Courtesy of CK2S Kwips and Kritiques
Touch of Madness erupts with excitement from the very first paragraph and doesn't let up until the exciting conclusion.
Kate Reilly has had some pretty bad days, but life is about to get even worse. Still reeling from her last battle with the Thrall, parasitic vampire hives who tried to make her their Queen, now she is forced to deal with them again. When a meeting about a scientific experiment involving the Thrall hatchlings and a few Not Prey (explained in Touch of Evil) humans goes horribly awry, Kate finds herself on the witness stand, accused of murder and destruction of hospital property.
As if that wasn't bad enough, the Thrall want Kate to track down their stolen eggs before they die. Forced into a corner, Kate takes the case and finds herself facing an even more dangerous enemy. To top it off, her werewolf boyfriend Tom's pack will do anything necessary to split them up so Tom can fulfill his duty to help the pack grow. Still more is about to confront Kate as she makes some shocking discoveries about just what she can do with her psychic abilities. Can her life get any worse?
CT Adams and Cathy Clamp excel at world building and Touch of Madness is proof of this. Keep in mind it does help to read Touch of Evil first due to so many of the rules of the Thrall society being explained in great depth in that book. So if you haven't read it, you may want to pick it up first to avoid any unnecessary confusion. This second installment in The Thrall series expands on the universe introduced in the preceding novel while revealing some new facets to Kate Reilly's world. And I still have to say they have one of the most unique and fascinating vampire societies I have ever come across, and it's nothing like any others I've read.
Fans of fast paced adventure novels, coupled with strong paranormal elements, and a heck of a lot of relationship steam will love Touch of Madness. Kate sure doesn't have it very easy with everything thrown at her throughout the story and in turn, readers don't either. Every time I thought the pace was going to slow down long enough for me to catch my breath and relieve cramped muscles, another twist was thrown into the story that sped up the heart rate yet again.
While this is a plot driven story, relationships between all of the players are crucial to unfolding events. We are introduced to additional Not Prey cast members from all walks of life, and several countries, who add to the story. Even those ones who may not show up for very long affect the outcome of Kate's story. One of my favorite secondary characters is barely even explored, but still managed to catch my attention. We also get to visit with some friends from Touch of Evil and learn more about them. I don't want to say too much about what happens to these characters though because it will spoil the book for some people.
Of course, Kate and Tom play starring roles. There romance is still going strong, in spite of repeated attempts by Tom's pack and Kate's family to interfere. Their affair is sizzling hot; full of passion as we see them fall even deeper in love. However, as much as their connection drew me in, I actually found myself almost more emotionally invested in the relationship between Kate and her brothers Joe and Brian. Why? Well I don't want to say too much, but I felt for Kate in what she went through with them. Trust me, you'll find yourself a little choked up as well when you come to what I'm hinting at.
I'm very happy to say that with the way Touch of Madness concludes its chapter in The Thrall series it is very clear CT Adams and Cathy Clamp have plenty more in store for us with Kate's story!
© Kelley A. Hartsell, May 2007. All rights reserved.