Touch The Dark
Published 2006 307 pages
Cassandra Palmer is a clairvoyant. She can see visions of the future as well as communicate with the spirits of the dead. These unusual gifts make her make her attractive to both the dead and the undead. Ghosts recognise that Cassandra is one of the rare people who can actually see them so they love to talk to her and all in all they are fairly harmless (even if talking to ghosts no one else can see quickly can get you the reputation of being a bit odd!)
However undead vampires are not so harmless. Ever since she was a child Cassie had been forced to work for Tony, a ruthless vampire Mafioso. She managed to escape from him three years ago but has been on the run ever since. When he finds her and sends his vampire thugs to kill her she is forced to turn to the Vampire senate for protection.
Raised by vampires from childhood she knows that vampires are not motivated to act out of kindness. They will definitely want something in return but what will it be and is it something that she is willing to give?
While she is meeting with the senate, a rogue vampire launches an assignation attempt on the senate’s members and it becomes clear to Cassie that the vampires have problems of their own.
In fact the whole magical world is on the brink of war with itself due to the Pythia (a powerful seer and the Guardian of Time) being on her deathbed and the official heir to her powers being mysteriously missing. Every faction of magical being, light or dark, appears to be jostling for position at this time of upheaval and every one wants control of the Pythia and her powers.
As Cassie starts to have powerful visions of the past, it becomes apparent that her powers are changing. As one of the heirs to the Pythia she seems to be acquiring her new skills as power leaches out of the old Pythia. Cassie has enough knowledge of vampire ways to know that if she was attractive to them as a clairvoyant, as a potential Pythia they will never let her go….
This book was a pleasure to read. The story is exciting and fast paced with as many twists and turns as a rollercoaster. The story is totally original and the twists and turns in it were a complete surprise to me (and it’s not often I say that because I read a lot of books and usually I am pretty good at guessing what is going to happen in a story.)
This story is set in a modern day America where supernatural creatures exist along side humans who are mostly unaware of there existence. There are plenty of mythical creatures in this story, a pixie, witches, a war mage, assorted were animals and lots of ghosts as well as vampires. The vampires are every thing that I personally enjoy in a vampire character; sexy, dangerous, untrustworthy, capable of gruesome acts of violence yet strangely attractive….
There is quite a lot a back story in this novel to set up the readers understanding of Cassie’s world, but there is a lot to explain so it is entirely understandable that it would take some time to fill the reader in. Mostly the back story is handled very well and you hardly notice it’s there before the narrative takes you on to the next exciting scene in the book. Yes, there are a couple of complicated plot twists that will require you to pay attention to what you are reading but the mystery is unravelled for you in the last couple of chapters where everything will become clear if your attention did lapse along the way!
The story is written in first person from Cassie’s perspective and she is a thoroughly likeable character. She reacts like a normal person would, she is full of self doubt even as she acquires new powers and doesn’t want to be the Pythia (even doing her best to avoid being eligible) because she knows that she will never be free if she becomes the Pythia.
My only gripe about this book would be that the story ended a little abruptly and was left open ended (although it wrapped up this part of the story the reader is still left with a huge amount of unanswered questions about Cassie) but I think that I’m only griping about it because I was enjoying reading the book so much. On a positive note, the author has a sequel to this story planned for release in April 2007, so there isn’t really much to complain about!
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fantasy fiction with an adult edge and the scary/sexy vampires make this book a must for anyone who loves vampire fiction.
LoveVampires Review Rating: