Thursday, September 26, 2013

Review of 'Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective' by Christine Amsden

Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective
Cassie Scot Book One
Christine Amsden

Genre: Urban Fantasy (paranormal, mystery, romance, new adult)
Publisher: Twilight Times Books
Date of Publication: May 15, 2013
ISBN: 9781606197
Number of pages: 260
Word Count: 85,000

Cover Artist: Ural Akyutz

Book Description:

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.

**My thoughts**

I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about this book when it first became available for review. In fact, the first time I came across it, I settled for an interview, instead of a review. The cover is interesting, but didn't quite draw me in as much as it could have, because it doesn't seem real. (And I don't mean it needs photographs of models.) I hate to always judge a book by its cover, but I do. As this book kept popping up in my circles, I decided to go ahead and give it a shot. I was pleasantly surprised.

Cassie Scot has a different problem than most of our paranormal heroines. Instead of being a powerful creature born into a family of "normal" people, she is a "normal" person who has been born into a family of powerful sorcerers. Her last name means a lot in their circles. They claim that they love her, but really fear that she will throw off their magical protection of three times three, with her six siblings. She is a complete outcast who is determined to make it on her own.

She is a detective, who specializes in the "normal" human world, though occasionally takes on other cases. She had previously worked for the police department, but found that she preferred being on her own. It is hard for me to remember that she is only 21 when she talks about her previous work, because she seems way too young to have had that kind of experience, even if it was short-lived. I am trying to remember that she lives in a semi-magical world, so perhaps the timing of such things is different.

She has had some successes in her field, though the work isn't pouring in as heavily as she would like. She does finally get a big break when a simple case of serving someone a subpoena turns into a murder mystery, involving the paranormal world. Now she is forced to acknowledge her roots, and to make her family acknowledge her. She learns some strong lessons about the magical world, as well as how strong she can really be on on her own, as she tries to solve this murder.

Cassie is lucky to have a good friend in Kaitlyn, who is a likeable "normal" girl working at the local diner. Kaitlyn is aware of a lot of the magical happenings and is understanding, though the magical people tend to prefer to keep all of that quiet. Alice is another friend, who just doesn't seem to get it and causes problems. Braden is her boyfriend, also a "normal" human, who leaves a lot to be desired. Evan is her old friend from school who is also extremely powerful and seems to be interested in her. At the same time, he sends off warning signals with his reputation. You want to think the best of him, but stay on guard. Nicholas is the one sibling of Cassie's that we get to know, as he is the closest in age to her. He is also powerful and very passionate, but needs to learn to control himself. He is also fiercely dedicated to his big sister. Jason is her long-lost cousin, who is also conveniently a vampire hunter, and supposedly very hot.

All of these people play a significant role in Cassie's first investigation, and her foray into being on her own. I have a feeling their significance will increase as the series continues, and that Cassie is going to discover some more hidden talents and powers of her own. You get the sense of something bigger brewing and will have to keep on reading to find out what it is.

Cassie is a likeable character, who still needs to grow a lot. The story is interesting enough to keep the pages turning. I did manage to read it in one evening, and will soon be reading the second book in the series. I gave it 3 1/2 stars, because it is a fun debut and has a lot of potential as the story continues to develop.

Book links

Christine Amsden has been writing science fiction and fantasy for as long as she can remember. She loves to write and it is her dream that others will be inspired by this love and by her stories. Speculative fiction is fun, magical, and imaginative but great speculative fiction is about real people defining themselves through extraordinary situations. Christine writes primarily about people and it is in this way that she strives to make science fiction and fantasy meaningful for everyone.

At the age of 16, Christine was diagnosed with Stargardt’s Disease, a condition that effects the retina and causes a loss of central vision. She is now legally blind, but has not let this slow her down or get in the way of her dreams. 

In addition to writing, Christine teaches workshops on writing at Savvy Authors. She also does some freelance editing work.

Christine currently lives in the Kansas City area with her husband, Austin, who has been her biggest fan and the key to her success. They have two beautiful children, Drake and Celeste.








  1. Thank you so much for the thoughtful review!

    Covers are such a pain. I understand what it's like from the reader's side. What do you know about a book, really, especially from an unknown author? You've got a title, a blurb, and a cover. That's it. And with Cassie, so much of what's happening goes on in her head that I struggled to come up with an idea for the artist (who painted this. I have to say, after my second book, The Immortality Virus, I was wary of both computer generation and depicting action scenes. You want to see actively bad cover art, just check that one out. Here's the link to it on my website: Anyway, I like the cover for Secrets and Lies better. It's the same artist, so if you're not into how he does faces you may still not like it, but when I look at it and look at the blurb side by side, I feel like it's saying something: "Here's a man who wants a woman, and a woman who isn't so sure how she feels." I'm hoping for better reception on that one. :)

    Anyway, thanks again! And I hope you continue to enjoy the series.

    1. I am sure I will! I signed up to review the second book via one of the tour companies. I agree about covers. My friends and I have had a hard time trying to design our own, or finding good people to do it! :-)

  2. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and the giveaway. Sounds like a really good book and I am looking forward to reading it. evamillien at gmail dot com


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