I agree with the other reviews in that Chance could have done less telling in this entry and revealed more backstory and mythos over what is obviously going to be a series. I also found the constant use of famous historical figures as vampires a bit irritating and felt she used that to "cheat" on some character development. That said, by the end I was enjoying the book enough to keep the second on my WL and I disagree with those reviews that felt the ending was a "to be continued" - there was a complete story set above an obvious series arc. There are sex scenes, they are actually in context and, unlike LKH, Chance at least understands what is interesting and anatomically possible.
I'm a huge vampire fan, but this one didn't quite meet my expectations. It had all the ingredients, but just fell short. The plot doesn't never really gets going, because the author keeps interrupting the flow with another fight scene, and never quite explains what's going on until near the end. And the end was too abrupt, even though I know it's because this is the beginning of a series, the ending just sort of...hit, and then you were left standing there. I like a bit more of a conclusion, even with my series novels. However, the urban setting is in right now, and this is very urban, and the book has some good characters to redeem it. It certainly is worth a try--you might find you like it more than I did.
This book is a fairly solid opening in what is obviously a series. The main characters are well drawn and the plot is intriguing. Unfortunately the author swamps those factors with an overload of useless (at this point in the series) information. There are too many extraneous characters and sub-plots splitting the reader's focus and drawing away from the main story.
The world and the characters have potential, but Chance needs to learn how to pare down her work so readers are pulled in, not drowned.
Strong beginning to what looks like a new series by Karen Chance! This is a very fast-paced book with interesting characters and almost nonstop action. The world is solidly thought out, which is a nice change from some of the other new paranormals I've been reading lately, and it packs a good amount of plot into its 307 pages. There's a sequel, Claimed by Shadow, and I'm very interested in seeing how Cassie deals with the next phase of her life!
I've seen several comparisons of this book to Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series. While there are a few surface similiarities, overall they're quite separate. I'm pleased to report that Cassie has a much firmer grip on herself -- and is thankfully much more decisive! -- than Anita ever was, even in her earlier books.
Cassandra Palmer has a very unique situation - she is a seer who was raised by a vampire mafioso from a very early age. When she was old enough, she escaped and at the start of this book she is in Atlanta and her old boss has found her. It also turns out other vamps are looking for her too and slowly throughout the book you find out why so many are taking an interest in her. The story is very fast paced but there were many times where it felt like in the middle of a fight and action, Cassie pauses to have a long conversation with someone so we can learn some backstory or more about whats going on. It felt a little bit disconcerting that knives are being thrown around and I'm pretty sure that Cassie is just standing there in the middle of everything with a dazed look on her face and shes talking to a ghost. At least tell me shes hiding or behind some barrier and has time to talk. Even with this distracting habit by the author, the world and characters are interesting enough for me to want to read the next book.
This book was pretty good for a first in the series. It was interesting enough and had lots of action. A prologue would have been helpful to get an idea of what is happening and why. Especially since the reader is pushed into the action immediately. I think that would have been a better method than some of the long explanations by the characters (and especially at some of the least convenient times possible).
I liked that historical figures and events are interspersed throughout the book. If you like and/or know world history, you'll understand the names and references. It also helps you fill in the gaps that the author doesn't flesh out. If you aren't familiar with world history, though, I can see how this would be frustrating and make the story seem incomplete.
The ending was okay. Definitely a cliff-hanger, but the story had come to a reasonable conclusion without going on and on, and leaving nothing for the next book.
I gave this book 4 stars and will be reading the next.
first in a new series. Storyline is too complex and more gruesome than most in this genre, but still an entertaining read and strong character development. Sometimes it seems like the author is throwing in the kitchen sink in terms of supernatural characters just to have them there (doesn't add to story line at all)...but I still rushed out and bought the second installment! Enjoy.
3 stars is being very generous. I can see why people like this, because the storyline is interesting. But, it's way too jumbled.
So much happens in one paragraph, and there are too many words to describe one little action. I found myself skimming and missing stuff.
The descriptions are like when I talk with my 4-year old "and then this happened, and then this happened, and then this happened....." and eventually you tune out!
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 vampireand the price he demands may be more than Cassie is willing to pay.
I liked the story itself, though the author's writing could use a little work. The chapters got kind of long at times, without the use of even any division breaks within. And at other times I found myself confused by what the author was saying, and trying to go back to reread didn't help. In these cases, I found that just continuing on, I'd usually figure out what she was getting at, but it was a bit disconcerting at times. This is her first novel though so I'll cut her a break, especially since I really enjoyed the story.
