Cassie Scot is the ungifted daughter of powerful sorcerers, born between worlds but belonging to neither. At 21, all she wants is to find a place for herself, but earning a living as a private investigator in the shadow of her family's reputation isn't easy. When she is pulled into a paranormal investigation, and tempted by a powerful and handsome sorcerer, she will have to decide where she truly belongs.
When sorcerers call the shots, what's a girl without powers to do? Get ready for a ripper of a murder mystery full of romance and intrigue, where magic potions bubble, passions spark and vampires are definitely not your friend. Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective grabs you by the heart and won't let go.
©2013 Christine Amsden (P)2013 Christine Amsden
"In this entertaining series opener, Amsden (The Immortality Virus) introduces readers to the eponymous Cassie, a decidedly mundane member of a magical family...Listeners will enjoy Cassie's fish-out-of-water struggles as she fights magical threats with little more than experience and bravado." (Publisher's Weekly)
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"excellent new series (hopefully!)"
These days, I rarely buy a new book without reading others' reviews. I had hopes for the book after reading the reviews and I must say, I wasn't disappointed.
The story is simple, yet woven with undercurrents of complexity. The pace is fast, but not a 'race'. The characters are a mix of dark, gritty and normal folks.
The main characters are truly well developed (some comments about Cassie made me think she might come across as a blithering temperamental young adult) and instead, are true to their nature /age /disposition.
I honestly can't wait to get my hands on the sequel and might even go ahead and buy it in paperback format if audible doesn't have it in time!
High praise for both author and narrator, who made the experience quite enjoyable.
"This book hooked me from the beginning!"
Yes, I would, since I felt sad that it was over last night when I finished listening. Actually, I was almost "mad" when it ended - I wanted more, which is the sign of a brilliant writer and good plotting. Ms. Amsden is a superb writer. It's not easy for many young writers to get past the novice stage of overwriting, or distracted writing, or too much embellishment, repetition, or dropping tension - but this new writer is already on the top of her game, right out of the starting gate. She is a natural storyteller, and she writes with such fluid simplicity that the words seamlessly tell the story in a natural, suspenseful fashion. I'm very impressed with her style.
I've never read many books in this genre. Well, actually, this is my first. But I'd say that although it's marketed as YA, the appeal is very broad and many adults will become hooked on the series, not unlike the Harry Potter books.
I really loved Melissa's dialog interpretations and her varied voices between men and women. Nicely done!. She sounded natural and enthusiastic, and showed great emotion when appropriate. I felt she was totally engaged in the story, and that was exciting to hear.
Yes! I kept getting mad at Cassie for her very "young," reactions to her world and relationships (not surprising for her character age) such as family and boyfriends. She assumed a lot, which sent her reeling off in wrong directions (often in her own mind). But the natural misinterpretations on her part were well told and absolutely believable, reminding me of real world people I know who do the same.
I laughed a lot - although this book has some pretty tense and scary scenes (being bitten multiple by a villainous vampire was pretty graphically described, and most frightening!), it also had a nice, light, cheeky sense of humor that I adored.
So many questions remain. I've heard there's a series and a sequel coming up soon, called Secrets and Lies.
Can't wait to find out why Cassie's parents disowned her - what was that all about? It had to be to protect her or their other children.
What is it about Evan they are so afraid of? There's something really big here, but we still don't know what it is.
Why is Cassie so intuitive, and is that really her "gift?" She showed that intuition all through the book, although she didn't recognize it in herself.
Why doesn't she react like most girls to men who obvious love her? (I kind of liked that part, having raised 3 teenage daughters who were NOT like that, LOL)
Will she be able to overcome her feelings of inadequacy in order to grow into a more confident woman in the future?
Will she resolve things with her family?
Will she marry Evan and have super special babies with powers?
I also want to know if Christine Amsden came from a large family like that of Cassie Scot. She described it so well. ;o)
Thanks, Ms. Amsden, for a great listen!
"Great paranormal mystery"
Amsden, Christine, Cassie Scot: Paranormal Detective. 8:27 hrs. Audible Download, 2013.
Daughter of two powerful sorcerers, powerless Cassie Scot is a disappointment to her family and doesn’t feel like she fits in. When a vampire starts killing other magical practitioners, Cassie enlists the help of local, powerful sorcerer and cousin of one of the victims, Evan Blackwood to solve the case. As she investigates, however, her friend, Angie becomes the next target. When she and Evan take on the friend’s vampiric boyfriend on their own, however, the stakes heat up and now the mysterious vampire is out to get her. To make matters worse, her mom is pregnant again and her and her father think that their only ideal magical protection is to disown Cassie. Fortunately, her cousin, Jason, and her brother, Nicholas aren’t about to leave her in the dark. Without a magical protector, however, Cassie’s life is more in danger than ever. Can Cassie solve the crime without becoming vampire chow? Will she ever be able to repair her relationship with her family after her parents’ betrayal?
The characters in this book are entertaining and well-developed. Although, the readers will probably want to strangle her parents for their stupidity, the family dynamic for most of the book is engaging and easily draws the reader into Cassie’s world. The plot is well-paced, engaging, and well-developed. The love triangle between Cassie, Braden, and Evan is masterfully done, but the reader will feel left unsatisfied with the ending. Fortunately, there is a sequel which will leave plenty of chance for this triangle to run its course. Readers who like paranormal mystery with a little bit of romance will enjoy reading this book.
"Awesome Urban Fantasy"
This is a really fantastic story, think cozy mystery meets urban fantasy. Really awesome from beginning to end!!! The story flowed and never had any dull moments. The mystery was just tough enough to keep you guessing right along with Cassie!
