My thoughts on two books I’ve recently read:
Claimed by Shadow (Karen Chance) – Urban fantasy, sequel to “Touch the Dark”. I really liked the first book, so I grabbed this as soon as it came out. Note: Slight spoilers ahead for the first book.
Cassie Palmer’s a clairvoyant who, at the end of the first book, has become the Pythia, i.e. basically the head of all clairvoyants with an ability to travel back in time. The mages don’t want her to be Pythia, while the vampires (who brought her up) want to get her and her powers under their control.
This book picks up right where the first book “Touch the Dark” left off, and we’re plunged straight into the thick of the action. As in the first book, I liked the time-travel aspect, where small things Cassie (or anybody else) does while travelling to the past can have major impact on the present. Or can completely change history, so that the backstory’s different even though the present remains (seemingly) unchanged. There are hints of Laurell K Hamilton’s ardeur here, with a geis imposed on Cassie by a vampire that creates a strong attachment between the two of them. However, she does take control and circumvents it in her own fashion. Cassie’s a strong heroine, and has equally strong and fascinating male characters to play off.
I wouldn’t read this without having read the first book, and the plot gets overly complicated at times, but this was still a good fast-moving read. I love this world and its characters. B+ for me, and I’m looking forward to the next book in this series.
The Cater Street Hangman (Anne Perry) – Victorian-era mystery, with a murderer roaming the streets and picking off young females seemingly at random. First in her Thomas Pitt series – I picked this up because I’d been hearing good things about her mystery books, and I was keen to read a book set in Victorian times.
I’m slightly anal about having to start with the first book in a series, and this time around, it might not have been the best option. This was written back in 1979, so right back at the beginning of Ms Perry’s writing career. I thought the POV shifted a lot – at times, I was completely lost as to whose perspective we were seeing, probably because I didn’t think any of the characters had distinct enough voices, and some of the names were too similar (Charlotte v. Caroline – one’s the mother and one’s the daughter). The mystery wasn’t much of a mystery, and if I say that, it means it’s blindingly obvious, because I’m not great at seeing clues! A C for me.
Coincidentally, Rosario reviewed a couple of Anne Perry books and really liked them – she said they do get much better later on and suggested that I look at the William Monk series instead. I’ll keep an eye out for them.