Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective by Christine Amsden (Audioboook Review)
I guess it gets harder and harder for authors to come up with original paranormal fantasy stories as the genre becomes more saturated. Yet somehow, Christine Amsden manages to whip up an interesting magical fantasy world that combines the already well established tropes in an unusual and appealing way. Powerful magical families struggling for power, vampires hiding in plain sight and wrecking havoc in an otherwise relatively (para)normal town and amidst of it all – Cassie Scot, the ingifted sorcerers’ daughter trying to figure out life without her parents hanging over her shoulder.
I liked the world-building – it was low-key and yet providing enough information so I could imagine everything vividly. Not that there’s a lot to imagine since the setting is pretty ‘real’ and urban but still. I generally didn’t have any issues with the characters. Some of them were a little bit cookie-cutter-y but they served their purpose alright. Cassie Scot is a pretty relatable character if you’re in your twenties and seems believable throughout the novel.
I liked the concept of magical debt. For example, if someone uses magic to help you, you’re magically bound to them and they have control over you in various degree depending on the type of magic used and the amount of help involved.
Then we have vampires. They’re pretty boring at this point, aren’t they. I appreciated the effort of the author to make them more interesting and the end result was quite good as they serve a major part in the story. These are the type of vampires that are fast, smart, deadly and almost impossible to kill. Oh, and by the way there’s been a vampire murder which Cassie who doesn’t even have any magical abilities has to investigate. Exactly the type of work she’s been trying to escape from because of her family name.
Of course to make things even more interesting there’s the mysterious, charming, powerful and wealthy sorcerer that’s the love interest for our young detective. I personally found him to be cold and creepy most of the time especially towards the end where the creep-o-meter was of the charts. He is of the rival magical family that the Scots don’t like very much and Cassie isn’t supposed to be seen with him, so naturally uses his help in the investigation. What could go wrong?
The pacing was a little bit on the slow side for me. I felt like most of the time very little was happening which was somewhat negated by the good dialogue and nice action sequences when they happened. On several occasions I thought that things should be happening faster since this is a 8-hour long audiobook but that might be just me.
The narration I liked a lot – Melissa Reizian Frank is such a pleasure to listen to. However, I’m not sure her voice was the best fit for this audiobook since the heroine is young and the narration makes her sound more mature than she is.
Overall, Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective is an OK young adult/urban fantasy audiobook with good narration but it just failed to excite or suprise me. Taking into account I’m probably not the target demographic this shouldn’t stop you from listening to it. It’s one of the better series for young readers these days.
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