I've had this book for almost 6 months now I believe. What attracted me to this book was the cover, which I think it's absolutely gorgeous. This book also sounded quite different from the other paranormal books I've been reading, since the main character is a clairvoyant.
Touch the Dark by Karen Chance: 4/5
published by ROC in May 2006
Cassandra Palmer is a clairvoyant on the run. Her parents were murdered when she was four years old and she was raised by a vampire mobster, Antonio. Cassie is presently running away from Tonio and his men, as she's given proof of his illegal activities to the FBI. After three years, she's been found and plans to run away again... however, there's someone that she has to tell first... In the end, all Cassie does is run into something very complicated and mysterious.
Genre: fantasy, psychics, vampires, magic
Series: Cassie Palmer, book #1
Review: Well, well, well... This was surely an interesting book. Lots of action, lots of things happening, lots of characters... I have to admit that it confused me a bit, but overall, I quite like it...
The Characters - For sure, Cassie was an interesting character. She's a clairvoyant, but also a medium... although ppl don't know about her mediumistic abilities. She's been raised around vampires all her life... and so, do not know very much about her abilities and does not have completel control over them. She learnt about her parents' deaths only when she was 14 years old and ever since, has planned how to bring down Tonio and his men. Now, it turns out that she's the heiress to some other major powers that she doesn't want, but inherited nonetheless, because the power has chosen her.
Personally, I have to admit I don't know where my feelings stand about Cassie... because I haven't seen much of her. I mean, yeah, she's the main character, but there's always something happening that she has to react too that I don't think I ever had the opportunity to see the real Cassie. Perhaps, even Cassie doesn't know herself. She's not a TSTL heroine, she does have a head on her shoulders... She's not a kick-ass heroine either, she has strengths and weaknesses, which is refreshing, still... she doesn't seem real, too balance perhaps.
There's also a ton of secondary characters: Mircae, a vampire and elder brother of Dracula, Billy Joe, a ghost that's been helping Cassie out, Tomas, another vampire, and Pritchkin, a war mage. All of those characters are very interesting and intriguing, but you only see a layer of them... You don't get to see them in depth... perhaps that will come later.
The Story & Writing - I think the premise of the story was very good and had a lot of potential. I also liked the world-building a lot. You have all the possible paranormal creatures: vampires, shapeshifters, psychics, mages, demons, etc. There's also a lot of hierarchy for the vampires and mages and it's really interesting. The only thing is that it might be a bit too complicated... Ms. Chance did good not dumping a load of information at the beginning of the book... but the information did break the story sometimes.
My only complaint about the book is that perhaps, there was too much action happening. That's a strange complaint, I know... but I had difficulty keeping up what was happening. One minute, they were being attacked, the next on the run, the next something happened. It was almost non-stop and so, the pacing was way too quick. Especially when you factor in her "visions" and everything else. The only moments where it slows down are when there are explanation bouts. And the storyline is quite complex... lots of info to absorb, so it'd have been nicer if Ms. Chance would have tone down on the action...
As for romance - if ppl are wondering, there is some... very mild... with many possible love interests.
The Cover - I think the cover is gorgeous, very nice :D
Am I keeping this book? For the cover yes, for the story... it'll depend on the rest of the series.
Anything else? I've read the second book, Claimed by Shadows and will be reviewing it later this week :D