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Touch the Dark (Cassandra Palmer Series Book 1) by Karen Chance

The Description: 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.

The Review: When a book takes me over a week to finish, I know I'm not enjoying it. I also don't pay as much attention to it as I should, so let me try and explain why I was not so impressed with the start of this series.

Chapter 1 actually started off well, it sucked me in a gush of frenetic energy...but it soon slipped into a miasma of confusion and half understood comments and thoughts. 

It is from Cassie's POV and she really doesn't have grasp on anything in particular, she doesn't know what she is, she doesn't even know what is around her.  She really thinks she is doing well in the world, being all tough and independent, but really she is quite delusional.  Her roommate is spying on her, he's not actually a broken, mentally unstable, street kid like she thought, but a centuries old, master vampire sent to protect/spy on her for the vamp PTBs. Coming from her misinformed, confused POV, the story line is jumbled and really doesn't make much sense. 

I had to reread in some parts, thinking I missed something, but I really didn't.  I kept on thinking that I hadn't picked up the first in the series because there were so many flash backs. I actually think this book should have started with her initial escape from Tony. This book could actually have been book 3 - Book 1 would have been the escape and plot for revenge on Tony and the subsequent death and torture of her nanny.  Book 2 would have been her learning her skills with ghosts, taming Billy Joe and meeting and taking in Tomas. Thus leading us into this book.

As I got into the book, the violence got really intense.  It had me gritting my teeth as I read about ripped out hearts and people burning alive.  The author does have an aptitude for torture and fight scenes.

I have read other reviews where this is compared to the Anita Blake series.  I do agree with that, but I do not think it is a good comparison.  What reminded me of the Blake series was the convoluted plot threads and the penchant for the author to delve too long into the description of vamp and otherworldly politics within the middle of a thread.  She would start a sentence, or it would be within the middle of dialog - and Cassie would regress into thinking about all the ins and outs of vamp court life - then she would finish the conversation.  It was very confusing and by the time I was done with the regression I had lost what the initial conversation was about.  This led to even more confusion on my part.

By the time I was 2/3rds into the book it started to straighten out, Cassie was getting a grip on exactly what she was, the political knowledge was mostly imparted on the reader and all the threads were finally somewhat coming together.  This was one of those rare cases where it did kinda pay off to hold off until the end. 

I wouldn't really recommend this book as something to get excited about.  I'm also not sure if I will ever move on to the 2nd in the series.  Nothing really got me wanting to move on.  There were some good points, like I said earlier, Chance has a skill for violence, so the fight scenes were nail-biting.  The plot was also unique to my knowledge. All in all it gets 3 glasses.


Faye said...

I got this book 4 my IMM. It looks good, i hear it gets better

Jo said...

I have to say, I was of the same opinion when I read this book. I felt I missed bit, I was annoyed with Chance's need to put the world building in between conversations or fight scenes. I was confused and not thoroughly impressed. However, those who read my review who had read the other books told me what I'm going to tell you now: keep reading!
The world building all got dealt with in the first book, from here onwards, the books are absolutely AMAZING! It does suck that the first book wasn't brilliant, but I swear to you, the books get so much better as you go on. I have read the next two books, Claimed by Shadows and Embrace the Night, and I am desperate to get my hands on the next one, Curse the Dawn. Seriously, give the series one my try. Read the next book. If you don't like that one, fine, but I'm pretty sure you will. The world and the characters are superb, and things just get better. If it sucks, you can blame me :)

I'll link to your review from mine.

Melissa said...

It's been a while since I read this one, but I remember thinking I was missing something too. I've read the next two and I think they do get much better. I haven't read the last one in the series (last one so far...)

btw, love the commercial. iMovie is fun! :)

ParaJunkee said...

Thanks guys, I keep hearing this, so it must be true. I just have to keep going...

Patti said...

Wow, I'm glad I found your review. I didn't like this book and had only seen great things about Cassandra Palmer. I started book 2 but DNF. Great honest review!

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