My Recommended Age Group: Adult
Released: June 6, 2006
Other work: Cassie Palmer Series, Dorina Basarab Series, Short Stories
Like any sensible girl, Cassie tries to avoid vampires. But when the bloodsucking Mafioso she escaped three years ago finds Cassie again with revenge in mind, she's forced to turn to the vampire Senate for protection.The undead senators won't help her for nothing, and Cassie finds herself working with one of their most powerful members, a dangerously seductive master vampire- and the price he demands may be more than Cassie is willing to pay.
My latest find in my quest for something new and different was Karen Chance's TOUCH THE DARK, book one in the Cassie Palmer series. I had seen the books before but kept putting them off. A great kindle deal, however, forced my hand so I bought the books and settled down to pour through the first one.
Much better than I was expecting!
I hadn't heard a ton about these books (perhaps it's the fact that I live under a rock) so I wasn't sure what to expect. I figured the story would be good but I didn't know anything about the character development, scenery, etc. To my pleasure, and yours if you pick these up, this first book was actually pretty good.
Cassie Palmer is a clairvoyant living in a world where vampires, weres and everything else that goes bump in the night roams the streets. Some critters are good and some are...well, let's just say that Cassie has had to run for her life a time or two. Growing up under a vampire as a master, Cassie quickly learned that life is a fragile thing that can easily be taken from you if you don't stay on your toes. Cassie's life is full of suspense with a fair amount of running and hiding thrown in. Unfortunately for her, things are only about to get worse.
Overall, I really liked TOUCH THE DARK. I found Cassie an easy character to like with a good deal of back history and complexity to keep us involved with the story. Each new twist and turn in the story tells us a little more about Cassie and even when we think we have the full picture, Ms. Chance throws another curveball in there that makes us reevaluate our thoughts on Cassie. Along with our main character, the side characters in the story were well developed and add another layer of depth to the story. Their history was just as important to the story as Cassie's and, like Cassie, Ms. Chance gave us the whole picture throughout the course of the book, keeping us hooked fairly well.
The only part that I had a hard time getting through were some of the action and inner monologue sequences. I don't know if there was just too much going on or what, but when the story really started to pick up pace, I had a hard time following along and had to go back and reread a few sections. This could just be due to the fact that parts of the story were fairly complex and tied to other past and future parts. Perhaps my brain just wasn't up to par during those moments.
If you're looking for a good urban fantasy type book, I would definitely check out TOUCH THE DARK. Along with having a good story, Ms. Chance takes some well known nasties (vamps, weres, etc.) and puts a new spin on them.