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Touching the Dead: Three Short Stories by J.…
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Touching the Dead: Three Short Stories (2011)

by J. Kathleen Cheney

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Touching the Dead is a collection of three short stories connected by the theme of encountering death. Actually, the first and the third stories have much more in common with one another than either does with the second, which feels a bit like it was stuck in there for length. But the quality of the stories is such that this isn't a big deal.

"Touching the Dead", the first story, is about a blind girl who can sense things through her touch, known as a "touch sensitive". Her family considers this a bit of an embarrassment, but when she promises their maid that she will look into the death of that woman's fiance, a whole new world of opportunity is opened to her. Based on some names and plot details, this appears to the prototype for Cheney's next series, in the same way that "Of Ambergris, Blood, and Brandy" is for her Golden City trilogy.

"The Bear Girl" is a rather odd story about a girl raised by bears and her friend Wolf, who is . . . a wolf. One day they go on an adventure at the request of her ursine grandmother. Suffice to say stuff happens, and our heroine learns some important things about herself and her friend before they return home.

"The Stains of the Past" is a bit like the first story, but set in a different world. Our heroine is a former courtesan who can sense people's thoughts through their touch. Then one day, while serving as a witness for a police investigation, she has an encounter with a fellow sensitive who can feel people's memories through touch, and her life is changed forever. ( )
  inge87 | Apr 26, 2015 |
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