Cassandra Palmer #2
by Karen Chance
Published on April 3, 2007 by Roc
Genres: Adult, Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
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Clairvoyant Cassie Palmer has inherited new magical powers-including the ability to travel through time. But it's a whole lot of responsibility she'd rather not have. Now she's the most popular girl in town, as an assortment of vamps, fey, and mages try to convince, force, or seduce her—and her magic—over to their side. But one particular master vampire didn't ask what Cassie wanted before putting a claim on her. He had a spell cast that binds her to him, and now she doesn't know if what she feels for him is real—or imagined…
Claimed by Shadow starts right after book one with Cassie fighting her newly inherited Pythia powers while trying to avoid dying at the hands of the magical community, all of which are more than eager to get their hands on a little extra magic mojo. After escaping the “all-powerful” senate (with a few…special objects in hand), Cassie begins planning to try and find her former vampire family. Specifically, she wants to find Tony who could be the key to locating her father. Her actions push her into a stronger alliance with battle mage Pritkin and lead to a waltz through Faerie.Through all of this, Cassie discovers Mircea, possessive jerk that he can be, put a geis on her. Read the book for the details but lets just say it made Cassie and Mircea a tad…hornier than usual, getting in the way of their goals. All that sexual frustration would get on anyone’s nerves.
The question is: was Claimed by Shadow better than book 1, Touch the Dark?
Thank goodness, the answer is yes. This sequel, while still holding some of the problems present in book 1, certainly improved. The plot moved swiftly and smoothly, and Chance developed the characters to something more than 2D. The confusion prevalent in Touch the Dark lessened to the point of (almost) nonexistence. I’d say the thing to keep in mind with these books is they’re light, they’re fun, and if you go in expecting an extravagant tale of the paranormal variety, you’ll be disappointed. At times, Chance spins the ridiculous; other times, you get vast chunks of info dumps. But as a whole, the Cassie Palmer books are light and fun.
My biggest comment is on the characters. Cassie gains a personality! She is no longer simply the cookie cutout supernatural badass saturating the paranormal romance/urban fantasy genres. In fact, Cassie isn’t that strong. She still refuses to accept her Pythia powers and is reliant on her allies to protect her. Cassie, however, is probably one of my least favorite characters in these books. Mircea steals scenes with his dominating personality, while Pritkin…well, I’m Team Pritkin all the way. He caught my eye in Touch the Dark where Chance gives us a taste of the battle mage, but he really comes to life in Claimed by Shadow. While most novels present a definite choice of love interests for the heroine (usually no more than 1 or 2), you can never be sure with these books. Will she be with Mircea? Or maybe Pritkin? Or Tomas? It keeps you on your toes.
So…should you read this series? Yes (they do get better). Claimed by Shadow offers an action-packed paranormal adventure with plenty of romance and fight scenes to satisfy any reader. Don’t let the first book stop you from picking up book 2, or the rest of the series.
I’m looking forward to Cassie’s future adventures. And Pritkin.