Touched (The Marnie Baranuik Files #1) by A.J. Aalto (review)

September 9, 2015 All Reviews, Fantasy, Mystery, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy 0 ★★★

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Touched (The Marnie Baranuik Files #1) by A.J. Aalto (review)Touched by A. J. Aalto
Series: The Marnie Baranuik Files #1
Published by Libertary Company on July 6th 2012
Number of Pages: 456
Genres: Fantasy, Mystery, Paranormal, Urban
Source: NetGalley
Format: eARC
Purchase: At Amazon

The media has a nickname for Marnie Baranuik, though she’d rather they didn’t; they call her the Great White Shark, a rare dual-talented forensic psychic. Twice-Touched by the Blue Sense--which gives her the ability to feel the emotions of others, and read impressions left behind on objects--Marnie also has a doctorate in preternatural biology and a working knowledge of the dark arts. She is considered without peer in the psychic community.

Then her first big FBI case ended with a bullet in one shoulder and a chip on the other, a queasy heart and a serial killer in the wind, leaving her a public flop and a private wreck. When the FBI’s preternatural crimes unit tracks her down at a remote mountain lodge for her insight on a local case, her quiet retirement is promptly besieged by a stab-happy starlet, a rampaging ghoul, and a vampire-hunting jackass in tight Wranglers. Marnie figures the only real mystery is which one will kill her first.

Too mean to die young, backed up by friends in cold places, and running with a mouth as demure as a cannon’s blast, Marnie Baranuik is about to discover that there’s no such thing as quitting time when you’re Touched.

It was interesting that to be a psychic, you had to be bonded to a vampire. If you weren’t bonded to a vampire, you weren’t a real psychic. Since those powers all came from vampires, and humans only gain them through bonding. In exchange, the human (called a DaySitter) takes care of the vampire during daylight hours when he or she cannot do so themselves. And is a companion during the vampires waking hours. They also feed the vampire, and make sure nothing can get to the vampire to harm it.

Marnie does a lot of stupid things that she shouldn’t do. Ones that have previously been shown to bite her in the butt, and yet she does them again. She also has a lot of hostility towards Mark. Even once it’s been proven that he didn’t deserve it. Which is almost funny since he’s part of a love triangle with Marnie. Only not really, because there isn’t any actual love that I could see. Mostly just lust.

I loved Harry. He was my favorite character, and what kept me reading to see what would happen next. He was funny, and charming, and while he had faults they didn’t bother me as much as the other characters. He does use a lot of old British slang, quite a few words/phrases I’d never heard of and would have had to look up. Except they were explained in context/dialogue for the most part. I never really clicked with Marnie, and didn’t with Mark either. Though a lot of that would be because Marnie spent so much of the book disliking him, it was hard to see anything other than that.

There was quite a bit of gore, and overly-explained gross bits that I found myself skimming through. Gore doesn’t usually bother me if it makes sense in the book. And it does make sense, it was just a bit over the top for me. There were also quite a few twists and turns. I didn’t expect most of them. Mostly because there were no clues before the big reveal. At least, none that I was able to look back at and go “Oh yeah…” about.


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