Besides a good story, the character development was done well. Cassie was an interesting character; her ability to communicate with ghosts, and handle Vampire politics as well, endeared her to me. I also really liked Mircea, one of the Senate Vampires, as well and look forward to seeing more of him in the sequel, Claimed By Shadow, coming out in April 2007.
DreamSE22 reviewed Touch the Dark (Cassandra Palmer, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 1
I couldn't warm up to this book at all! I have noticed that with contemporary fantasy/horror novels, there is often too much explanation about how their world "works", and I find myself losing interest even before the story has barely started. The main character, Cassie, also didn't convey much of a personality for my interest to stick, etiher, so I gave up early on in this book.
I loved this book (and hated that it ended so soon). It moved so incredibly fast, the characters and the scenes just moved non-stop. And what characters! The addition of mages and clairvoyants to the usual vampire/werewolf/Fey crowd is very cool, and the ghost that hangs with Cassie reminds me so much of Jenks from The Hollows series; he's funny and flirty and just a lot of fun. I literally flew through this book, it was so hard to put down. The concept of updating the Oracle legend is a nice way of saying thank you to the mythgologies that these books all draw from, and that we all loved reading as children, and is done very well. I'm really looking forward to the next chapter in the series, I have a feeling I'm going to fall for all these guys real hard.
I admit the book was a quick read, only about 300 pages. It was your standard vampire novel, hot sexy vampires but with psychics. It did have a lot of action in the novel that helped with keeping the story active as I read. However the way the author used historical figures as vampires made it feel like the author wasn't as creative. It was definitely cheating. It felt that the author did not have any creativity in making up her own vampires, or just got too lazy to do so. It turned me off a lot in the book.
I enjoyed this first book of the Cassandra Palmer series. I like the mix of characters and the way Cassie learned that things were not as she thought. I look forward to reading the next book, Claimed by Shadow.
It was a good book, but during the beginning the action became quite confusing and I felt as though I had missed something... as if I came in the middle of the story rather than the beginning. The book seemed to fix this toward the end by all the explanation the main character got. At times, even though the information Cassie got was interesting, it could be frustrating. Even so, I did enjoy this book and I'm looking forward to the next in the series.
For me the story seemed to start out slow compared to what I'm used to but after a few pages it picked up. I did get confused a bit here and there in the book some parts just didn't seem to be clarified enough/or not at all but it didn't interfer with the main story itself. I would have liked more in the ending but I always do so no change there. =) I guess my main issue with this book was the lack of feeling I felt after reading it to go read the next one in it's series. Normally I jump up and want to grab the next part of the series to read and with this book I didn't have that feeling.
I'm into the whole vampire thing but this one went over the edge... I mean, it kinda started out *eh* and her writing doesn't flow all that smoothly. I keep thinking she is going to say something else, but then I have to go back to reread what she wrote. Maybe this isn't my lingo... but this book just got more and more boring and uninteresting as the chapters wore on. I couldn't finish it and wouldn't finish it even if someone was twisting my ear.
I quit in the middle of chapter five cuz they started talking about Rasputin from Czar Nicholas time and a bunch of other guys from way-back-when being vampires. It didn't make sense that they would even be brought up in this book. It was just too weird.
And the 'interesting information' that the ghost [that inhabits her necklace] tells us, isn't that interesting. I kept rolling my eyes.... is this ever going to end??
I had to put a stop to this one; but like I said before, it started out good enough... to get me to chapter five... but you're better off going for something else.
I enjoyed Jennifer Armintrout's 'Blood Ties: The Turning'. That one is so much more easy-going.
Tory L. reviewed Touch the Dark (Cassandra Palmer, Bk 1) on
When I read this book I found it enticing and a thriller. Although I do not recommend this book to anyone who is not an adult. It does have a very inappropriate scene at the end of the book. So, adults only!
I actually listed to this one on unadbridged cd. I am glad I was able to do so, because it has a lot of political aspects that would have made me disinterested in the book. It's just not my favorite subject, vamps or no vamps. Overall it was a good book. (3.5 of 5 stars)
Way too much action for me to keep up with. I just read the first few chapters and lost interest. I read the second book in this series first and that one I liked alot. This one was very disappointing.
Very disappointed in this book. There are far too many characters with complicated names. I couldn't keep them all straight! The constant flashbacks was confusing, too. I wanted to give up on the book multiple times. I don't think I'll be continuing the series. I recommend trying other vampire/paranormal series before this one.
Reader-girl - reviewed Touch the Dark (Cassandra Palmer, Bk 1) on
There is a lot of action, characters who appear and disappear, seems like it could have been a good read but because so confusing that I just gave up. The ideas were good, but I could not keep track of who was doing what to whom, or why she didn't get killed in the first chapter.
This book is constant action, although sometimes it's a little too much action. She tends to spin off in the middle of something that's happening into a whole different story. Now, that said, don't let that stop you from reading this book! I still really enjoyed it. I kept picking it back up whenever I could get a chance, and went out 2 days after I finished it to buy the next in the series.
Like many other reviewers I felt this book had a lot of promise but unfortunately ended up falling a bit short. There wasn't enough interaction between the characters and the majority of the book is a race between one death defying action seen to the next. The times when the authored slowed down enough to feature some interaction between Cassandra and the Senate vampires was enjoyable but all too short. All in all I will read the second book in the series in the hope the author gets a little better but this book wont be remaining on my "keeper bookshelf."
Listening to this on the Ipod so I may spell character names and places incorrectly.
Cassie Palmer was raised by the vampire mafia but as she grew she realized they had murdered her parents in order to keep her all to themselves because she is a powerful clairvoyant. When the book begins she has escaped them and has been successfully hiding for 3 years or so. Because she is clairvoyant and also has two helpful ghosts hanging around she has managed to stay out of danger but her luck has run out. As she's trying to make a run for it and warning her roomie Tomas of danger they meet up with the vamps. It's here that Cassie discovers her friend Tomas is much more than he pretends to be and breaks her heart a little.
This book starts off with a bang and a great leading character but there are a few info dumps that are hurting my brain. I don't like info dumps and I especially dislike them when the book is first in a series. Start at the beginning or leave all of the useless crap out. Don't stop the action to explain a whole lot of stuff that happened previously, leaving me a bit confused and frustrated.
Once the action starts it doesn't really let up. Okay, that's not exactly true because it does get stalled for the many info dumps and flashbacks in time and the author seems to lose her focus quite a bit. I'm not a big fan of all action, all the time and this is where I usually start to fade but the characters and storyline are engaging enough that I am still interested in seeing where this will go. The author also uses the heroine's talent to the best advantage for some creative voyeuristic sex scenes without tainting her heroine. LKH needs to take note here. Just saying.
Later I'm at the halfway point and must admit my attention has started to flitter off. There is a lot going on here, too much for my pea brain to keep straight, and the author's writing is a bit scattered. There are time flips and body hopping and lots of characters and I'm having a difficult time staying focused enough to figure things out. Darn, that's disappointing. Still, the heroine and storyline are strong, the world-building pretty good and because this is a first book I'll try #2 and see if she's improved on the focusing and info dump issues. As of now, my head hurts a little.
Even Later:The last 1/4 of the book picks up and gets extremely interesting as some major plot twists are revealed and the author focuses a bit more on the sensuality of her characters. I'm hoping the next book slows down a wee bit and focuses more on the tangled relationships between the characters. All in all I thought this was a promising start to a new series.
Allright so apparently i'm in the minority. I enjoyed this book. I thought it was a fun read with an interesting storyline. I didn't find the historical figures a cheat since they weren't the 'main' characters just things that made me chuckle along the way.
All in all it is the main character that I liked. More than any other thing in a book if I find the protagonist interesting and enjoyable then I can forgive other tiny things in the narrative. And Cassandra Palmer is interesting.
I think everyone else has been too harsh and I cannot wait to get book 2 and ocntinue on.
Not great. I didn't find the main character very likeable and the story was kind of boring and at some points her writing style was a bit confusing- I couldn't make it to the end (but I hear it wasn't very good either.)
I couldn't finish this book. I read about 45 pages, and the author just did not capture my attention...too much backstory, in long and dreary paragraph after paragraph. I found myself not caring about the character at all. Also, the grammar and word usage were atrocious as was the proofreading. Bad enough to draw me permanently out of the story! I picked it up for 50 cents at a Half Price Books tent sale, and happily pass it along mostly unread to someone who may enjoy it more than I did.
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 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.