If You Like The Hollows… Read Cassie Palmer & Dorina Basarb


If You Like... feature at Vampire Book ClubOkay this maybe cheating since I am recommending two series instead of one, but in my defense both series are by Karen Chance, are set in the same world, take place simultaneously, and have characters who crossover in both series. So really I am recommending the body of work of one author.

My favorite characteristic of Kim Harrison’s The Hollow series is not only the strong female protagonist, but also the growth Rachel Morgan makes through the series. (Read the VBC review of Dead Witch Walking, the first The Hollows book.) She began as a somewhat pigheaded, isolated, fly-by-the-seat-of-her-pants witch. Now as we near the conclusion of the series Rachel has transformed into a contemplative and powerful woman whose extended family is too large to count, much less list.

Where other series are repetitive and characters stagnate, it was the journey of mistakes and triumphs in The Hollows, which had me coming back for more.

This trait is something that I have also found in Karen Chance’s writing, her heroines Cassie and Dorina begin their respective series in very different situations than what they eventually unwittingly achieve. (Read the VBC review of Touch the Dark, the first Cassandra Palmer book.)

Midnight's Daughter by Karen Chance (Dorina Basarb #1)

The first Dorina book, Midnight’s Daughter.

Cassie is a legendary clairvoyant and reluctant leader of the “good” mages. Dorina is a dhampir who has huge daddy issues and a severe anger management problem; as in blackouts where everyone around her becomes dead. Like Rachel, they stumble headlong into trouble without heeding any sense of safety or restraint. They never do anything for self gain; instead everything they do is in defense of loved ones and strangers. They also couldn’t be more different. Cassie is a tiny curly blond girly girl and Dorina is a tall brunette warrior woman who only uses make up to cover up bruises.

Also these series may not be found in the romance sections of your local bookstore, they definitely rate high on the steamy scenes. The romances may not be the main plot points, but they definitely drive the stories forward. A side note is that one of Cassie’s love interests is Dorina’s estranged father. Cassie and Dorina even meet once with hilarious results (although neither realizes who the other is).

I am a huge fan of sarcasm and wit in my protagonists and know that I have found a winner when a book has me laughing out loud. Not that any of the journeys these heroines face are easy. They make mistakes and have to live with the consequences and losses. Like Rachel Morgan, they pick themselves up and try to stay alive.

The Cassie Palmer and Dorina Basarb series both satisfy the thirst I have for The Hollows series in different ways. Cassie’s books are a little more hijinks-heavy and Dorina’s are more action-packed. Hopefully they will continue to fill the void since The Hollows are coming to an end this fall.

15 Responses to “If You Like The Hollows… Read Cassie Palmer & Dorina Basarb”

  1. Kristyn says:

    I love love love the hollows series but did not like Karen chance at all. I read a couple and didn’t even give them a 3 star. That’s just me though.

  2. I loved the Cassandra Palmer books at the beginning, but I don’t know, I’m just getting sick of them. I don’t know why. They changed narrators, so that could be part of it. I’m behind on the Dorina Basarb and need to pick it back up.

  3. Amy says:

    I’m opposite, I love both Cassie Palmer and Dorina (seriously even if you don’t care for Cassie, you should definitely pick up the Dorina books).

    But I couldn’t make it past the first Hollows novel. I couldn’t even finish Dead Witch Walking. I tried and tried and I just couldn’t do it. Maybe I just need to persevere a little bit more because I know people absolutely love this series.

  4. Jill says:

    wow that is crazy, Amy! I almost imploded when I read the hollows series. SOOO good.

    I’m behind on the cassandra palmer, but haven’t picked up the Dorina series. She sounds like a badass and I do love me some badass heroines. Will be picking it up!

  5. K says:

    Amy I had the same issue with Dead Witch Walking. I put it down for almost a year and then went back to it. Now it’s one of my favorite series.

    • Sarah P. says:

      that is identical to my expirience with the series. I came back after about 2 years (got it for free on nook) and then binge read!

  6. I love The Hollows but I DNF book 1 of the Cassandra Palmer series. BUT to be fair the main reason I DNF it was the narrator. So I plan on giving it a 2nd chance at some point and read it to see if I enjoy it more that way.

    AND I’ve listened to all of The Hollows books and I think if I read book 1 of the series I might have DNF it.

    Goes to show that HOW you experience a book can make a big difference.

  7. snapdragon says:

    I enjoy the Hollows very much. And I have just started reading Cassie Palmer -I’m need to start book 3. I (think) I have read the 1st Dorina book. I will have to go and hit up the library.

    Thanks for the suggestions.

  8. Judy says:

    I can second this assessment as well. Karen Chance also has a third female character set in this world, who is a mage. She was born to werewolves, but doesn’t change and has joined the mage guild. Her stories are told in the various novellas/anthologies the author has been a part of. If you get a chance, you should give them a try as well. 🙂

  9. Margaret says:

    I’m totally with you in thinking Dory is like Rachel, though I wouldn’t have made the connection before. I could draw lots of parallels. Cassie’s a little of a stretch for me, but I love her adventures. I’ve always thought Karen Chance reads like an action movie.

  10. Debby says:

    I just started reading the Dorina Basarab series ans I love it. Does anybody know when and if there will be a fourth book? I’m dying to know when that will be released becease the last one dates from 2 years ago.

    Keep up the good work, love the website:).

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