- Karen Chance
Publisher: UK - Penguin
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.
Now, Mel was more than happy for me to review this book, as she read it long before her blogging days and thoroughly enjoyed it. Touch the Dark stars Cassie, a clairvoyant fighting against the oppression of seemingly every supernatural (predominantly vampire) that she meets. Her powers are growing, and with it other’s desire to own her, or kill her.
From the moment Cassie reads her own obituary at the beginning of the novel, through the vast amounts of running and fighting that follow, to a conclusion that is merely only a pause in the story, this is one hell of a thrill ride. I love the fact that we - the reader - are as totally in the dark as Cassie is regarding literally everything that is going on around her, and have to stumble through the plot as she does, creating ideas, supposition and leaps of faith as she (and we) go. This does, however, lead to us getting a lot of wordy explanations from other characters, and you REALLY need to be paying attention. The few times I got distracted I’d be only a page further on, and have absolutely no idea what was happening!
There is a large ensemble cast, but Karen Chance shows great skill in making sure they all get some, if not plenty, of characterization. I was particularly intrigued by the ghost Billy Joe, who provided a lot of the humour, but without turning into a shallow, comedy character. The novel also has a decent size dollop of erotica in, but to my surprise Karen Chance manages where plenty of other fantasy books have failed, and actually makes it sexy, without resorting to debauchery or baseness.
A cracking debut novel that has definitely encouraged me to read on in the series, hopefully without quite so much ‘infodump’ to keep Cassie (and the reader) informed. One for those who like Carrie Vaughan’s Kitty, and Rachel Vincent’s Faythe Sander’s series, 8 out of 10.