A Touch of Death by Rebecca Crunden is a fantastic start to a series about a dark and distant future.
When I got a copy of this novel, I only had a slight idea of what this book was about and honestly, I wasn’t sure I would like it. Lucky for me, I enjoyed it immensely. The reason being that I usually avoid books that are “dystopian fiction.” I figured that it is something that I was never in too, so therefore I never gave it a chance. I am grateful for the opportunity that came across to prove me wrong about this mindset of avoiding this genre of fiction. Now, because of this book, I will be dipping my toes into this genre a bit more.
Here’s what the book is about!
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.
So here are the goods!
The opening of this book was impressive! This is what got me reading and kept me going. At the point, I had no idea where the writer was going to go with it, but I was hooked, so I kept ongoing. Without telling too much, it was actually pretty unmerciful, to say the least. Not for me, but for the characters.
The author constructs you a tale of the world, the people, their memoir, conflicts, and classes. This added to the book, making it feel more credible. What do I mean? Let me give you an example, instead of having a hovercraft flying through the world and then a girl with a wooden bow jumping out of a tree and shooting you with an AJ-23400 Electromagnetic arrow. That girl would have a back story, a history, in her world that would explain what made her the person she is, and who and why she was killing the person on the hoverboard. The point I’m trying to make is that Crunden KNOWS how to immerse you in the story.
Now, the characters. How do I explain this? Well, how about two peas from a pod running down the tracks of life-threatening adventure. Except, these peas are from different seeds, one is more like a ball, the other more a square. You know what I mean because we all have somebody we know that we would never go on a road trip with. The difference is, unfortunately for them, they had no other choice but too. Both of them owning powerful and very opposite personalities that caused the tension, drama, and a new meaning of “Opposites attract” even if they don’t’ want too.
Now, the tricky part, the ending. How to do this without giving away any spoilers? Well, it left me with a feeling of WHAT!? And they lived happily ever after!? Actually, I can’t really say much more without giving away much more… but…WHAT?!
As I mentioned, my experience with dystopian fiction is minimal. So, unfortunately, I don’t have any books to compare this too. If you like books that have aspects like I mentioned above, then you will love to read this book. You will love how it all turns out! Trust me!