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A Touch of Poison by Aaron Kite

A Touch of Poison (edition 2014)

by Aaron Kite

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1391,019,323 (2.91)1
Title:A Touch of Poison
Authors:Aaron Kite
Info:Five Rivers Chapmanry (2014), Paperback, 234 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:ARC, early reviewer, fantasy

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A Touch of Poison by Aaron Kite



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A quick plot summary: This novel revolves around a princess, who cannot touch others with her bare skin without giving them terrible burns. When her father devises a plot to murder a nearby kingdom's prince, the princess must fight to save him, and her own life too.

My thoughts: This was a light read, although it had over 20 chapters too it! It was written well, with good description, and correct punctuation. The plot was fine, an idea that I had heard before, but nevertheless was good, quite fast paced, with no long winded descriptions. The only problem I had was with the ending, which I felt was a bit cliched, and was very "happily ever after". I also felt like the ending was written in a rush, and the fluid writing style completely left the author, meaning the ending was written childishly. Apart from that it was an enjoyable read, but not something I would read again. I gave it 3/5 stars.
( )
  ACascadeofBooks | Oct 5, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
*Library Thing Early Review*

This was an okay book. It did not grab me right away, but the more I read the more invested I got.
The characters are easily the best part of this book. Gwen did come across a little dramatically in parts, but it was mostly fitting. The dialogue was wonderful. The witty banter thrown around in this novel was *great* -- definitely my favorite aspect of the novel – and I will likely pick up another Kite novel for that reason alone. I also applaud Kite’s success in secluding Gwen. It really feels like she’s so alone that she has no choice but to play with her enemies.

Praise given, I didn’t find the plot particularly unique. The princess locked away in her tower is a pretty ordinary concept, and while Kite did give it a twist of his own it wasn’t wholly inspiring. There were also several instances that I wished Kit had employed “show don’t tell.”

I’d almost be more interested to see the sequel to this novel. The twist at the end *did* catch me by surprise, and I’d love to see what happens after the last chapter.

3 stars. ( )
  frozenplums | Dec 27, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I read this book for Early Reviewers.

The premise of the story was very interesting, a princess whose touch is poison, expected by her father to kill her future husband.

However, every other aspect was incredibly formulaic and verged on caricature. The worldbuilding was cursory at best. The villains spent all their time senselessly gloating at the princess, but their insults had no sting at all, being variations of "Haha, you're sooo stupid, you'll never foil our evil plan". Too bad that the princess actually IS that stupid, unable to ever think of what her father might do next, and when she actually does manage to thwart him for once, gloatingly telling him about it in detail, allowing him to prevent her from doing anything of the sort again.

The plot was incredibly repetitous: The king would reveal the next part of his evil plan, the princess would be shocked, then go cry in her tower before complying with her father.

Sadly, the princess also doen not have any agency whatsoever. She may think of a plan, but she will always be prevented from even starting to carry it out. Even the resolution of the plot is in no way brought about by the actions of the princess, which are always abortive and futile. The ending is a LITERAL deus ex machina, to a ridiculous degree. Seemingly insurmountable problems are brushed aside with a quick sentence, and the princess is able to dominate her father through her "wit" (if these juvenile taunts can be called that) and complete circumstance.

The writing was decent, though the vocabulary was somewhat confused as to which time period it was supposed to have come from.

A quick read, but not worth the time it takes. ( )
  BerlinBibliophile | Dec 4, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I wanted to like this book based on the rather interesting premise of a princess whose touch is poison; unfortunately, despite the decent writing style, the story itself is just very poorly constructed.

The characters, for the most part, are flat caricatures. There's the king, who has two emotions/modes: cunning evil laughter, and roaring with rage. There's the best friend, who is sweet and kind and cares deeply about everything that happens to the princess. There's the king's obligatory henchman, who basically spends the entire book taunting the princess and calling her stupid. This might have more emotional impact if not for the fact that...well...it's true. The princess is exceedingly stupid, not to mention helpless and wimpy.

The thing is, the protagonist of a story has to have agency. Bad things may happen to her, but she needs to react to them, adapt, take action to deal with them -- and we need to see her changing and growing as a person, as a result of dealing with those bad things. None of that happens in this story. The pattern is entirely banal: her father and the henchman reveal the next part of their evil plan to the princess; she goes to her room and cries for a while; then she spends some time thinking about what to do, but can't come up with anything, so the evil plan goes exactly as the bad guys wanted. (Or, she comes up with a plan but fails to execute it in time.) Then there's another stage of the plan; the entire pattern repeats. BORING. Oh, and the one time she does manage to foil one element of her father's evil plan? She goes on to tell her father exactly how she did it, in detail. Stupid!

Furthermore, core elements of the plot defy suspension of belief. We're expected to believe that for seventeen years the princess has been sitting around in her bedroom, not doing much of anything except sighing over how mean her father is to force her to eat this herb that makes her poisonous. Sometimes her best friend comes over to sigh along with her. Occasionally, we're told, they visit the palace library to look for books that might give her any info about the herb. How big is this library anyway? How can she go for 17 years, with nothing to do all day, and she still hasn't managed to read every book in there?

Next, she learns of her father's evil plan to use her as a weapon, and she is shocked. Really? In all those years of talking over her situation with her friend, it never occurred to her to wonder WHY her father had turned her into a poison princess? Her father's plan is so obvious that it should have occurred to anyone with a moderate amount of intelligence after just a few moments of cogitation.

Then, her friend goes away and finds an ancient book that talks about the magic herb. The book suggests that she can reverse its effects by...not eating the food with the herb on it. REALLY?! I'm supposed to believe that in seventeen years it never occurred to her to try rebelling against her father by just not eating the herb?! Has the author ever met a teenage girl?

Finally, the plot twist arrives near the end of the book that sets the princess free and allows her to defeat her evil dad. How? Well, through a contrived deus-ex-machina, of course. Not through any action of her own at all. Up through the very end, she continues to react rather than act.

To summarize: The princess is deeply stupid and spends nearly the entire book weeping and whining over her fate, almost completely incapable of taking any action. The plot holes mentioned above expose the author's failure to fully think through his concept, not to mention the nuances of characterization that are completely absent from the writing. I give it two stars only because a) the central premise is interesting and b) the deus ex machina at the end was moderately clever. Overall, however, I would not recommend this book be read by anyone -- particularly not by young girls in the tween/early teen age groups, because I would hate for them to take from this book their ideas of what good writing is OR of how a princess should behave. ( )
  mamajoan | Sep 11, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I enjoyed this story and was glad to have read it, if not amazed by it. The premise - the heroine is literally poisonous to all who touch her - is intriguing, and the author has some fun exploring the implications of this. However, the book has that one premise to sustain it, and it's sometimes just not enough. The characters are interesting enough to keep you reading, but they're mostly just types rather than fully developed people. I found the story engaging enough for a single read - and as an ebook, that was perfect for me - but I don't know if it has enough depth to support repeated reading. ( )
  ranaverde | Sep 6, 2014 |
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