As a rule, I don’t start a book series in the middle and while this, at the end of the day, is a well-written book, there’s nothing about the blurb for Kaitlin’s Tale that mentions it’s the sixth book in a series that began with the Cassie Scot books:
Kaitlin Mayer is on the run from the father of her baby – a vampire who wants her to join him in deadly eternity. Terrified for her young son, she seeks sanctuary with the hunters guild. Yet they have their own plans for her son, and her hopes of safety are soon shattered. When she runs into Matthew Blair, an old nemesis with an agenda of his own, she dares to hope for a new escape. But Matthew is a telepath, and Kaitlin’s past is full of dark secrets she never intended to reveal.
This became my biggest issue with the book as it’s not a standalone is any way. While Christine Amsden is a good writer who has created an intriguing fantasy world, I struggled to find my footing while reading Kaitlin’s Tale.
So much of the story started before page one. The main characters, Kaitlin and Matthew, have known each other for years, both involved with other characters in important relationships that were developed in the earlier books. Amsden does a decent job of giving the reader some background on these relationships, but it’s spread out within the pages of the book, which left me wondering how it all fit together. I can say the same for the overall plot which picks up where, I’m assuming, Amsden’s previous book, Madison’s Song, left off. There’s magic stealing, mind reading, blood magic, vampires, and werewolves. While there’s a good story in there, it’s not one I could connect with because I felt like I was missing pieces.
If I try to strip away all the above and focus on character development, things improve. I wasn’t really sold on Matthew and Kaitlin as a couple, they felt forced on me, but I can see how they are good for each other and push each other towards becoming better people, accepting things from their pasts that had previously defined who they were. But, these two characters don’t even come face to face until the 50% mark of the book, which is too late for my romantic tastes.
At the end of the day, this book felt incomplete to me. I definitely believe had I read the previous books I would appreciate everything about Kaitlin’s Tale, which is why I gave it 3 stars, but as a standalone it fell short. Heat level: 2.5
I received this book in exchange for honest feedback.
Kaitlin’s Tale was published in May 2016 by Twilight Times Books.
Christine Amsden has been writing fantasy and science fiction 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 relationships, 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, which scars 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. Christine currently lives in the Kansas City area with her husband, Austin, who has been her biggest fan and the key to her success.