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CompleteMartialArts.com - Touch the Dark (Cassandra Palmer Series, Book 1)

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Manufacturer: Roc
Average Customer Rating: Average rating of 4.0/5Average rating of 4.0/5Average rating of 4.0/5Average rating of 4.0/5Average rating of 4.0/5

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Binding: Paperback
Dewey Decimal Number: 813
EAN: 9780451460936
ISBN: 0451460936
Label: Roc
Manufacturer: Roc
Number Of Items: 1
Number Of Pages: 320
Publication Date: 2006-06-06
Publisher: Roc
Studio: Roc

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Editorial Reviews:

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.

Spotlight customer reviews:

Customer Rating: Average rating of 2/5Average rating of 2/5Average rating of 2/5Average rating of 2/5Average rating of 2/5
Summary: Frustrating
Comment: Unfortunately, I was unable to enjoy this book even though I tried to due to the good reviews. I felt that the storyline was not smooth enough to make it an easy and enjoyable read. It felt like I was reading two incomplete books that were forced together. The plot needed to be flushed out. I found myself mostly skimming the book. The details grew to be annoying and felt like nonsequitors after a while.

How did Cassie Palmer go from seeing spirits and having visions to become almost omnipotent? Yes, I know from the ending of the book what caused this but it happened without any transition.

I felt that there was entirely too much dialogue and not enough action. They stayed in one room and talked to death. Also, when there was action it was done over and over again such as the possession of another character's body and the shifting of time. These are important details but they should not be the whole plot. There was not much momentum after the action of Cassie running out of the office and running into the bar to fight the vamps.

I found it hard to relate to Cassie and therefore making it a more tedious read due to the fact that she seemed so non-human. Yes, she is a supernatural being to a certain extent but she did have feelings. I wish that she expressed her feelings more other than just her parents dying that I could relate to. She did not seem too fearful of her situation when she was captured by the Senate. Why not? Growing up surrounded by vamps could be terrifying. I did like the sexual tension between characters which did add a human touch as well as a realistic one since they are supposed to be very handsome vampires.

I wish that I did not waste my time reading this book. I felt that there should have been some progression between seer and Cassie's new found powers. This could have been a better book had it been done in two books with complete plots. I feel that I walked into the middle of the book and was suddenly thrown into a room of characters that I did not know.

I am glad that I was able to take this book out of the library rather than pay for it. There are many more books with similar themes that are more enjoyable. This book for some reason reminds me of the Anita Blake series written by Laurell K. Hamilton.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: Great Urban Fantasy
Comment: I had looked at this book several times and hesitated to buy it. But I was buying several and needed one to get one free so I ordered it. It is one of the best urban fantasy novels I have read in a while. Everyone seems to be writing them but only a few do it well. I liked this one so much I ordered the other two and pre-ordered the next one.

Cassie Palmer has lived her whole life until 14 with a vampire mobster. She is a clairvoyant and he used her predictions to make money. She also can see ghosts and talks to them. Her mother and father were killed in a car bomb. Tony has raised her and when she finds out he has not warned the people of a major fire that she predicted, she realizes he has lied to her and used her. She very quickly disappears for three yrs. Then deciding to take Tony down she returns to him and sets him up for the FBI. Now at 20 she lives on the run and takes care of herself.

Tomas is a young man she saves off the street. She allows him to live with her and she gets him a job where she works. When she is finally found by Tony she takes the time to warn him. That allows the vamps sent by Tony to catch up with her. And reveals Tomas as a master vamp who has been sent by the Vampire Senate to protect her.

Mircea is the brother of Vlad Dracul and the maker of Tony, so he knows Cass and he is the one who sent Tomas. He and the Senate have a job for Cass and both want to use her powers.

In the last few days Cass's powers have increased and she doesn't know why. But if she can help the Senate maybe they can take care of Tony.

I loved it. If you like urban fantasy this is a must read.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: Keep reading!!
Comment: This book is an uneven start to a truly awesome series. As many reviewers have said, the pacing in this book is jarring - action scenes interrupted by too much explanation. But Chance takes care of that in the next book (Claimed by Shadows) and in Embrace the Night - WOW! The next two books are so good, keep slogging through this one and it will be worth it. I would have given this book on its own 3 stars, but have given it 5 because the next books in the series are so good.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: Weird, wild wonderful book
Comment: This wasn't like anything I've read in the genre before, and starts a truly original series. It's hard to describe because there isn't anything else like it out there: it has some romance, but it isn't a paranormal romance book. The romance in this and the two sequels drives the plot but isn't the plot itself. It has some humor, but isn't remotely chick lit. In a tongue firmly in cheek sort of way, it plays with stereotypes, but never manages to be one. It has elements of mystery, thriller, and even horror, and somehow manages to make them all work together. I'm not sure how to describe it, but I know I really liked Touch the Dark and am very glad I found this series.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 2/5Average rating of 2/5Average rating of 2/5Average rating of 2/5Average rating of 2/5
Summary: Too many characters, not enough dialogue.
Comment: (Originally, this review was accidentally posted under Book 3 of the Cassandra Palmer series...)

This is the first story I've ever bought that I stopped reading part-way through (other than the Anita Blake crap...but those don't actually count as "stories", do they?). I think I was expecting more after author Karen Chance's "Buying Trouble".

After the 9th or 10th chapter, I had absolutely zero interest in the story, the characters or the scenario. The entire plot seems focused on elaborate explanations of (seemingly) every single element of the story.

Written in first person, Cassandra Palmer has an ongoing internal dialogue (similar to Anita Blake, but less whiny). Unfortunately, even some of THOSE dialogues become exuberant, boring explanations.

POSITIVE: This story has a plethora of "preternatural" characters (vampires, werewolves, ghosts, fairies, witches, etc.), and so should be of interest to folks like me who appreciate those elements. NEGATIVE: This story has various kinds of "preternatural" characters, and the sheer volume makes it difficult to care or even focus on any of them.

POSITIVE: Author Karen Chance does well when describing the environments and settings. (There's a scene involving a large stone slab and members of the Senate that demonstrates Chance's skill.) NEGATIVE: Almost everything feels like an explanation. I found myself ignoring the long tirades and explanations and flipping through pages and pages of text just to get to the point when someone spoke back.

Hopefully, this helps you decide if this series is worth your time and money. Again, I only got through the first half or so - perhaps you're willing to invest a little more patience.

For me, my time and energy won over the frustration of wanting so desperately to like these characters.

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