Word Spelunking

Touch of Death (Touch of Death, #1) - Kelly Hashway 1.5 StarsA deadly touch, mythology, hot boys...these are awesome things. I like these things. So, it really sucks that I did not like the way these things were used in this book. In fact, there isn't much about this book that I did like.Touch of Death is about high school junior Jodi Marhsall. Jodi thinks she's normal- she has a great mom, a great BFF, and a perfect boyfriend- but, then she finds out she's not normal at all. First, some hot guy begins to stalk her, then animals who should be dead start to come back to life around her, and even worse, people around her begin to die. Jodi can kill with a kiss or drop of blood and can even restore life with her touch. Jodi's stalker, Alex, is like her, a necromancer descendant of Medusa, born under the 13th zodiac sign, Ophiuchus. But Jodi isn't just any necromancer (of course!), she's the Chosen One who must save her kind from Hades.I'm not really sure where to start with this one. I can fully appreciate what author Kelly Hashway has tried to do with Touch of Death, but I found the overall execution extremely lacking. The story is boring and contrived, the characters are flat, and the writing is unremarkable.Touch of Death ambitiously combines Greek mythological lore with the supernatural aspects of necromancers and the newly popular intrigue of the 13th zodiac sign Ophiuchus, but it doesn't really do this particularly well. All of these elements have been explored and done before and they've been done better. I'm a huge mythology fan and the way these elements were used and laid out in this book just did nothing for me. Hashway does provide some much needed history of Jodi's kind, but overall, the world-building is non-existent. I don't feel like I ever got a clear picture of these people, their abilities, their purpose, or community. The whole book is one big example of “telling” and not “showing”.The writing lacks a memorable spark and, in some places, I just found it plan bad, cringe-worthy even. The plot lacks any suspense of any kind; things are just blurted out or presented in an in-your-face kind of way. Like the whole Jodi being the Chosen One is just casually thrown into a conversation between she and Alex: “blah blah blah the prophecy about your birth blah blah the Chosen One blahblahblah...”. The book is 235 pages, but nothing remotely substantial happens. And everything that does happen feels incredibly contrived and forced.One of the things I hate most in books, is being hit over the head with something repeatedly. In this case, Jodi is repeatedly and accidentally getting cut or nicked and bleeding on (or crying on or kissing, etc) something/someone and either killing them or bringing them back to life. This happens SO MANY TIMES, yet Jodi didn't realize what was happening until like the 5th time, but readers can figure it all out by like the 2nd incident. After the third or fourth incident I was just like “OMG! I get it already! She can kill and can she heal! Sheesh!”. The sheer amount of these unnecessary “incidents” made me feel like the book was terribly underestimating my intelligence as a reader >.

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