I have long been a fan of Karen Chance’s body of work.  I am a loyal fan and have remained undaunted in the face of all the machinations of the publisher and publishing machine.  Karen Chance has long kept the faith with her readers.  She often offers free stories that add to her published works to create a more complex, multifaceted and fulfilling world in which all her novels take place.  Readers who only read the novels from the publishing house lose a lot of the details and the joy of seeing the characters in multiple lights.  All that being said, Karen Chance’s Cassandra Palmer novel Ride the Storm has been one of the most anticipated novels in my memory.  This is not the fault of Karen Chance and that cannot be said firmly enough.  The publishing house has been moving dates on this novel for over a year with little to no explanation.

The previous book, Reap the Wind was judged too long by the publisher when submitted by the author.  This led to a quick rewrite and the split of the book almost in half.  This also left an unfulfilled feeling at the end of Reap the Wind.  Many plotlines were left hanging, which left some readers unhappy and the continuous manipulation by the publishers with moving dates and little communication lost even more of the fan base.  Ride the Storm is the second half of the previous book with a little bit of newer information which furthers the plot of the Cassandra Palmer novels.

I was recently asked by a friend to explain the Cassie Palmer novels and I drew a bit of a blank—how do you explain such a complicated and multifaceted storyline as the one Karen Chance has created?  I told her she just needs to read it and we will talk about it once she has.  To say that all of the Cassie Palmer novels are fast paced is kind of like saying a quadruple shot espresso is a little bit energizing.  These books move along at a frenetic pace and always have plot twists that are unexpected to say the least.  It is impossible to have predicted where the main characters end up at the beginning of this book, let alone at the end of the book.

So much happens in this book to move the plot along that after reading it 3 times, I am still finding new details to enjoy.  This is not a book to start when you have a deadline coming up or really anything planned.  Depending on your reading speed and availability, you should plan to be unavailable until you can finish the book.  This is not one you are going to want to put down as there are no really good stopping places.  My recommendation is to start it on a Friday so you can have the weekend to take a break from reality and a trip into the Cassandra Palmer universe.

This book brings resolution to a lot of the ongoing plot lines that readers have been gnashing their teeth to know.  We find out why MIrcea is so interested in Pythias.  We get to see Pritkin rescued.  We get to see Cassie find her feet and establish her own space independent of all the forces tearing at her. We learn more about Cassie’s parents.  Dorina and Cassie finally meet. We go careening through the story and learn so much along the way that it’s hard to even begin to summarize it so I am not going to even try.   Despite this, there is a seeming resolution to the love triangle between Cassie, Mircea and Pritkin but it is open ended enough that I see it more as an affirmation of the fact that Cassie has complicated emotions and feelings for both men.

This book is a solid addition to the Cassandra Palmer world and yet leaves a lot of storylines open for more exploration.  It is my sincere hope that Karen Chance continues to publish Cassandra Palmer books for a very long time.  In order for that to happen, fans have to not only buy this book, but review it.  Talk about it with friends and build it up so that the publishers contract with Karen Chance for more Cassie Palmer books.

I look forward to discussing all of this with fellow fans at my site bestbooklover.net and at the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/BestBooklovernet-336745780072074/

In the interest of full disclosure, I received an ARC ebook in return for this review.

Ride the Storm Book Cover Ride the Storm
Cassandra Palmer
Karen Chance
August 1, 2017

The New York Times bestselling author of Reap the Wind returns to the “fascinating world”* of Cassie Palmer. Ever since being stuck with the job of pythia, the chief seer of the supernatural world, Cassie Palmer has been playing catch up. Catch up to the lifetime's worth of training she missed being raised by a psychotic vampire instead of at the fabled pythian court. Catch up to the powerful, and sometimes seductive, forces trying to mold her to their will. It's been a trial by fire that has left her more than a little burned. But now she realizes that all that was the just the warm up for the real race. Ancient forces that once terrorized the world are trying to return, and Cassie is the only one who can stop them...