Why was this on my TBR pile? WHY!!! Apologies for any SHOUTING in this review and the overuse of the word love.
Well I seem to remember the first book finishing on something of a cliffhanger and I also have book 3 in my TBR pile so I was probably not wanting to get caught in the same cliffhanger twice. (Well different cliffhanger but same problem). Books like this are what TBR Wednesday is all about - finding that hidden gem you've somehow forgotten about.
I have to admit here to only having a vague memory of Book 1 when I started Claimed by Shadow, though having read Book 2 most of it has come back to me. I do remember having a problem with some infodumping in Touch the Dark (Bk1) and that Karen Chance is very good at writing first lines.
The first line situation is still the same
Any day that starts off in a demon-filled bar in a casino designed to look like Hell isn't likely to turn out well.But the info-dumping? Gone. Or at least become so much smoother and integrated into the plot that I didn't notice it. If Karen Chance wasn't already an author I knew, I would add her to my breakout author list for 2008. This book was that good. Even though I spent a fair bit of time confused about what the hell was going on, especially at the beginning. Mainly because Claimed by Shadow does not pick up smoothly from the end of Touch the Dark, as you may have gathered from the first line. However, I do think on a second read through things will gel together more, and I'm a big fan of books with high re-readability.
I can't really think of anything I didn't like about the book. (Except maybe another cliff hangery ending :(, but HAH! I have learnt my lesson on that score and Book 3 is ready on the TBR pile).
So quickly onto the things I loved.
PRITKIN! OMG I love Pritkin even more after this book. He and Cassie have such chemistry and mutual dislike and secret unspoken (probably never to be acted on) attraction.
I couldn't recall Pritkin ever believing anything I said; it kind of made me wonder why he bothered talking to me at all.Methinks they both protest too much. I love the way his temper explodes at inopportune moments and narks Cassie off. And he gets his shirt off and gets a tattoo in this book...
Mircea. Now I love me some vamps. And in any other story (that didn't feature Pritkin) Mircea would be far and away my favourite character. He has such a dark sensual presence, :sigh: if only I weren't such a Pritkin fan. I very much like that the relationship between Mircea and Cassie is an ongoing thing, rather than it being easily resolved.
There is a little Macbeth theme going on here as well. I love Shakespeare, so this appealed to me. I don't know how much of it was intentional and how much happy accident. But in a couple of places I picked out quotes from the play. They also visit a performace of Macbeth and the Graeae are referred to as the weird sisters. Makes me wish I was more familiar with the play, in case it was intentional.
The plot itself, starts with a bang and doesn't let go. This does mean that moments of internal reflection are few and far between. Some terrible things happen and Cassie doesn't really get a chance to process them, she just has to cope with each impending crisis as it looms. So this is something of a rollercoaster ride, leaving you frantically turning the pages wanting to know what happens next. But it works. Cassie is a character (not dissimilar to Kate Daniels) who things just happen to. She's almost like a magnet for bad karma.
The book is chock full of snappy banter and quotable dialogue. And though some characters only appear briefly they have a big impact on the storyline. Claimed by Shadow made me smile, made me teary and made me hungry for the next book. Highly recommended (I think Ilona Andrews fans would like this series, if they aren't reading it already).
Book 1 - Touch the Dark
Book 3 - Embrace the Night
Book 4 - Curse the Dawn (April 2009)
Arrggghhh April is too far away and I may crack and read Book 3 sooner than that.
But, looks like Karen Chance has a new series set in the same Universe.
Midnight's Daughter (Dorina Basarab #1) October 2008. :)