Touch the Dark by Karen Chance
Author: Karen Chance
Series: Cassandra Palmer #1
Release Date: June 6, 2006
Dates Read: January 11-21, 2012
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.
Quite frankly, I find this book hard to review. I liked the premise and the characters, but I find myself left with mixed feelings about the novel. It is difficult for me to put a finger on what exactly about this book made me like it less than I should have.
I liked the protagonist, Cassie. As a clairvoyant essentially raised by a vampire mafia, she is an interesting character with an intriguing background and an fascinating set of abilities. So, it’s not the main character that bothered me. The rest of the cast of characters includes a plethora of vampires, several of them representing famous faces in history such as Cleopatra, Jack the Ripper, Rasputin, and more. There are also ghosts (with whom Cassie communicates), and mages. They are pretty well-developed for the time spent with their characters and the lens through which Cassie sees them, so it’s not that either.
There is action. Oh, there is action. I am nearly certain that this is my problem with the novel. Karen Chance doesn’t give you the feeling that you are reading the first book in what will be a somewhat long series (I believe there are 5 books out now). When you start reading the novel, you hit the ground running, and never stop. Cassie is thrown through events and characters and situations at such a breakneck speed, neither she nor the reader really ever gets a chance to rest. As a result, it is sometimes hard to keep track of what is going on, which characters are currently involved, and how Cassie feels about it. There was just so much happening in this book. In a way, it felt like the last novel of a series. Not because events were resolved (because they largely were not), but because it felt like the author and the characters were in a hurry to get all of the events packed in before the end.
Despite the general feeling that you are reading a novel in the middle or end of the series, the ending seems very abrupt. I contribute this to the fact the the novel runs full-steam from page 1, thus any ending seems like a train running off a cliff. Since I liked the characters, the world, and the plot, and I want to see what happens next to Cassie, I will at least give the next book in the series a chance. Hopefully, Chance has provided a novel which feels more complete.
Keep a look out for my review of Claimed by Shadow to see my recommendations regarding this series!