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Touch by Claire North

Touch (2015)

by Claire North

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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3543745,173 (3.61)46

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Showing 1-5 of 37 (next | show all)
This book is a strange mix of mystic thriller, action story and urban fantasy. The novel jumps from time to time and place to place, making it hard to follow at times.
Long story short, without spoilers: there are ghosts and they can wear you, reader, as a skin for a time period about which you’ll have no recollection. The protagonist is one of such ghosts and it is hunted down by someone.
While I saw several mentions that this book is just like some other book, I have never read anything similar enough to compare. Taken alone it is an interesting read, maybe 3.5 of 5 stars. It makes you think, it thrills you, but it is not even paced and some author’s messages at least I cannot fully endorse based on the evidence supplied by the very same author.
( )
  Oleksandr_Zholud | Jan 9, 2019 |
This book was really good. It held my attention without fail, and I really enjoyed the premise. I’m giving it 4.5 stars, but I had trouble deciding whether to round up or down on Goodreads. In the end I decided to round down, only because I was still able to put it down fairly easily when I needed to and because I was a tad bit ambivalent about the ending.

Our main character, who I’ll call Kepler for lack of a better name, is an entity without a body of its own. Kepler can touch a human and inhabit that body until it chooses to switch to a different body. The original owner of the body is completely unaware of anything that happens while Kepler has control of it, regaining awareness only after Kepler leaves. Right at the beginning of this book, the body that Kepler had been inhabiting for a while and was rather attached to is murdered. The killer was trying to kill Kepler, yet he deliberately chose to kill the host, an innocent woman, even knowing Kepler was no longer in her body. Kepler pursues the killer in search of revenge and answers.

A lot of the attributes that one would normally use to identify a character, or a real person for that matter, are absent because of Kepler’s nature. We never learn Kepler’s original gender, and Kepler jumps into bodies of both genders for both short and extended periods of time. We don’t even know Kepler’s name, because Kepler is just a name that some people have chosen and that it will answer to but doesn’t actually identify as its own name. Kepler identifies with the gender and name of whichever body it’s inhabiting at the moment. All we can identify Kepler by is its actions and personality which is, after all, the most important parts.

The story jumps all over the place in time (and bodies!) but was usually easy to follow. I really enjoyed both the backstory and the main story. There is a lot of moral greyness, and I would sometimes find myself staring into space and wondering what I would do in a situation, either as Kepler or as one of the humans it inhabited. On the one hand I did like Kepler and cared about what happened to it. On the other hand, I also felt sorry for any humans that got caught up in its mayhem. Imagine going about your daily routine, somebody touches you, and then the next thing you know it’s days, months, or even years later, you’re probably in a completely different place than you were an instant ago, and you don’t remember anything. Not only has precious time been stolen from you, but now you probably think something is horribly wrong with you because you have no way of knowing that another entity had been inhabiting your body. And what if Kepler did something during that time that will cause you problems?

Based on my experience with this book, I definitely intend to try some of the author’s other work someday. ( )
1 vote YouKneeK | Jul 11, 2018 |
Absolutely gripping, and very clever. I devoured it and enjoyed every minute! ( )
  ClareRhoden | May 1, 2018 |
3.5 stars. ( )
  UDT | May 1, 2018 |
Excellent plot, writing, pace, difference, consistency ( )
  BridgitDavis | Feb 20, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 37 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Claire Northprimary authorall editionscalculated
Burdess, SophieCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Josephine Cebula was dying, and it should have been me.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0316335924, Hardcover)

Kepler had never meant to die this way -- viciously beaten to death by a stinking vagrant in a dark back alley. But when reaching out to the murderer for salvation in those last dying moments, a sudden switch takes place.

Now Kepler is looking out through the eyes of the killer himself, staring down at a broken and ruined body lying in the dirt of the alley.

Instead of dying, Kepler has gained the ability to roam from one body to another, to jump into another person's skin and see through their eyes, live their life -- be it for a few minutes, a few months or a lifetime.

Kepler means these host bodies no harm -- and even comes to cherish them intimately like lovers. But when one host, Josephine Cebula, is brutally assassinated, Kepler embarks on a mission to seek the truth -- and avenge Josephine's death.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:13 -0400)

"He tried to take my life. Instead I took his. It was a long time ago. I remember it was dark, and I didn't see my killer until it was too late. As I died, my hand touched his. That's when the first switch took place. Suddenly, I was looking through the eyes of my killer, and I was watching myself die. Now switching is easy. I can jump from body to body, have any life, be anyone. Some people touch lives. Others take them. I do both"--Jacket.… (more)

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