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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Review: A TOUCH MORTAL by Leah Clifford

This was a novel I went into with no expectations.  It seemed to have a lot of build up pre-release, but then the buzz sort of died down.  But when Nikki loaned me her copy, I decided this was one of the YA debut novels that I wanted under my belt.  Even as I write this review, I'm not entirely sure how I felt about it.

From Goodreads:

Eden didn't expect Az.

Not his saunter down the beach toward her. Not his unbelievable pick-up line. Not the instant, undeniable connection. And not his wings.


So long, happily-ever-after.

Now trapped between life and death, cursed to spread chaos with her every touch, Eden could be the key in the eternal struggle between heaven and hell. 

All because she gave her heart to one of the Fallen, an angel cast out of heaven.

She may lose everything she ever had. She may be betrayed by those she loves most. But Eden will not be a pawn in anyone else's game. Her heart is her own.

And that's only the beginning of the end.

This novel is gritty and dark (in a good way).  It also isn't afraid to throw around profanity with the best of them, so if you're considering letting your own YA read it, you should know that going in.  As an adult though, I wasn't bothered by it at all.

I really liked Eden's voice.  She feels like a very real character who tries to be strong on the outside but is crumbling on the inside.  Until she finds true love in the form of an angel cast out of Heaven but not yet fallen all the way to Hell -- then everything goes impossibly right followed by horribly wrong.  The story line was entirely unique and felt very different from anything I'd read before.

And it wasn't just Eden... I really liked all of the characters.  (Especially her lover-boy angel, Az.) All except for two minor ones -- boys who become part of Eden's entourage and I just couldn't keep them straight in my head.  Other than that though, the whole case felt very distinct and I enjoyed getting to know them.

One of my favorite parts was this little (okay, maybe big) twist at the end that I didn't see coming.  What was so awesome about it is that you can look back and all of the clues are there, but I'd missed them until I knew what to look for.  I love when that happens!

What I didn't love though was the middle.  The part where Eden has forged out on her own felt too long. And some parts are a little confusing.  I don't know that the confusion bothered me as much as it did some other readers (I snuck a peak over at Goodreads) because being dumped into the story and having to figure things out along with Eden was authentic.

And then there's the ending.  Some of it I saw coming (bad), other parts hit me blindsided (awesome).  I think overall I liked where it ended up though.  There's plenty of room for a sequel, but I feel like Eden's story also had resolution.  (This is so hard to write without spoilers!!)
Anyway, my overall rating is 3 Greek coins, a URA* rating.  For a debut novel, it's quite good.  The writing is excellent, the premise unique, and I'm curious to see what happens next.  All of those are very positive things! Just be forewarned, if you don't like dark, bloody and a little gruesome, this novel will not be for you.


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