In book one, Cassandra (Cassie) Palmer is introduced as a clairvoyant with the ability to see ghosts and see flashes of the future (usually bad things that she can't stop from happening). Raised by vampires with mafia-like attributes, she escapes their "care" and spends most of the book running around and being chased by different factions of mages and vampires while learning that the power of the Pythia (head clairvoyant for lack of a better description) is going to be hers. She doesn't want to be Pythia and to make things more complicated – others are trying their damnedest to make her Pythia or to kill her and stop her from becoming it. On top of that is a lot of action and some time travel that occurs when some of the Pythia's abilities start to transfer to Cassie.
Now in book 2 we have some of the same problems – Cassie has enemies and her supporters aren't very clear cut. She still spends her time running from one place to another and again we have people who want her to be under their control or dead. I think the goal here is Cassie wanting to track down two people who she knows are her enemies and want to kill her, but she spends so much time getting there it was ridiculous. Subgoal – she has a geas placed on her by master vamp Mircea, her guardian from childhood which binds her to him and she wants it off.
This was the book: Cassie is somewhere, suddenly 4 random characters appear and chaos ensues, Cassie gets/runs away or other character/s leaves. Cassie is somewhere else (it doesn't help that she gets pulled back and forth in time too). Suddenly 4 random characters mentioned in book 1 or new ones appear and chaos ensues. Cassie runs away. Cassie is somewhere else.. suddenly more characters appear, chaos, fighting, someone runs away.. Cassie is somewhere else.. SUDDENLY…
Oh my god. First of all: does it have to be this way? And how slowly does anything happen in between all the action? Sure its interesting to see the world building here and the neat new characters with cool abilities (moving tattoos, incubi, magic bombs, portals, talismans, zombies, gargoyles), and fights and action is fine, but don't overdo it so that it bogs down the story. Save it for the next book! Basically: too many characters, too much action without a break, too complicated. What really irritates me is that if the author cut down on her interesting ideas she would have a good story, but she has a tendency to just throw everything in there and mix. This COULD be a good book, but too much cool ideas = overkill. If there were less new characters added every scene or so, less action (does it have to happen every scene?), and less complications, the book would be AWESOME. Right now the pace is always high, and its tiring to read something with one pace. It needs breaks and it doesn't have any. Something is always happening and even when Cassie does her thinking and planning – she's doing this when she HAS to make a decision, so its all very forced march and it doesn't help that explaining her decisions is very complicated to read because the author adds a billion things to make things more complicated – mostly more and more characters with their own agendas. Cassie explains her thought process is this way: "If I d x, then this is how the vampires will react, this is how the mages will react, this is why its good for me, this is why its bad for me, this is probably the goal of the vamps, this is what the mages probably want.. blah blah blah". Very confusing and irritating that it has to be so complicated and take so long. I would like to see Cassie just make a decision and explain it in simple, straightforward, non wishy washy terms. What's sad is that because I see it could be awesome I keep reading, hoping the plot will get better. Another thing: I really don't like it when the author finds a plot device where sex is needed in order to complete some ritual or where the characters get all hot and bothered because of a spell, both which are used in this book. Not to have orgies or anything, there hardly any actual sex in here, but it hangs over everything and the plot revolves around it and I suspect will continue to revolve around it.
Siiiiigh. I just ranted on that one. And yet: I still want the author to get it right in the next book and I'm willing to read it to see if she does. I liked book one better, so maybe I'll like book three better. Or I'm a machochistic.
General feeling – 4.5 (it was ok. I think it can be redeemed)
Plot – 4 (didn't like it, made worse by it came close to being good)
Writing style - 7 (The writing is good. Nit: were some typos I noticed in the early pages that bugged me – quotes in wrong place, same exact sentence used twice in a couple of pages that were right next to each other)