Firstly, huge thank you to Rebecca for sending me a copy of her novel in exchange for an honest review.
I haven’t read a dystopian novel for a while, despite loving the genre, so when A Touch of Death landed in my email I was very excited to get started on it, especially as it was the first in a series. Whilst I had some minor issues with the novel, it didn’t stop me from enjoying it or from purchasing the sequel (which I’m also excited to start).
A Touch of Death is set a thousand years into the future when the world has been split into kingdoms and the divide between the rich and the poor more than ever. However, even the rich can be subjected to the worst punishments. Nate Anteros is sentenced to death for dissent, however, it is only because his mother is a favourite of the King that he is spared the noose. Two years after Nate is released from prison he finds that there is a fate worse than death when he finds himself on the run with Catherine, his brother’s complement who hates him, after one wrong move has the King’s Guards after them.
Whilst both Nate and Catherine are the protagonists of the novel, however the novel is mostly told through Catherine’s perspective. It’s because of this that I found it difficult to get into the novel at times as I didn’t particularly like Catherine. I think this is more because I really liked Nate, so when she frequently seemed like she was whining or hating on Nate for no real reason. I could see that there was clearly bad history between them, but it would have been nice to see it in more detail so we can really understand where Catherine’s hate came from (before the events that caused them to go on the run), other than her love of Thom and how Nate’s actions had hurt him. I did enjoy seeing how their relationship developed through the novel and the new friendships they made with the sibling group along the way.
I was very interested in the world that Crunden had built, however there were times where I was confused in how the world looked and worked. I feel that for a first novel in a series that I would have liked more details about the world as it wasn’t always clear. However, as it is a first novel I do think that more will be revealed and explored through the series. Whilst it wasn’t always totally clear of the reasons behind certain elements of the world or the actions of the characters, that didn’t detract from the plot for me. I was very eager to see what would happen to Catherine and Nate and to learn more about the reason as to why they were on the run (you do know why, I’m just avoiding spoilers!). By the end I had tears in my eyes, which I wasn’t expecting and I wanted to see what was going to happen to the characters in the next book!
I’m very keen to see where this series goes and I think this has the potential to be a great dystopian series. If you’re into dystopian novels, this one is definitely worth picking up, the end really brings it altogether!