Saturday, 6 April 2013

Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective (Cassie Scot Book 1) - Christine Amsden

Title: Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective (Cassie Scot Book 1)
Author: Christine Amsden
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Published: 2013
Formats: Paperback/Ebook

Available at:
Amazon UK

When Christine Amsden first spoke to me about reviewing “Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective” she warned me that it might not be my cup of tea as the novel was a paranormal mystery novel with a hint of romance thrown in. However I decided to give it a go anyway as I loved her earlier novel, “The Immortality Virus” which I previously reviewed here and was willing to gamble that I would enjoy this one as well.

The story itself follows Cassie Scot, the oldest daughter in a family of powerful sorcerers. Unfortunately Cassie herself has no magical gift and has been forced to find a place for herself earning a regular living like everyone else. Alas, her attempt at becoming a private investigator is not working out as she planned with very little business coming her way. However, when the first real case hits her desk, she finds herself drawn into an investigation involving spells, potions and vampires that results in her finally having to decide if she truly wishes to live in either the magical or the more mundane world.

My first comment on the novel has to be that I really did enjoy the story and am now looking forward to the promised sequel. The mystery itself was entertaining to follow and whilst I did work out the “bad guy” before the official reveal it wasn't blatantly obvious and didn’t affect my appreciation for the story in any real way. In addition, there is an interesting overall mystery that has been begun in this novel regarding Cassie, her family and other members of the magical community that has me well and truly hooked.

The characters all seemed to have their own vivid personalities although I am not sure the reader learns much in depth about any of them beyond Cassie herself. In regards to Cassie, I found her to be engaging and fun to follow with her insecurities and issues really adding to the realistic feeling that surrounds her. I just have to assume and hope that the other characters will be developed in greater detail as the series progresses.

The only real issue I had with the story was in regards to Cassie’s romantic relationships. For example, Cassie and her boyfriend have an open relationship, but suddenly out of the blue he seems to be giving up his other women and is proposing marriage because he is now moving away. Now I don’t pretend to understand the psychology behind open relationships but this didn’t feel right to me unless I just happened to miss something in the narrative. In all likelihood I am probably being a little bit picky but I found it hard to take the romantic elements to the story that seriously.

The final thing I want to include in this review is a question to any of you read this blog; “Can you tell me the difference between Paranormal and Urban Fantasy novels?” The reason I ask is that personally I would classify this novel as being urban fantasy and not paranormal which is how Amsden herself described it to me. I mean, a magical world living alongside the regular world in a partially secret manner sounds like most of the urban fantasy novels I have read. I think I have only classified a few stories as paranormal and these usually involve psychics and ghosts rather than magic and vampires.

Overall, this was an enjoyable novel that kept me interesting and entertained as the mystery unfolded. I really wasn’t that sure about the romantic elements within the novel but this didn’t really affect the story in any perceivable manner. If you enjoy urban fantasy/paranormal novels with a hint of mystery and crime then you should give this book a try as I am sure you will find something to appreciate.

ps. I feel that I have leave a comment on the cover which I think looks superb. As someone who had the book prior to the release of the cover I can easily say that it was well worth the wait.