Book Talk: A Touch Mortal
Date: February 22, 2010
Series or Standalone: First in trilogy
Format: Hardcover, 432 pages
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.
First line: Eden dug her hand into the damp sand, black polish chipping off the tips of her fingernails.
A Touch Mortal is a lot fun. There’s a huge cast of characters full of quirks and witty sarcasm that you can’t help but love it! Of course, I use the word “fun” lightly—since this is dark book that’s very far from fun. Yet, it's exactly that.
Leah Clifford does a few things really well in this story that make it stand out. I'm going to lay out all the ones I can think of without giving anything away.
First, Clifford avoids all the clichés and makes things completely her own. She develops a mythology and a world that’s unique, dark and powerful. Siders, the Fallen, and the Bound…each aspect added something new and exciting to the book.
This book is heavier than a typical “angel” book. Clifford handles the dark and depressing issues with ease and a sense of humor. This is not a light book. The suicide is a major theme in this book—in fact, it’s how the race of Siders are created. This is a tale of loss, lies, right and wrong and the lines that blur them. But it's also about truth, discovery, life and love.
If (I mean, when) you read it, you'll meet some amazing characters. ATM is full of intense characters—and many, many hot boys (some with wings!) Whether it’s the Eden, Az, Gabe, Kristin (the Sider who first took her in and “taught her the ropes”) each character has a purpose and story line. There are a lot of characters, but Clifford does a great job keeping them together and flowing. The third person POV really helps here. You get to see and experience everything the characters do. I liked Eden; she’s like Rogue from X-Men. Only sassier. I still don’t know which characters I like and don’t like. They’re so mutli-dimensional and layered. Kristin was great—or maybe not, I don’t know!—but I loved the interactions that she and Eden had. I can’t wait to see where ALL the characters go and who we meet next.
A Touch Mortal leaves you guessing! I could never figure out what was happening. As soon as I thought I knew something, I’d soon find out that I was wrong. The book kept me wondering, "What the heck is going on?” Clifford throws piece after piece of the massive plot puzzle on the table and slowly and precisely puts them together to show you the whole--stunning!--picture. My mind was reeling the whole time, wondering, hanging on for the rest. It was twist after twist and I loved it. So few books give the challenge of figuring it out and not being able to. That really made the book for me.
I think I mentioned all the guys? There were a lot of guys. There were almost as many swoon-worthy boys as there were lines. Here are some that I loved:
Az: "Enjoys long walks on the beach and sarcastic girls. Bird fetish a plus."
Eden: "You're insane." Kristin: "And you're boring.”
Eden: "So beg. I'll even lend you some markers. You can make yourself a real nice sign."
Luke: "Just because I don't know how to work a toy doesn't mean I don't want it in my toy box. She's shiny. And I want her.”
Gabe: "Every secret seems to burn its way out eventually."
The only thing that left me dissatisfied was that we don't get to see Eden & Az's relationship develop in the beginning. They go on a date and then they’re together and things are past tense. I don’t want to see everything, but more details there would have given all the wonderful pages that follow more stability. I think if we had more stock invested in their relationship, it would've make the risks and decisions Eden takes later have a lot more power. AND I really wanted something to explode. Something needed to blow up! Boom. Maybe she'll throw an explosion in one of the next books just for me? (Please Leah? PLEASE?)
I definitely can't complain! A Touch Mortal exceeded my expectations with witty dialogue, suspense and lovable/hate-able characters. If you want an unpredictable, fresh, romantic, paranormal book, then A Touch Mortal will not disappoint. A Touch Mortal comes on Tuesday; be part of the rumor.