Genre: urban fantasy
Cover: I love it.
Cassandra Palmer can see the future and communicate with spirits-talents that make her attractive to the dead and the undead. The ghosts of the dead aren't usually dangerous; they just like to talk...a lot.
The undead are another matter.
Like any sensible girl, Cassie tries to avoid vampires. But when the bloodsucking Mafioso she escaped three years ago finds Cassie again with vengeance on his 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...
When Tony, a mobster vampire, found out that one of his human servants had sired a child that is clairvoyant, he demanded her handed over. When his servant ran away, he had him and his wife killed in a car accident, and the child brought to him. Just like that. Cassie grew up at a vampire court, where cruelty is a daily show. She never knew another life, and is well versed in vampire politics and life. Tony was a third rank master, with the older Mircea as his master in turn. Mircea has taken a liking to young Cassie, and wants her for himself, but thinks to better protect her to leave her at Tony’s.
When Cassie finally found out, that Tony had her parents killed, she ran away successfully. Only to return a few years later, to have a chance at shutting him down with the help of the human law, she needed evidence she could only get from the inside. She was successful in that as well, and ran away again, only Tony eluded the FBI and is now searching for her, with a vengeance. For years Cassie has been on the run, working odd jobs, and staying out of sight. But now she has been found, and it seems that multiple parties are after her. Her best friend Tomas, whom she though a normal human boy, is a vampire master himself, under orders from the council to protect her. But Cassie feels betrayed when he brings her back to vampire headquarters. A lot of people are interested in her, and that can only be trouble. She will be protected, as long as they can use her, and Cassie doesn’t want to be used anymore.
Her gifts have been escalating, and she has no idea how to control them. Bit by bit she learns little details about herself, her heritage, her parents. At the vampire Senate, some of the most powerful vampires await her, wanting to use her, as a human is nothing to them. There is also a Warrior Mage of the Silver Circle, wanting to claim her because she is human and clairvoyant, and thus belongs to them instead. But of course a vampire keeps what is his, or kills it, if it is no longer useful. Giving up Cassie is out of the question. Enemies are near, Rasputin is challenging the Consul, and other Senators have been murdered or are near death. He has with him an army of Dark Mages, weres, and unregistered master vampires. Cassie is not sure whom she can trust, but the danger you know is better than the one you don’t and Pritkin, the war mage, doesn’t really seem to like her. He keeps accusing her being things she doesn’t know, she is just Cassie, and can see ghosts and the past, present and future. Vampires cannot see ghosts, so Cassie has been able to hide her ghostly helper from them. And his help sure keeps coming in handy, spying on them, finding out what is happening, and even fetching things for her. But the mage can see Billy Joe, and sees it only as another sign of her darkness, being able to enslave a ghost to do her bidding.
I really enjoyed reading this book, Cassie is not a whiny heroine, she doesn’t wait around to be rescued, she just goes. And not to flee, but to get revenge when she finds out her parents killer is around. She needs to know the truth about what happened to them. To who she really is, and if they won’t tell her, fine, she will get the answers herself, with the help of Billy Joe. She is a very realistic person, trying to make the best of things when she knows there is no other option open. Nothing upsets her, she has seen so much violence as a child, it is just part of her life. But don’t think she likes it!
I really liked Mircea as well, who tried to be as gentle as is possible for a master vampire with Cassie, but why he just can’t tell her the truth of things, well. I suppose that is the vampire way, they don’t explain themselves to humans/human servants. And Cassie is just that. Since she belongs to Tony, and everything that belongs to Tony belongs to Mircea she is his to keep and to protect, or to punish.
I liked the world building a lot, vampires weres and mages, good and bad. Looking forward to the next books, and more back ground on it all. This is a good book in a promising series. I like Karen Chance’s writing style, the sarcasm and humor, the action, the original story lines and her characters. Or, I just like it all, and nothing disturbed me or bothered me.
© 2012 Reviews by Aurian