Review: Touch the Dark by Karen Chance (Cassandra Palmer #1)


Touch the Dark by Karen ChanceTouch the Dark (Cassandra Palmer #1)
Karen Chance
Published: 2006 (Roc)
Purchase at: Book Depository, B&N or Amazon

Rating (out of 5): 3 stars

The Cassandra Palmer series has a ton of potential. Karen Chance creates a unique world with powerful conflicts and a heroine forced to come into new abilities. This first book was hit-or-miss for me, but the tone and characters make me want to continue the series.

The world-building was unique to the point I kept thinking, “That’s a nice twist on supernatural politics.” Vampires and ghosts have more in common in this series, too. Both feed off energy and it was nice to see vampires who could choose to feed by bite or simply by calling the energy to themselves. Really, a refreshing change.

However, the overall plot was uneven. Parts of the novel I adored and others felt tedious. Cassie is a clairvoyant experiencing some new, enhanced abilities. Before she was an observer of the past in her visions, now she’s an active participant. Often times she’s in another’s body and may drag a non-clairvoyant being along with her. The visions were tense, graphic and scenes that pulled me in. Each of these moments — which are evenly paced throughout Touch the Dark — brought a sense of urgency to the book and made me want more. But the confusion in present day paled in comparison.

While this is an urban fantasy book, I’m going to specifically call out the romantic elements here. While there is sex of a sort, and a few very sexual scenes, the book is far from romantic. These moments are purposely false and ring more as results of magical interference. They’re still hot, but if you’re expecting a romantic relationship story arc (which is hinted to a bit at the beginning of the book), you will not find one.

Time travel, characters you can’t trust and some seriously whacked supernatural politics make Touch the Dark worth the read. I have high hopes for Cassie’s character and the series as a whole.

Sexual content: Sensual scenes

Touch the Dark is VBC’s group read for February 2012. You’re welcome to leave your thoughts on the book in the comments here (we’ll respond), but please denote any spoilers so we don’t give anything away to those who have yet to read the book.

11 Responses to “Review: Touch the Dark by Karen Chance (Cassandra Palmer #1)”

  1. kyatty2007 says:

    Oh Chelsea, just wait. I adore this series. But, it can be quite intense and many have had issues with the third book. However, if you get that Cassie’s power kinda controls her, you will likely be OK. This is in my top 5 UF series. And you have GOT to read the spin off series *G*.

  2. Carol says:

    There is one particular character in this series that I love, though I couldn’t stand him in the first book.

  3. Karen says:

    SOunds like an interesting series. Sometimes the first book in a series carries that burden of having to set up the world and characters. Hopefully it picks up.

  4. Vikki says:

    The newest one in this series had me gripped. I actually screamed at the end because of a huge cliffhanger. I just love this series!

    Vikki @ V’s Book Life

  5. Nicole says:

    I have read the first two books in the series now. The first was very difficult to read and very confusing but also enough to keep me reading. I love the characters, They are so different. I can’t wait to keep reading now..I’m hooked.

  6. Kristin says:

    Ok, I really do want to read this one…

  7. OoOo I’ve never heard of this series. Thank you so much for bringing this to my attention. Beautiful cover!

  8. VLover says:

    I love this series and the spin-off so much. Are you going to review the rest as well?

  9. Tegan says:

    I love this entire series, can’t wait for the next book.

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