Thursday 24 January 2013

ARC REVIEW: Touch of Death by Kelly Hashway

Touch of Death by Kelly Hashway

Series: Touch of Death, #1
Publication Date: January 15th 2013
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Paperback, 229 pages
Useful Info: Goodreads, Author's Website, Book Depository

Jodi Marshall isn't sure how she went from normal teenager to walking disaster. One minute she's in her junior year of high school, spending time with her amazing boyfriend and her best friend. The next she's being stalked by some guy no one seems to know.
After the stranger, Alex, reveals himself, Jodi learns he's not a normal teenager and neither is she. With a kiss that kills and a touch that brings the dead back to life, Jodi discovers she's part of a branch of necromancers born under the 13th sign of the zodiac, Ophiuchus. A branch of necromancers that are descendants of Medusa. A branch of necromancers with poisoned blood writhing in their veins.
Jodi's deadly to the living and even more deadly to the deceased. She has to leave her old, normal life behind before she hurts the people she loves. As if that isn't difficult enough, Jodi discovers she's the chosen one who has to save the rest of her kind from perishing at the hands of Hades. If she can't figure out how to control her power, history will repeat itself, and her race will become extinct.

When I picked up Touch of Death in my hands, I have to admit that for some reason I had high expectations from this book. What with those few raving early reviews and a premise that gives glimpses of a really interesting story and I thought that this book would be amazing. And although the potential for a good book is all there, the execution I'm afraid, spoiled things for me.

The first thing that bothered me in Touch of Death, was how slow it was. I mean almost the whole first half of the book feels like an introduction to the story, where nothing crucial happens, only the problem is, that all that place in the narration isn't used to build the world or the plot, but it's rather wasted on extensive descriptions that aren't really helping anywhere or adding anything to the story. The first half of the book is full of some really extensive descriptions of things like an attempt to catch a rat, that to be frank, I think could have been described in far less pages... As it was, the author wastes precious space in her book just to prolong things. At least I felt that way...

My next problem was the main heroine, Jodi. She was a bit annoying and too self-centred at times. She just acts in a way I can't possibly understand, like when she totally disregards the fact that her room was searched by a stalker just to go on a date. To be accurate, she just pretends that important and dangerous things haven't even happened, just to go on a date...! She pretends and acts with a total abandon over her own life and the life of people she claims she loves, just because she has more important things to do that evening, like finally kissing her boyfriend. I'm sorry, but I just can't like a heroine who acts like that. Jodi is too irresponsible, too gullible and to reckless for my taste. The way she just chose to believe without a second thought, all the crazy things her "stalker" presented her as the truth, didn't help matters either. I mean, you don't just believe a stranger you presume as your stalker so easily and make plans to go away with him for the sake of the people you love. It's just unbelievable.

And now, time for my main source of problems with Touch of Death which I'm afraid is the core of the whole plot. And that is the fact that for the reader to understand Jodi's powers, the author goes on and describes not one, but five (or maybe six I'm not completely sure) deaths, deaths, Jodi herself was responsible for. It doesn't matter for me that she didn't know about her powers. We are talking about 5 murders here, 2 animals and 3 people. I think that I could understand Jodi's extensive powers without all that killing. After that, I really couldn't sympathise with Jodi no matter what. I just couldn't stomach all those deaths. Call me bizarre, but it bugged me.

The second half of the book though is far better and it's the reason I'm giving this book 2 starts instead of one. The plot there becomes more interesting with the necromancers and Medusa, but still, it was far too predictable and the plot was a bit all over the place.

All in all, Touch of Death was a book that couldn't really hold my attention and one that I had many problems with regarding both the plot and the main heroine that are the core of every novel. It may haven't been the book for me, but for so many reviewers to love it, it must have some redeeming qualities that I failed to notice.

* This ARC was provided by Spencer Hill Press for a review.

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