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Nate has never played by the rules. He knows the society he grew up in is broken, and he will make sure the rest of the world knows it too. But the King will not stand for anything disrupting his utopia, even if it is corrupt and centered around the wealthy. When Nate is forced to run or die, he doesn’t hesitate to head for the Outlands. A place that may be filled with danger, but the King will never find him. Unfortunately, he isn’t alone and Catherine is dragged into fleeing for her life. A woman who grew up in the wealth of society, who sees no fault in how she lives. But as she encounters the hardships on their journey to the Outlands, her worldwide views begin to change.
A Touch of Death centers around a society where if you pay a high enough amount, you’ll get away with almost anything. It also focuses on how the less well-off members of society are considered second-rate and do not receive the same attention and care the wealthy do. Nate has a fiery attitude and puts his life on the line to try and expose the truth of society. And while he is one of the wealthy, he refuses to act like it. He uses what power he has to form resistance groups, and in the end, it is his ultimate downfall.
While Nate kicks off the events of the story, most of it is told through Catherine’s point of view. This was a wonderful decision as it showed how someone who fully believed in society began to see the error in its ways. Catherine was so steadfast against Nate and could not believe why he caused so much trouble. But her encounters on the run began to open her eyes to the bigger picture and to see not everything was perfect in utopia.
I do wish more time had been spent with the secondary characters. Nate and Catherine go through so much growth and yet we don’t see much from the characters that eventually join their quest. The journey itself was such an interesting part of the story, and it would have been great to have more time to see Nate and Catherine bond with outside characters. The emotional ties would have formed much closure for the readers, causing more of an emotional pull when they encountered challenges along the way.
However, the way Nate and Catherine developed their relations was fantastic. Putting Catherine with a character she could not stand, yet had to rely on for survival caused a heady dose of drama and tension. Add to the fact that she doesn’t fully believe in the reason they are running away and doubting every choice they’ve made. Imagine your entire world is upset by someone you can’t stand, and the more time you spend with them, all the thoughts and ideals you had about life are turned upside down. You constantly question, is this the truth? Even when it is blatantly all around you.
A Touch of Death is a book for those who enjoy dystopian novels with fiery tempered characters. And when you turn the final page, you’ll be eager to see what new direction the story will go. I certainly need to find out!
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