Sunday, August 10, 2008

“Touch of Darkness” by C.T. Adams & Cathy Clamp



It’s good advice—and Kate always thought she did. But everything has changed: there’s a new force at the head of the Thrall collective. A force brilliant enough and ruthless enough to hide its sinister plan behind humanitarian work—building and funding halfway houses to ease the victims of drugs and the Thrall back into society.

And then Kate discovers that another part of the plan is rescinding the rules of fair play by which the Thrall have always dealt with humans. Kate is no longer Not Prey. Now she is just like everyone else: Prey.

Uncovering the plot is a start, but stopping it is another thing entirely. Kate must not only call on all of her own resources, but all of those that belong to her werewolf boyfriend Tom. But the Thrall collective has a brand new way of getting to Kate: a very personal series of attacks designed to tear her from Tom. Kate has to decide: save her relationship with Tom, or save the future from the Thrall?
This is the final volume in the Thrall trilogy following Touch of Evil (2006) and Touch of Madness (2007). I’ve been hooked since the first volume. Kate is one of my favourite characters amongst the legion of empowered paranormal heroines in numerous series. Unlike other heroines, it’s not her job to fight demons, vampires or other supernatural critters, but she does when circumstances don’t permit any other options.

The Thrall are a fascinating conception, while superficially like vampires, they are actually a hive-mind parasite. They have become the good guys in the eyes of the public and Kate in opposing them is viewed unsympathetically. The only other supernatural creatures in this world the authors have created are the werewolves who are the enemies of the Thrall.

Kate’s apartment building is demolished; her wedding postponed and in jeopardy and her life is coming apart, when she learns the full extent of the threat against her from an old Thrall enemy who in true ultimate evil fashions tells her –
“I will destroy everything and everyone who matters to you as completely as I destroyed the building. I have stripped you of your home and your belongings: next it will be your friends, your family, and your relationship with him. I will destroy your life while you watch helplessly. And when it is over and you have absolutely nothing, then I will take your life.”
Plenty of plot twists and turns keep you guessing whether Kate will survive the forces aligned against her. Her friends and allies rally and there are numerous confrontations and excellent action sequences. This backdrop is used effectively to explore through adversity the growing and maturing relationship between Kate and Tom. After all at heart this is still a romance. Yes there is a HEA. Touch of Darkness is a great read and satisfying conclusion to an excellent paranormal romance series. Best read in order, so pick up the earlier volumes.

Read an excerpt from Chapter 1 and Chapter 2.


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