Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Book Review: A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford

Title: A Touch Mortal
Author: Leah Clifford
Reading Level: Young Adult
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Hardcover, 419 pages
Date Published: February 22, 2011
Description (Taken 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.

Yeah.

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. 
A Touch Mortal is easily one of the most unique and interesting angel books I have ever read. Leah Clifford was very ambitious in writing this one, with her world-building and new creations, but she delivers with force. Not only is A Touch Mortal well-paced, dark, and captivating, but Eden, the main character, is badass with a kind heart. She runs the story, carries it on her back, and does so with ease. That’s not to say things are easy for her. Because they aren’t. Not by a long shot.

In the beginning, we are introduced to a depressed Eden, then a flirty Az and his friend Gabe. After a quick date and a flash forward in time, Eden and Az are in love and we discover that both Gabe and Az are angels. Well, Gabe is a Bound angel and Az is sort of in between that and Falling. The beginning is a bit rough because things happen quickly and with little explanation, but it made me want to know more. And fast.

Once Eden becomes a Sider – an immortal someone born of her own suicide, who must infect people with Touch in order to survive – things begin falling into place. Touch and Siders and then the angels and the Fallen can be a bit confusing, especially since the terms are discussed, but not really elaborated on. Everything is eventually explained though and I was kind of in awe of how well Leah Clifford pulled it all together.

On top of a fantastically complicated story, is an even better cast of characters. I loved Eden. Main characters hold so much weight in a story, but Eden is perfectly flawed and strong, but fragile at the same time. Gabe is also one of those perfectly flawed characters, being inherently good, but not exactly forthcoming to his Upstairs people. Now Az is the big love interest and I liked him enough, but I never really felt much towards him. For me, Adam was a much stronger character. And Kristen. Words cannot describe Kristen – okay, they can because I’m going to try. She’s insane (schizophrenic), but beautiful in her craziness. Her vintage style and grave-robbing and poetry-quoting ways made her my favorite character. My fingers and toes are crossed that she comes back in a big way in the next one. So yeah, the characters are boss!

A Touch Mortal is everything I hoped it would be and a billion things more. Leah Clifford has created this world that is our own, but has molded a dark layer beneath it filled with angels and Siders, good and bad, life and death. I could see some things coming, but the way the twists were handled astounded me. I will say that I didn’t exactly like how a certain character’s arc played out. The conflict felt too easily wrapped up and the character’s actions didn’t ring true to me, but that could just be because I’m a little biased and love the character. In the end, A Touch Mortal leaves the reader begging for more and I for one, will be sure to devour A Touch Morbid the moment I get my hands on it.

Opening lines: Eden dug her hands into the damp sand, black polish chipping off the tips of her fingernails.

Favorite lines/passage:
“Is there a code or something?” Az asked. Eden almost laughed.
“Yeah. If an angel flies me home and is hovering outside a window that also happens to be sans balcony, I rap four times.” ~ pg. 297
And a not so funny one:
Memories rose, rippling like pebbles tossed into the lies she’d told herself to try to forget about him. ~ pg. 315
A big 4.5 for sure!
*This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it.

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5 comments:

Briana said...

I got this book at BEA and am very thrilled to hear that it's good! Great review Nikki!!!

Candace said...

I'm so glad you liked it!

~The Book Pixie said...

I also gave this book 4.5 stars. Like you, I had a couple of minor issues with it and Az was not as swoonworthy as I'd hoped but it was still a really great read that I seriously enjoyed! Lovely review!

~Briana

Lori said...

Angela bought me this as a RAK because she loved it so much. After your review I'm really thinking I need to read it asap.

Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books) said...

Briana - Yes, I really liked it! It sat on my shelf for a long time, but I'm happy I finally cracked it open. I'm into darker stories too, so this one was right up my alley.

Book Pixie - Agreed! I had a few issues with it, but, overall, I really enjoyed it. Still bummed about a certain character though because, 'hello, I loved - no personal pronouns here - that character.'

Lori - This is part of why I love RAK so much. People can finally discover great books that they've wanted, but haven't had a chance to get. I hope you get around to it soon and love it.

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