Hunt The Moon
Published 2011 419 pages
Reviewed by Georgia
Summary (from the book jacket)
Cassandra Palmer recently defeated a god, which you’d think would buy a girl a little time off. But when your job is being Pythia – the world’s chief clairvoyant – you don’t get a lot of R & R. Cassie is busier than ever, discovering her power, figuring out her complicated relationship with the enigmatic and sexy vampire Mircea, and preparing for the upcoming coronation.
But someone is dead set against Cassie’s becoming Pythia, and will go to any lengths to stop the coronation ceremony from happening – including making sure that Cassie is never born.
Now Cassie has to save herself – and the world, if she can find the time…
Hunt the Moon is the fifth book in the Cassandra Palmer series and continues to tell the story of Cassie Palmer from where Curse the Dawn left off. Karen Chance a gifted writer in the short-stories field has created a fascinating world, where vampires, wizards, myths, legends and the fey come to life and form a society filled with intrigue, machinations and adventure.
While reading Hunt the Moon first thing that attracts attention is the book’s individuality. For new readers it translates to the ability to read and understand what is happening without having read the previous four books. All main events from previous works are integrated in the story, spread throughout the book and delivered via succinct and insightful commentary from the chief character, thus helping connect the dots for those unfamiliar to past events. For old readers this individuality proves the lack of recycled ideas and situations, preventing the story from reaching a stalemate, something that is not a rarity where book series are concerned.
Furthermore, Hunt the Moon finally brings the reader in media res, i.e. the pieces are set and the game begins. And this intention is reflected upon the method of writing. No more descriptive, superficial narrative, but an in-depth and subtle delivery of the plot. The writing style has matured and so has the story. There isn’t any hectic action, or erratic time-traveling, nor a jumble of information that in the past has left the reader discombobulated. The author delves into the story intertwining action with dialogue, taking the reader along and allowing them to understand and become part of it. A vivacious, coherent narrative decorated with enough but not too much detail permits the reader to observe, comprehend and guess, without losing interest and without killing the suspense. The story-telling is so good that the reader can put the book down, savour the story so far and continue at a later time without feeling the interruption and thus needing to go back and re-read.
In addition the characters cease to be shadows formed by ink on paper. Now they become alive, they have a personality. They allow us more than a glimpse into their thoughts and emotions; they show us who they are, they talk to one another, they pause, breathe, argue, listen and explain. They are no longer forlorn, desperate and consumed by vertiginous adventure. Consequently the action sequences in the book are the ones necessary to further the plot forming a reality that the characters need to confront in order to reach their goal, to fulfill their task.
The author has reinvented her writing style for the series and raised the bar of expectations high. Her story transcends mere urban fantasy and veers toward epic fantasy. She uses a healthy dosage of romance as an anticlimax. But she has set firmly the background in history and mythology, elements used as key ingredients to plot and character development. Humour does not go amiss, along with a sense of purpose, sobriety and a touch of irony.
Hunt the Moon sets forth the potential for a great story yet to be told. Old readers will welcome and appreciate it; new ones will be intrigued by it.
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