Cassie is really well written and not super angsty. She has just the right amount of attitude and spunk for a girl just coming into her own. Twenty one is a tough age, you are considered an adult but still feeling your way in life choices. She has the additional troubles of being part of a very powerful magical family and not having powers herself. Although, there are hints that everything may not be as cut and dry as they seem.
I really liked Evan and am totally routing for him!!! While most of the book is written in Cassie's POV, there is an Epilogue that is all Evan. It really made me see the real guy behind all that power and bluster.
The steamiest you get here is a scorching hot kiss. But there is hope for the next booking getting hotter!
There are also many supporting characters that round out the quirky cast. Cassie straddles the line between Paranormal and average gal, and her friends and family reflect that situation.
I listened to the audio book, the narrator Melissa Reizian Frank is terrific!!! She had great voices and characterization a that were easy to identify. She drew you more into the story and had you by the heart at emotional moments! I am definitely putting her on my listen list!!
Can't wait for the next book! There are a few issues still to resolve and I am really eager to see if I am right about Cassie!!! I am easily addicted here!!
*Discosure- I was given a copy of this book for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
"Some I liked, some I didn't."
I enjoyed this story. There were many interesting characters with a lot of potential for future interesting stories. Cassie is young but she isn't stupid like some heroines in other books I've listened to.
I liked Evan the best other than Cassie.
The narrator's voice was much too deep and mature for a young lady. Her acting ability was poor at times and I found this distracting.
No extreme reactions to the book.
I would purchase the second book in the series as long as there was a different narrator. I would not purchase it if they used the same person.
"Wonderful New Look on Magic"
This book was exciting, emotional, full of action. I really do hope we get another book in this series soon. I think the relationship between Ethan and Cassie will be exciting to watch as well see if it works out. I like to see where it goes with her family.
"The book wasn't written for me; you might like it."
I have not read many urban fantasies, and so my pool to judge from is small and unfortunately for Christine Amsden very skilled. The last urban fantasy I read was Magic Street by Orson Scott Card. He is a master of fiction in Fantasy and Sci-Fi and so I feel it is a little unfair to compare her against him. So I will endeavor not to.
This book seems to be written for young adult. I am not a young adult, and so I am likely not its intended audience. So when I say I feel this book had too much exposition, I may be the one at fault. I just found it difficult to be told something, and then be shown it or vice versa. I also felt there were a few times where something was only told, but I would have rather experienced it. The start of the story did not immediately grab my attention (though I suppose it is a fine balancing act having a story start in a way that grips you without being over the top.)
This is the first book in a series so it may be Christine's first ever, and if so I should show some grace in writing decisions, but I found it frustrating that I didn't know how old the main character was until quite a ways in the book (I may have missed it towards the beginning). It was hard knowing how to relate to the character in relation to her family without age.
As a conservative, some of the content was also not appreciated. Relationships are approached from a liberal mindset that I believe is ultimately harmful to those involved. Magic in the book is tied with symbols associated with the occult, which I associate with Satanic practices. I believe magic can be presented in our world in a way that does not lead individuals to dabble in practices that may involve evil beings.
If you're not a conservative and you're a young adult, you may like this book. If you, like me, found the beginning slow, give it some time. The ending is better than the beginning. In fact, the end did catch my interest enough that I did debate on buying the next book in the series.
Melissa Reizian Frank may be new to reading books, or she is sloppy. There were multiple places in the book where it was clear she had started a new recording due to changes in the ambient background noise and/or change in volume. I also found it difficult associating her mature, confident voice with Cassie. I didn't think she represented the characters in a diverse way, but again here I am comparing her with Michael Kramer and Kate Reading (Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson). These two are seasoned voice actors who do an amazing job of creating uniquely cadenced and pitched voices for each character.
As my headline reads, this book wasn't written for me. I still found it to be acceptable, and I have a passing interest in listening to the next. Don't let my review stop you from giving Cassie Scott a shot. I promise there are some great scenes in this book that you will enjoy.
"if i could give it no stars, i would"
someone into torturing others by making them listen to bad writing
everything, the idea for the story may have been interesting but the execution was awful and the story fell flat. This writer needs more practice. Should have written the book, set it aside for a few years and revised it cold, after they had taken some writing classes and practiced writing short stories and articles for magazines first.
the performance was fine
can I get my money back?
"Fun new take on paranormal"
The audio version was well done, the narrator did a great job.
The story was unique, a well written mystery. The characters were well developed and likable. I totally enjoyed this book! Can't wait for the next book in the series!
"Not an exceptionally good book"
This review refers to the first 4 books in the series which I have read so far. As a whole these books are fun easy to read or listen to, the writing is fluent and the plot is very simple and and entertaining, portraying the story of Cassie Scot a young (normal) female detective existing in a world of magic.
However since there is very little detective work or any real mysteries in these books, I’m not really sure how they ended up in the “Mysteries & Thrillers” category, if anything this series is more of a supernatural fantasy style book, and in reality it really is a romance novel (minus the sex parts). Still the world in which the plot unfolds is a world of sorcery, with powerful families of sorceress and a whole new spin on the world of magic.
Yet while I have for the most part been enjoying this series, the one thing that really bothered me is the lake of strong female characters, even in worlds of utter inequality some authors have managed to create very strong women, in this world however most women are depict as weak, either inherently so or made to be by circumstances. In a world where magic makes you strong and the more magic you have the more powerful you are, the only 2 women that are given any strength of character (Cassie and an old seer) are completely devoid of any magic, and there for of any real power.
Will I continue to listen to more books in this series, honestly I’m not sure, on the one hand I like to finish what I’ve started (if only to know how it ends), on the other hand there are large parts of dialogs which just frustrate me to where I just want to turn it off.
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