’d be worried about talking him into forgetting about said soul….

        Huge Cat and Bones fan. Haven’t bought anything yet because I can’t figure out what to get, there’s too much goodness. Plus, with the inappropriateness and the kids and the reading…..Although, if they made a Chapter 32 poster, that would be up on my wall in a heartbeat. Love Chapter 32. Have you read the deleted scenes on her website? The one from the wedding, where Randy gives a toast and says that Bones said (paraphrasing) “…Time has no dominion over love..” *sigh*. Ahh, Bones, the most romantic mercenary ex-gigolo sex machine ever.

        My girlfriends are wild about Twilight. I like Twilight,but I’ve read so much other stuff that I think is better,and they won’t read it. My friend Dee says it’s pornographic and makes her uncomfortable. I say, that’s sex gold right there! Mark the pages for hubby! She’s so vanilla sometimes. Maybe sometime I can come to you group via webcam! That would be interesting…lol. Then you could take a picture of my disembodied head with cardboard Edward! Hahaha

        Oh, and I wanted to ask you, however did you come up with such a cool name for your online persona? I can never think of a cool screen name for myself. I’m just Jenn. 🙂

      • July 17, 2011 at 12:46 am

        Hey Jenn, sorry such a long wait for a reply! Super busy couple of weeks (you can probably tell from my posting draught lately).

        Here’s how I got my screen name…
        I was travelling in Europe with some friends, and knowing my love for both Leonardo DaVinci and cats, they bought me a parody of his Vitruvian Man. It’s a cute little framed hand-drawn cat (instead of the man) inscribed inside a circle and square with the same poses. I needed a new screen name and when I looked up and saw the drawing I thought “ooo DaVinci Kittie!”. My laziness turned that into “davincikittie” over time, and so far I’ve had good luck with few other people (if any) out there using it. =)

        I’ll email you on the rest – hate too put too much personal stuff in these public comments! 😉

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