Touch the Dark (Cassie Palmer #1) – Karen Chance

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Summary:

Cassandra Palmer can see the future and communicate with spirits—talents that make her attractive to the dead and the undead. The ghosts of the dead aren’t usually dangerous; they just like to talk…a lot.The undead are another matter.

Like any sensible girl, Cassie tries to avoid vampires. But when the bloodsucking mafioso she escaped three years ago finds Cassie again with vengeance on his 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….

Review:

2015  really rekindled my love of Urban Fantasy and when I finished catching up on the Alex Verus series I knew that I wanted to find another 1 or 2 series to read my way through in 2016. I was planning on starting with Hearne’s The Iron Druid Chronicles but when I was browsing my local Barnes and Nobles the other day, I spotted Reap the Wind on the shelves and decided to give this series a chance first instead.

At first blush, Touch the Dead immediately feels like an Anita Blake-inspired world. The structure of vampire politics, the plethora of vampires that somehow manage to incorporate skin-tight leather into old school styles and so on. It felt like a bit of a homecoming. My concern was whether the book could do something with its familiar trappings, and it’s a bit touch and go at first. There’s a lot of exposition dumping at the start of the book, and almost all the most powerful figures are famous in human history as well. Although this does provide for one of the most amusing explanations of Shakespeare-was-not-really-Shakespeare out there, it feels clunky and unnecessary. The Consul would have been just as powerful and intimidating, even if she hadn’t been Cleopatra.

Then the book began to warm me over. It doesn’t play coy with what Cassandra’s heritage is, nor does it threaten to drag out sexual tension across a number of books. There are some really sexy scenes here too, something I never thought Hamilton did terribly well.

Cassandra’s powers are interesting and provided they don’t get used to deus-ex-machina her way out of everything could provide for some interesting story fodder down the road. Plus, the whole sexuality element of her powers leads to a pretty funny reveal towards the end of the book and that Cassie is allowed to actually have her sexuality with zero bull attached to it is refreshing.

While I’m not entirely sure if there is going to be enough story to give me enough momentum to keep reading is a bit up in the air.I noticed that in reading synopsis for future books it sounds like they will be dragging out a certain plot line over a number of books which does make me weary.

Still, I do think this series has enough promise to at least give book two a go: it worked out well for Alex Verus so why not Cassie Palmer too?

Verdict: Borrow It

Available: Now

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