Zoltan Makacs's Reviews > Ride the Storm

Ride the Storm by Karen Chance
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really liked it

Ride the Storm non-spoiler review: Three stars, "liked it."

Firstly, I heartily recommend buying the Cassie Palmer series, as well as the Dorina Basarab series to support the author, because they're generally great and inventive books set in a vibrant and diverse world!

That said, I can only recommend this book to people who are already sufficiently invested in the series' plotlines to overlook irritating trends that continue to detract from the potential of the books. The series has been getting more clichéd with paranormal romance over time, but Ride the Storm takes the initially unique urban fantasy premise into a new territory entirely by being a comedic historical action-adventure drama or something. The main issue with the book is that the series has been trying to include so many plots, characters and genres that it becomes a chaotic juggling act that is impossible to pull off successfully, despite the creativity of the ideas involved.

Pro: Story. The plot of new invading gods, returning threats, the clash of diverse hostile and allied paranormal factions in the past and the present makes the book a truly excellent setup for an unforgettable fantasy story.
Con: Delivery. Great plotlines and reveals are all too often delivered by random characters interrupting and shouting over each other between bouts of running and screaming, which detracts from the otherwise engaging ideas.

Pro: Characters. The series has an amazing cast of multidimensional and very well fleshed out characters, and Ride the Storm tries to tackle as many new side stories and already existing subplots as it can, with new historical and mythological figures making their debut!
Con: Protagonist. Cassie has been steadily moving into a Mary Sue direction as she's an average woman who happens to be a chosen one seer raised by vampires as an orphan who becomes Pythia but also sees and controls ghosts *runs out of breath... inhales* because she's half necromancer and she's a demigoddess too actually who accidentally succeeds at eveything and there's more of that in this book.

Pro: Powers. The magic and the mythos of the series is amazing, ever expanding and super entertaining. Ride the Storm takes this to new levels and new directions, resulting in phenomenal feats of power and flashy fantasy confrontations.
Con: Action. Not only do action scenes get dragged out with far too meticulous descriptions and 'comedic' fumbling, I also lost count how many times Cassie almost dies in this book, to not only magically survive, but then 'Oh no, wait, there's more!' and to repeat the cycle, despite not needing extra padding.

Pro: Style. The series takes an intelligent, well-researched background and enlivens it with originality and humor, as well as delivers some profound insights into human nature with witty wisdom.
Con: Pacing. As the imagery suggests, the 'break-neck pacing' comment the series keeps getting is not a compliment. The plot either progresses at a snail's pace, or is thrown into a chaotic upheaval by far too many complications, while still ending up far from resolved.

Ride the Storm is a novel full of great ideas, in which delivering an epic fantasy story and fleshing out historical and mythological reveals is sadly taking a back seat to whipping up teenage-romance-worthy drama and continuing to use the protagonist as an escapist vessel for wish fulfillment. Empathizing with a heroine is one thing, but abandoning logic as well as having to have four separate scenes in which she has a self-doubt/self-pity breakdown to be propped up by a supportive choir of side characters to pat her on the head that she's a good girl doing good things is just excessively self-indulgent.

Overall, Ride the Storm delivers exciting plot progress, entertaining scenes, and interesting interactions with new and old characters alike, even though its potential is weighed down by the baggage of recurring weaknesses.
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Reading Progress

May 20, 2017 – Shelved
July 1, 2017 – Started Reading
July 19, 2017 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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Nancy I see you gave it four stars in order to help readership. Good choice, I think.


Zoltan Makacs Yeah, the series and the author deserves the support. I'd rate the ideas of the series 5 stars, and the book itself 3 stars realistically, so I thought 4 would be a fair compromise.

Are you going to review it yourself?


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