May 1, 2013

Review - Touch by Jus Accardo

Title: Touch
Author: Jus Accardo
Series: Denazen #1
Length: 284
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Original Publication Date: November 1st 2011
When a strange boy tumbles down a river embankment and lands at her feet, seventeen-year-old adrenaline junkie Deznee Cross snatches the opportunity to piss off her father by bringing the mysterious hottie with ice blue eyes home.

Except there’s something off with Kale. He wears her shoes in the shower, is overly fascinated with things like DVDs and vases, and acts like she’ll turn to dust if he touches her. It’s not until Dez’s father shows up, wielding a gun and knowing more about Kale than he should, that Dez realizes there’s more to this boy—and her father’s “law firm”—than she realized.

Kale has been a prisoner of Denazen Corporation—an organization devoted to collecting “special” kids known as Sixes and using them as weapons—his entire life. And, oh yeah, his touch? It kills. The two team up with a group of rogue Sixes hellbent on taking down Denazen before they’re caught and her father discovers the biggest secret of all. A secret Dez has spent her life keeping safe.

A secret Kale will kill to protect.

My relationship with young adult books ran aground a few years ago, so I tend to avoid them like the plague. I read about 2-3 Young Adult books in a year, and even then usually I have thousand ways to filter them, I give them to my "test readers" whose taste I (mostly) trust before I open them. It is very rare when the blurb is so compelling that I do not wait for anyone to read it first and I jump on it ASAP. 

I was interested in this book not because of the "very interesting" blurb, but because my friend who loved it so much and It made me curious. Although I must admit that the "killer touch" thing is very interesting, whether or not Stan Lee (X-Men) came up with it first. However, this concept could take two directions. Either it creates an exciting and interesting story or a complete disaster filled with powerful clichés. So then it is a legitimate question that which category the Touch falls into? Well, a bit both, as it has the most pervasive cliché of all, however it turned out to be a great and exciting story.

The basic story reminded me of the tv show called Heroes for a while. The whole hypocritical Denazen organization, characters with special abilities, Dez's father and other things. But I didn't feel that this was some kind of ripoff. It worked, it was interesting and sometimes surprising. Of course we can find the famous roller coaster effect here too. There had been less interesting parts, but it also had scenes where the events were spinning and I could almost see them before my eyes, and I was like oh my god what's gonna happen now... 

The romantic thread - because there is one - is very good and different from the ordinary YA books. Another good point for Jus and if we're talking about YA titles again, Touch managed to avoid all the things that make me nuts about 97% of YA books. It doesn't take place in a school, the characters are not annoying and ultra naive, there is no love hexagon and it's not all about teenage problems. What I very much liked was that there were some very special abilities, especially at the end. And this time the main characters had, indeed different abilities, not the average like in all the other books in the genre. All the characters had their own personality. They gave life to the story.

Dez convinced me at the very first page and I loved that she is so sharp-tongued, cool, funny, temperamental and hot-headed, which of course got her into lot of trouble, there are some scenes where the girl is clearly lost in the dark and she would deserve a bucket of cold water to wake her up but these ignited some conflict and that's never a bad thing.

Kale's personality develops right in front of our eyes. He was closed off from the outworld all in his life, woke up, ate, slept, killed on command... until he escaped. So, most of the things that are normal to the everyday people, for him they are new to get used to. Actually he has a dual personality. One is a dangerous killer and you really don't want to be on his bad side. Not a lunatic running amok, but if the situation demands it, when he's or his beloved one are threatened then he strikes...hard. On the other hand, Kale sometimes is like an abandoned child and you want nothing else just to comfort him and show him a lot of good things in life, that he missed. Oh, and of course he's a true Romeo :) and a key player of the very dangerous, cute and funny situations / dialogues.

Out of the side characters Dez's father is definitely worth mentioning. He is a real son of a bitch, heartless asshole who deserves a shot in the head. Dez's friend Alex about whom I still don't know wich team is on, but at first he is a sympathetic scumbag, then he, too, acts like Romeo for a while.. or should we call him Judas? The third place goes to Ginger whom about everything I could say would be spoiler so let it be enough that you don't want to mess with the old women and nobody is what they seem to be. The last is Brandt, Dez's cousin. Well now he, too, has thrown a curveball at us. By the way he has a novel called "Faceless" I think it's worth reading. Apart from them, there are a lot of other side scharacters from both sides.

Favorite character(s): Dez, Kale, Alex
Favorite scene(s): Definitely the "final" battle. It was really epic!
Favorite quotes(s):
"Wow!” Fin let out a sharp whistle. “You look hot, Dez. You can raid my tomb whenever you’d like.”
After a while, Kale cleared his throat. “School. Tell me about school.”
I blinked. “Are you serious?”
“Sue used to tell me about a place where people my own age gather to learn. It always fascinated me.” He smiled. “What was your favorite part?”
I gave him a lopsided grin. “Well, there’s this class called detention…”

This was B-movie perfection. Uber evil corporation, complete with brainless muscle and evil plot to take over the world. Everyone was in on it except the poor, helpless, beautiful girl.
Okay. Not helpless, but definitely beautiful. No. Scratch that. Hot.
„As long as I know this” – he lifted our joined hands – „is mine to hold, I"ll wait for you forever.” 

Overall: I feel that this will be one of my favorite YA series, of which there is not many. Huge "endgame" with a cliffhanger. I recommend this to those who love the genre and who are prejudiced like myself because this time we got a good book which deserves a much larger fan base.

DhesiX Web Developer

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