Thursday, 12 May 2016

"Touched:The Caress of Fate (Touched Saga #1)" Book Review

OVERALL ★★☆☆☆ 2.4

1. Cover ★★★☆☆

I always start with the cover because this is the first thing a reader sees when they stumble upon a book. “Don’t judge a book by its cover” they say. Well, to that, I say “Judge the darn cover cause that’s all part of presentation”. The cover (the first thing we see) is supposed to reel a potential reader in and pique their curiosity enough so that they end up reading the synopsis. So, let’s get on with it, shall we?
I gave this cover a 3-star rating, denoting “It was OK”. It didn’t exactly reel me in like other covers usually do and I was ok with that. I did not choose this title, but it was on my kindle and I thought -why not?
The guy, just from first glance, is portrayed as an Angel; right away the reader could differentiate it as paranormal, so in a sense the cover does represent its genre quite well. He also looks transparent, which I guess Angels usually are? The girl, (from first glance) seems mortal, quite corporeal and is being supported/held up (or not?) by the Angel. I don’t really know what’s truly going on with the cover to be honest – they’re seen in a romantic (supportive? Ugh this cover is difficult) embrace in the ocean (well, sitting on a rock to be exact). It’s an OK cover but as I said, I usually expect a book to stand-out so much that it catches my attention and makes me pause or scroll back up just to read what it’s about, because yes, I come across a lot of books, a lot! And I can’t spend time reading what each book has to offer so I usually go by how pretty, haunting, dark etc. the cover is.

2. Premise ★★★☆☆

Evan, who is an angel of death, is sent to “kill” a teenage, female mortal – Gemma. When they lock eyes for the first time a shadow creeps into her life (whatever the H that means) ultimately leading her to face her destiny (I am simply using the words from the summary). Gemma doesn’t know that Evan is an angel of death and that he’s been sent to “kill” her. They fall hopelessly in love even though he still has a mission to carry. So, what happens when the only person who can save you is also the one who has to “kill” you?
Ah, sweet forbidden love. Or is it? It didn’t feel much forbidden to me but I am getting ahead of myself.
I found this premise to be appealing, but not gripping nor unique. Forbidden love between an angel and a mortal has been done many times, too many times, but I haven’t read a lot of them (not my favorite genre this paranormal romance thing). I wouldn’t mind being the one to fall in love with Death though! I mean come on! Its death we’re talking about – dark, evil, bad boy? I wouldn’t go so far as saying “love” though. I mean just a fling with death would satiate this reader here. Yeahhh; however, the numerous praises from critics that the author places before the actual summary definitely took some of the excitement away. It seemed like the author was trying to convince new readers that this book is really great. It certainly made me lower my expectation just because of the praise inclusion, somewhere deep down I knew it wouldn’t be as amazing as the reviewers claim, but that’s usually the case. I would love it and appreciate it if critics were more honest with their reviews, it would save us the trouble of reading awful books.

3. Plot ★★★☆☆

First off, the premise mentioned vampires, werewolves etc. None of those were mentioned in this book. It made it sound like vampires and other mentioned creatures were now extinct and the Angels of Death are the new species of supernatural; however, later on in the book we see that these Angels of Death have been around for a long time. It seems they’ve been here since the dawn of time – just after Eve’s days. So technically they were there first; unless in this story’s world, vampires were roaming around while Adam and Eve were casually living life.
So, we all want to be in love right? We relish the idea of someone being completely ours, someone wanting and caring for us blah blah.
Evan is in love with Gemma, declaring it at 48%, he’s absolutely, positively sure that he loves her but they’ve only had encounters about 3 times so far? The bleachers, crashing into him running from the woods, the diner, other times were in dreams (2 times). Apparently it’s not infatuation, he’s in love, and he’s been stalking her for the past few weeks (you’ll see how creepy he is later on in the book). How is that love?
Ok, I get that it’s a romance book, paranormal BS and there’s usually the instant love but it just didn’t feel that way. Love? Come on. Their connection felt a bit too magical, far from real. As a reader I’m supposed to be taken on a journey where I can clearly feel the interest grow into adoration which would then grow into love. There was none of that; it was love from the moment she saw him in the woods, or a magical pull.
Apart from the unrealistic love, something I didn’t like was the brutality of their job. I love horror books, I love a good torture novel but their job is to “kill” the mortal. Aren’t angels of death supposed to escort souls to the other side? Having a hand in the death of the victims made it sound brutal and portrayed them as cold-blooded murderers.
So, this book :
40% - In we find out what “Wild Thing” truly is – he’s an executioner. Why wait till 40% to tell us?
Masala is also mentioned for the first time but it wasn’t a full explanation.
42% - Masala mentioned again, more information was given but not enough to truly understand.
48% - “There was no way to be sure; I’d never felt it for myself. Not during my mortal life, let alone during the empty shell of the existence in which I’d been trapped for hundreds of years since”
He had a mortal life? Why are we now finding out he was once mortal. Excuse my lack of knowledge when it comes to Paranormal romance but I had no idea Angels of Death were once mortal, so it’d be great if the author could give adequate background information early on in the book so that I could understand the turmoil within Evan. Also, I’d have preferred less mystery because in this case it was purely annoying, having to wonder who or what he is, what he does, who he once was etc. It took away from building a liking for the characters.
Sigh. Things were better explained much later in the book, in the 80s, 90s percentage range. It could have been a tactic by the author to maintain the mysterious air but it would have been exponentially better without having to wait so long to find out about our main characters’ history.

4. Genre Representation ★★★★★

So yes, it did represent its genre very well – Paranormal romance, fantasy, magical realism. We got the supernatural realm blending into the natural familiar world. An angel, a witch, lucid dreaming (which isn’t totally dreaming but real alternate life taking place in a dream?) dark shadows, magic and so on mixed with piercing gazes, forbidden longing, sexual stuff (not really, at all, just kisses). So this section got its 5 stars.

5. Characters ★★☆☆☆

Gemma – flat, annoying, talks too much in her head,
Evan- hot, creepy, possessive, mysterious (in a very annoying way)
You know what? I’d like this story to be re-written with Evan being a below average looking guy, with normal dark brown eyes. All this forbidden love would have been avoided. That’s how much the connection between the two main characters was lacking. There was just no real emotional connection; I saw it as purely physical. From the first time she saw him in the woods, she felt something. Before they even had their first conversation, she knew she was completely in love with Evan. Throughout the book their chemistry with each other was mentioned, but that doesn’t justify their love for each other before they even shared a conversation. It just doesn’t.
Simon and Genevra – hot, in love, having sex all the time?
Drake – hot, enjoys his job.
Basically, the characters are all hot, they’re all flat.

6. Journey ★☆☆☆☆

Did I enjoy the journey that this book took me on? I certainly did not. I found myself ranting and talking to myself, asking so many whys!

7. Ending ★☆☆☆☆

Predictable. There was something which was left unexplained – why did the smell of the poison entice Gemma? I’m guessing the readers who continue reading this story will find out in the other books. I bet she’s a witch or a descendant of Eve or something like that.

8. Writing Style ★☆☆☆☆

I think the author was going for a poetic or lyrical sort of writing style but ended up producing something quite verbose, elaborate and overly descriptive packed with unnecessary similes and overused words. This could have been a 250- page book if all the pointless similes and descriptions were removed.

Words now stuck in my head from reading this book – wild, Wild Thing, dark, mysterious, cold, ice, ominous. On almost every 2 pages one of these words, or a combination of a few were used.

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