Welcome to my stop in A Touch of Death book tour, if you want to check out the rest of the tour, I will link the tour schedule for you here. Thank you so much to Terminal Tours for including me in this tour, and the author Rebecca Crunden for my review copy.
Title: A Touch of Death
Author: Rebecca Crunden
A thousand years in the future, the last of humanity live inside the walls of the totalitarian Kingdom of Cutta. The rich live in Anais, the capital city of Cutta, sheltered from the famine and disease which ravage the rest of the Kingdom. Yet riches and power only go so far, and even Anaitians can be executed. It is only by the will of the King that Nate Anteros, son of the King’s favourite, is spared from the gallows after openly dissenting. But when he’s released from prison, Nate disappears.
A stark contrast, Catherine Taenia has spent her entire life comfortable and content. The daughter of the King’s Hangman and in love with Thom, Nate’s younger brother, her life has always been easy, ordered and comfortable. That is, where it doesn’t concern Nate. His actions sullied not only his future, but theirs. And unlike Thom, Catherine has never forgiven him.
Two years pass without a word, and then one night Nate returns. But things with Nate are never simple, and when one wrong move turns their lives upside down, the only thing left to do is run where the King’s guards cannot find them – the Outlands. Those wild, untamed lands which stretch around the great walls of the Kingdom, filled with mutants and rabids.
It took me a little bit of time to collate my thoughts about this book because I had many conflicting opinions. I wasn’t sure whether it would come out as a three or four star book, in the end, it came out as a high three star which I think reflects my reading experience. While I liked A Touch of Death, I did have a couple of issues that did detract from my reading experience, but I did still enjoy my time reading this book.
My favourite part of A Touch of Death was the characters; I felt really connected to them, which I don’t always feel with a whole cast of characters. I liked Catherine as the main character and the journey that she goes on throughout the book, and I feel like she was fully developed and learnt the amount of strength that she has. I also loved the relationship that she had with Nate, which I wasn’t expecting. When their relationship first started, I was confused because of the circumstances, but the more I got into the book, the more we saw of their banter and attraction. And eventually, I really liked their relationship; I only wish we could have seen more.
While I liked the world building that occurred in A Touch of Death, I wanted more of it. While we were visiting all of these different places, I felt that I wanted more descriptions about them as they all seemed to blur into one in my mind. Rebecca Crunden does have a map on her website which does help with this, I will link it here for anyone interested. I would have also loved some more background into before and what led the whole population to have to go underground. I believe that this would have created more of an atmosphere for me, which is something that I love from my dystopian books. I still have no grasp of what a mutant is, even though that is a central part of the plot. So I feel a bit more explanation was necessary for me to completely grasp the plot.
Another thing that I liked was Rebecca Crunden’s writing style; she had just the right balance between descriptions and conversations, which meant that the pacing was just right. If that balance wasn’t there, the book would have been too fast-paced to understand what was going on.
Overall, I did enjoy my time reading A Touch of Death, especially as it has been a long time since I have read a dystopian novel. I think if you love dystopian fiction, I would recommend giving this book a go. If you do, make sure to push through the first 25% as it can be quite confusing, but that does clear up later in the book.