Another guest review from the loverly Kelly. Enjoy! 🙂
Touch the Dark (Cassandra Palmer #1) by Karen Chance
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….
My Thoughts: I am really, really torn on how I feel about this book. On one hand, I like the idea and the world certainly seems complex enough to spawn many, many stories but … I’m still reeling from informational overload with everything we were told. I like complexity and I like when things are a little twisted but I felt like every chapter was less about us being introduced to new characters and/or species and learning about them organically and more about Cassie waxing poetic about the different things that each supernatural species could do – in exquisite detail. It was a little much for me to keep up with, in all honesty.
As far as the characters go, Cassie was … okay. I never really connected to her on an emotional level and it made it difficult for me to understand where she was coming from with some of her choices. My biggest issue with her? Her decision to escape from a vampire safe house and walk smack dab into one of the holdings of the vamp who’s trying to kill her to go after one of his underlings. I mean… whoa. I can’t fathom the thought process that would make her think this is a good idea. Also, I do not approve of cock-blocking a hot vamp. Consider this your only warning, Cassie.
Time travel as a plot device can be a tricky thing – especially when the author looks to be setting up events for future books. It adds another level of confusion to my already mushy brain. Here’s the thing, I’m fairly certain that many of the events that happened in this book will sort themselves out later and I’ll be nodding along enthusiastically but in the here and now I’m just shrugging and moving along. It’s hard to get fired up when you have no context for the characters who drop cryptic hints.
While I by no means hated this book, I’m sort of viewing this one as a huge, overly ambitious foundation for later installments in the series. I liked most of the vampires (secondary and otherwise) who popped in and out of Cassie’s orbit and I think the Senate is creeptastic is a really awesome way. I think the bad guy was gross (greasy men make me shudder and curl up my toes in disgust) and I did enjoy the little twisted snippets of history that helped explain who the more prominent vampires were. Simply put, I’ll continue with the series but it’s going to have to jump through some fair sized hoops to impress me.