Reviewed by Marianne van der Wel
Kepler dies by the hand of a stinking vagrant in a dark back alley. But when reaching out to the murderer those last moments, a sudden switch takes place. Now Kepler is looking out through the eyes of the killer himself, staring down at a broken and ruined body.
Instead of dying, Kepler has gained the ability to jump into another person’s skin and see through their eyes, live their life. For a few minutes, a few months or a lifetime.
Kepler means these host bodies no harm. But when one of his hosts is assassinated, Kepler sets out to find the truth and avenge her death.
Touch by Claire North starts off a little chaotically. There are a lot of jumps to former ‘lives’ that Kepler has lived, and it all feels a bit untethered. But once I got to the point where I found out what the story was really about, I was hooked. The story comes together and you can see how everything that has happened to Kepler has made them to who they are. But most of all you’re amazed by what they’ve chosen not to become.
I really loved this book. It’s like a rollercoaster you ride blindfolded. First it takes you up. You have no idea what to expect, how high it will go, you just let it take you. Then, the ride truly starts. That first drop, acceleration, a few turns, a couple of bumps, you know they’re coming and you’re braced for them. But after that you hold on for dear life and hope it ends well. It does, in a way. But it still leaves you reeling from that last drop, right before they slam on the brakes and the ride ends.
It’s a story about love, loss, betrayal, fear and human nature. It’s well written, with a diverse set of characters. I would recommend it to anyone.
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There is an ebook of Touch available here.