Title: Touch the Dark
Author: Karen Chance
Page Count: 320 pages
Genre: urban fantasy
50 words or less: Cassie Palmer is a seer who's on the run from a vampire wise guy and his assassins. When it becomes apparent that she personally is way more powerful than anyone anticipated, shit, as they say, gets real.
Did you ever read a book, enjoy reading it, enjoy meeting the characters and experiencing the story, and then at the end of it all find yourself unable to explain exactly what the book was about? That's kind of how I feel now that I've finished Touch the Dark
Touch the Dark is the first book in the Cassie Palmer series, and I'll lead off by saying that I adored Cassie as a narrator. I thought her narrative voice was smart and funny, and the explanation that's given for her understanding of the supernatural world around her is believable within the rules of the world that are established. She's not a perfect creation, for reasons that I'll get into in a minute, but she definitely got me interested in following her adventures further.
There's a lot going on the world that serves as the backdrop for this book. There's vampires, werewolves get a quick nod, ghosts, mages, faeries, you name it. Notable historical figures serve as many members of the cast of characters and are given a sort of supernatural makeover. This element of the story is probably one that would not work for everyone- personally I think it was a fun twist on a pretty well-traveled PNR/UF path (main character suddenly has a boodle of power and now everyone wants a piece of, in this case, her action) that helped to make the world of the story a little more unique.
This is a very fast-paced story too- there's a whole lot of running around, both in the literal sense of a lot of action scenes and complex fight scenes, and in the figurative sense of pole vaulting around in time, changing the past to affect the future, and so on and so forth. I freely admit, this got kind of distracting after awhile- it was hard to remember who was in the situation for what reason, why we as the audience cared that they were there, and what the events meant for the story as a whole.
I'll also come right out and say it- I didn't care for the ending. Sometimes people just need to stay dead. Just saying.
It's hard to discuss the events of this story too much, as a lot remains to be explored in the three following books in the series so far, but despite the shortcomings of this book I'll definitely be reading the rest of the series. And hey, if a goal of a first book in a series is to make you want to read the next one, then Touch the Dark certainly succeeded on that front.
Overall Grade: B
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