Genre: Science fiction, Dystopian, Apocalyptic
Length: 306 Pages
Publishing Date: February 23, 2017
Buying Links for A Touch of Death:
From the Blurb:
A thousand years in the future, the last of humanity live inside the walls of the totalitarian Kingdom of Cutta. The rich live in Anais, the capital city of Cutta, sheltered from the famine and disease which ravage the rest of the Kingdom. Yet riches and power only go so far, and even Anaitians can be executed. It is only by the will of the King that Nate Anteros, son of the King’s favourite, is spared from the gallows after openly dissenting. But when he’s released from prison, Nate disappears.
A stark contrast, Catherine Taenia has spent her entire life comfortable and content. The daughter of the King’s Hangman and in love with Thom, Nate’s younger brother, her life has always been easy, ordered and comfortable. That is, where it doesn’t concern Nate. His actions sullied not only his future, but theirs. And unlike Thom, Catherine has never forgiven him.
Two years pass without a word, and then one night Nate returns. But things with Nate are never simple, and when one wrong move turns their lives upside down, the only thing left to do is run where the King’s guards cannot find them – the Outlands. Those wild, untamed lands which stretch around the great walls of the Kingdom, filled with mutants and rabids.
Nate Anteros, resident of Anais, the wealthiest city of Cutta is spared from the gallows after openly rebelling against the Kingdome owning to his affluent family ties. Catherine Taenia, Nate’s younger brother Thom’s companion has always led a sheltered life. She resents the closeness between the brothers and holds Nate responsible for Thom’s unhappiness. An unfortunate incident brings Nate and Catherine together and a subsequent fatal infection forces them to flee the city of Anais to Outlands, a wild, untamed land beyond the walls of Kingdome Cutta which is filled with rebellions, mutants and rabids.
The Touch of Death is the first volume in a five-book series and Crunden skillfully explores the changed political scenario in a post-apocalyptic earth in which economical, theological and sociological structures have mutated.
It has all the fear and horror of the first book in series – heartbreaking losses, hair-raising escapes and gruesome details of past experiments on humans and mutants, and builds up the central characters and prepares us for the showdown which is still to come in upcoming future. In this first book of the series, Crunden slowly unravels an intricately constructed and unsettling alternate future and successfully creates a believable post-apocalyptic Earth in which darkness prevails in common people’s lives.
The characterization is great, but narration is one of the best qualities of Crunden as a writer. She knows how to play with words. The narration is what makes this book beautiful despite the dark and utter gloom taking central stage in the plot. Crunden takes time to develop genuinely engrossing ideas and characters, although, at times, the conversations seem to linger endlessly. A tighter structural editing would have done wonders to this debutant of the series. But than this is the first one in the series, so it’s understandable that Crunden took liberty when it comes to development of her characters. The book is definitely a strong addition to dystopian literature with its stylish narration and the author’s understanding of human bonding under extreme duress.
A very well-written, memorable book that will make the reader want to grab the next book in the series immediately.
Highly recommended to all dystopian fans and also fans of literary fiction. A beautiful, stylish debut!