Being a goddess is a lot less fun than you might think. Especially when you’re only a half goddess, and you only found out about it recently, and you still don’t know what you’re doing half the time. And when you’ve just used your not-so-reliable powers to burglarize the booby-trapped office of a vampire mob boss. Yeah, that part sucks. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg for Cassandra Palmer, aka the Pythia, the freshly minted chief seer of the supernatural world. After all, Cassie still has to save a friend from a fate worse than death, deal with an increasingly possessive master vampire, and prevent a party of her own acolytes from unleashing a storm of fury upon the world. Totally just your average day at the office, right?
Cassie may be half-goddess, but she doesn't have the power of one. While she may hold the power of the Pythia office, she still has human limitations. But when her half-demon mage guardian was dragged back into the demon realm, Cassie knew nothing would stop her from rescuing him. But even a trip into hell itself should be a piece of cake compared to everything else she has survived so far, and will face in her fight to keep the gods from coming back to the human realm and destroying everything in vengeance. It's a hefty job for a mortal, but she's the only one who can do it.
Let me start off by saying that I love this series. Like absolutely adore it. I even have grown to love the love triangle thing going on between Mircea and Pritkin. This is no small feat considering I typically fall for the "first" love interest, and hate the introduction of a new one in most books. So the fact that I'm so terribly torn between the two leading men is pretty impressive to me, especially since everything with Pritkin had been mostly hints up to this point. If you've read the previous book, you'll know that Pritkin had been kinda thrown out of the picture. But of course Cassie wouldn't sit idly by on this, so I was expecting her to go after him. What I was not expecting was for Mircea to completely disappear from the story. Granted he was mentioned, and there was one small possible dream sequence, but he never came "on page," not even for a single phone call or interaction with Cassie. The reason for this is guessed at, but honestly it just ticked me off. Even for "Team Pritkin" fans, this will feel like a cop out, something I'm not a fan of at all. I want Cassie to actually choose who she wants to be with, not have one of the guys bow out on their own. Granted, it's not certain if he will, but it definitely looks like it was headed that way. And then when you add in both Cassie and Pritkin's refusal to see what is right in front of them, well it led to a lot of frustration in the romance department.
TEMPT THE STARS expanded greatly on the world building of the series, and considering how strong and diverse this world has already been built to, I was rather surprised. Prior to this point the demon realm had only been mentioned in an abstract sense, only really playing a part in the series because Pritkin is half demon. Well, now it's been brought to the forefront, and not only is that realm facinating, but it has also added a whole new element to the story and plot line with the fight against the gods. Yep that's right, we have gods, vampires, dhampires, shapeshifters, demons, mages, time-shifters/future seers, and who knows what else that I'm forgetting at this moment. You would think all of that would be overwhelming and complicated, but Karen Chance has done a fantastic job weaving everything together into a fantastic story that sucks you right in. I can't wait until the next installment to see more!
By all rights this is a 5 star book, when you account for the incredible amount of action, the new world building and the stellar characters, but when my own personal preferences on the romance and the fact that it has yet another cliffhanger ending, I have to knock this down to a 4. Honestly that's something I hate to do since I know the book itself is stellar and it's my own hangups getting in the way, but in the end I guess a review is supposed to be personal, so it is what it is. Also as a side note, the cliffhanger would have been a bit easier to swallow if the wait between books was shorter, since this time around it was two years, I have to admit that adding another cliffhanger has really soured things for me. Hopefully the wait will be a bit less, but as there is no release date listed for the next one, only time will tell. But getting back to the good stuff, TEMPT THE STARS was an enjoyable read that was a roller coaster from start to finish, romance issues aside, fans of the series will be more than pleased with this latest installment.
(Received a copy from the publisher via Netgalley)