Thursday, January 21, 2010

Touch the Dark by Karen Chance

Touch the Dark (Cassandra Palmer, #1) Touch the Dark by Karen Chance

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
This is a really hard book to rate. It's very good, but at the same time, I had some serious issues reading it. Let's talk about some of my issues first (get the bad news out of the way first):

1. It seemed very cramped. What I mean by this is, action scene would flow into action scene. It was hard to keep up and catch my breath. I needed a departure between these to get my bearings.
2. I really think that there needed to be more dialogue. It would have flowed better. The narrative style was too explanatory, instead of using dialogue and character action to show what was going on. I think she really needed to use, 'she said' and 'he said' more, because I got lost trying to figure out who was talking.
3. I often felt confused because of scenes changing somewhat abruptly. That made it hard to keep up.
4. Some of the Senate political discussions were a little dry at times.

Good things:

1. This story felt unique and different. I have read quite a bit of urban fantasy, and this didn't seem like a rehash to me. It's a very good idea, having the heroine be such a powerful seer. In general, I'm not fond of the heroine being the focus of desire of all the men in a book. But I liked how Karen Chance textured this book so that the motivations were more rich, instead of it just being about sexual attraction or admiration. I definitely have to give her credit. It's my hope that it doesn't become a sexual free-for-all like another series I once enjoyed but kicked to the curb.
2. The action was fantastic. There were a lot of high octane moments where the characters had to fight for their lives. I love good action, and Ms. Chance didn't pull her punches. This book really had a cinematic feel that I never fail to find appealing in a good urban fantasy novel. There was a lot of violence, but this is a violent world. It fit very well with the storyline.
3.I loved Ms. Chance's different use of magic in this story--it really caught my interest. I like how the vampires, war mages, seers, and were all come together to make this book so rich.
4.The main characters have engrossed me, so that I want to keep reading. I'd like to see where things go with Mircea in his pursuit of Cassie. What's the deal with Pritkin? Why is he so intense? are questions I want to keep reading to get answers to. Louis-Cesare, quite an enigma. The men are attractive, but they are more than eye candy. Each one is different with distinct elements to his personality. More please. Lastly, Cassie. She's young and somewhat clueless in this story. But she has some emotional strength that makes her a good protagonist. She's not a Mary Sue, but a character I want to follow to see how she evolves over time.

Definitely, this book has some downpoints that made it hard to read. Yet, I wanted to keep reading, even though I had to keep putting it down and taking breaks. I wasn't disappointed with Karen Chance's first effort. On the contrary, I was impressed. This book is something unique and establishes her place in the world of urban fantasy. Bring on more Cassie Palmer adventures!

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Abigail said...

Yep. My thoughts exactly. I wished that there had been a little less plot. There was more than enough going on here for several books.

Danielle said...

I hope the next books will be better paced.