Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Chalk Up Another Vampire Novel!

Since I am sometimes a very shallow reader, a cool cover can definitely be a reason for me to pick up a book. When I saw Touch the Dark by Karen Chance (320 pgs, ROC, 2006), I knew I had to read it!! Chalk up another vampire novel for the RIP III Challenge!

I knew I was in trouble as soon as I saw the obituary. The fact that it had my name on it was sort of a clue. What I didn't know was how they'd found me, and who the guy was with the sense of humor. Antonio has never been much for comedy. I've never figured out if that had something to do with being dead, or if he's always been a morose son of a bitch.

From the opening paragraph you can tell it's going to be a wild ride!! Cassandra "Cassie" Palmer is on the run. She has been hiding for the last 3 years from Master Vampire Antonio. Cassie is a gifted clairvoyant, and was raised by Tony after her parents were killed. Not that Tony was being charitable. No, he used Cassie's abilities to make a lot of money for his vampire "mafia". But when Cassie found out that Tony was behind her parents' death, she took off. Now Tony has found her, and is intent on settling the score.

But Cassie has bigger trouble. Not only has Tony found her, but so has the Vampire Senate. In fact, they have been watching her for some time. Under cover of a runaway, her roommate Tomas, is a master vampire and she didn't even know it!! He was placed with her by the Senate to watch over her in case something bad went down. Now that it has, Tomas takes Cassie to the Senate HQ to meet with the Counsul. It seems they are also interested in her abilities.

A storm is a brewing. The vampire Rasputin has aligned himself with the Dark Circle, the dark mage. He has already taken out some of the members of the Vampire Senate and is trying to take it over. And for some reason, he wants Cassie. The Senate has offered her protection, but is she willing to pay the price for it??

That is just a quick synopsis of the beginning of this book. There are many layers to the story, and lots of history on the Vampire Senate, the pecking order in the vampire world, and the Dark and Silver Circles. In fact, it seems this book is just a stepping stone for others in the series.

Cassie is one tough cookie. She is a loner through and through. Tough, smart, and full of sass, she is an fantastic protagonist. Named after the 'Seer' Cassandra in Greek Mythology, Cassie indeed has the gift of sight. She also has the ability to commune with spirits, in particular one named Billy Joe - a card shark from the old West that lost his life cheating in a poker game.

One of the things I liked best about the story is the role that historical characters play. It seems that a lot of people in history are truly vampires. From Jack-the-Ripper (as creepy in death as he was in life) to Mircea, Vlad the Impaler's brother.

Packed full of adventure and tension, Touch the Dark is an excellent start for this series. One of these days maybe I'll learn to stop reading Book One's, because now I feel the need to keep on reading this series!! A real page-turner, this book is a great way to get a good fix if you need some paranormal fun!! 4.5/5


Ana S. said...

It's good to know I'm not the only one who never tires of vampire stories :P This really sounds like a winner!

Unknown said...

I love vampire books - I'll have to find this one!

butcept said...

I don't know if I'm a vampire story person, but I certainly have a vampire fascination (I'll have to add a blog post about growing up believing in these creatures)...but I do want to read Stephanie Meyer's Twilight series. Great review! I just wanted to say that I am a pretty shallow book chooser and covers grab my attention too! I love it when they actually turn out to be good!

Debi said...

Well, that opening paragraph certainly caught my attention, and then your review pretty much sealed the deal. Think this one has to be immediately added to the old wish list.

Jill said...

I'm glad you enjoyed this! I discovered this series last year and am now in that depressing limbo of waiting for new books to come, sigh. I know you'll enjoy the rest of these!

Anonymous said...

another one!

you know, of all the vampire books you've been reviewing this one has grabbed me the most! it seems really exciting. and i just love that bit about the obit!

John Mutford said...

All vampires all the time. So what's your 2nd favourite supernatural creature?

Unknown said...

I enjoyed this one nas well, but it isn't my favourite series around. I will continue with it as it ended on a real cliff hanger to see what happens next. I know what you mean about starting series, that is my goal next year to get up to date with as many as possible.

Melody said...

Thanks for the great review, Stephanie! I've this book in my pile and I can't wait to jump into it! :)