Title: A Touch of Death
Author: Rebecca Crunden
Published Date: February 23, 2017
Length: 306 pages
Source: I was sent this book from the author
Nate Anteros has a habit of speaking his mind. In the Kingdom of Cutta, a totalitarian kingdom where the last of humanity lives safely inside the walls, speaking your mind is the last thing you should be doing. Nate only survived prison thanks to the influence of his mother and father. After being released, he disappeared for two years before mysteriously returning. The trouble is, he hasn’t learned anything in his absence and causes a fight that forces him and Catherine Taenia to flee into the mountains one night, making the dark, cold, and terrible trek to a neighboring city.
Although they are quickly allowed back home, they find they are infected with a mysterious infection that makes it impossible to bear the touch of anyone but each other. Once again, they are forced to flee the city, and the King’s guards and make their way to the one place they will be safe: the Outlands. Of course, safe is a relative term, considering that beyond the walls of the Kingdom are mutants and rabids.
One the run, Catherine and Nate must find out what happened to them and how to stop it before it’s too late.
I really like this book, and I feel the strength of it lies with Catherine. She’s such an interesting character. At the beginning, she’s totally bought into the system of the world she’s lived in. She believes the king is just, the laws are fair, and that dissenters are insane to question the way things are. The book is her journey from pampered princess to understanding that there is something seriously wrong with their society. She starts out strong, too. She’s headstrong and determined and honest. She speaks her mind an isn’t afraid to stand up for herself. She’s amazing.
Nate is well done, too. His whole life, he’s been shown the ugly side of the Kingdom, even though he, too, has grown up in wealth and comfort. He believes in loyalty and friendship and brotherhood. I love his relationship with his brother, Thom. They are close and loving and totally connected. I like how he treats Catherine and how he enjoys arguing with her. His journey is painful to read, but so well worth it.
I was completely engrossed in this story. I loved the world-building, although I do wish some of it had been a little more explicit. I guess at one point, humans lived underground and mutants roamed the earth, and I’d like to know more about that. Especially the mutants. I hope that those topics are more explored in the other books. I greatly look forward to that.
I would recommend this to people who enjoy dystopian books and books about characters fleeing from the law. It’s engrossing, well written, and has great characters. It’s definitely worth checking out.