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.