Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Touch of Death: Book Review, Author Interview, & Giveaway

Touch of Death 
Published By: Spencer Hill Press
Publication Date: January 15, 2013
Page Count: 235
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher
Audience: Young Adult - Paranormal, Greek Mythology

I'm a sucker for novels inspired by Greek Mythology. This novel lured me in with a pretty cover and it's intriguing synopsis. The beginning was a bit slow, but things started to pick up pretty quickly and from that point on I didn't want to put this one down.

What would you do if every boy you kissed died? What would you do if a single drop of your blood had the power to raise the dead? Life is already stressful during the teenage years, but adding the powers of life and death to the mix make Jodi Marshall's high school experience less than ideal. To make matters worse, she has no idea what's coursing through her veins until a handsome, green eyed stranger starts popping up. He keeps trying to get Jodi alone to talk; she's pretty sure it's not so he can gaze longingly into her eyes and profess his undying devotion. When tragedy keeps striking, Jodi is forced to listen and what she learns about herself will change her life forever.

Jodi isn't safe - she can't be around humans and animals without the fear of killing them or resurrecting them accidentally. She sacrifices the life she has always known to learn how to control her powers. The handsome stranger, Alex, takes her to his home to begin her training. This portion of the novel felt like a Greek Mythology inspired X-Men and I loved every moment. Zombies, Gorgon blood, Hades' wraith - oh my! This is one heart pounding adrenaline ride and Jodi is a YA heroine worth cheering for as she tries to save the day. I loved her compassion for the souls that were brought back.

I loved that the mythology in this one was something different. I am finding that I am over the Persephone and Hades revamps. I've read some great ones, but I wanted something different. I liked that this one features Hades, but is really truly about Medusa's ancestors. I also learned something new; I had never heard of Ophiuchus before so I enjoyed getting to know the lore surrounding him. Researching him is on my to do list to see how much of the lore was taken from existing sources and how much was a creation from Hashway's imagination. I loved this world and the Ophi race. I can't wait for more!

There are so many more things I enjoyed about this novel such as the romance and the conflict, but discussing those elements would ruin the novel. My lips are sealed, but I will say that there are several hot kisses and an epic cemetery battle. Touch of Death does a beautiful job of combining zombies, necromancers, and Greek mythology. This is a strong debut novel; Kelly Hashway has serious writing potential.

One Last Gripe: I felt some of the scenes lacked details. For example, the scene in the library when Jodi is hunting for information on her father just seemed to go too flawlessly.

My Favorite Things About This Book: The Ophi lore and Medusa's scenes

First Sentence: A red light means stop.

Favorite Character: Jodi

Least Favorite Character: Abby

Jodi Marshall isn’t sure how she went from normal teenager to walking disaster. One minute she’s in her junior year of high school, spending time with her amazing boyfriend and her best friend. The next she’s being stalked by some guy no one seems to know.

After the stranger, Alex, reveals himself, Jodi learns he’s not a normal teenager and neither is she. With a kiss that kills and a touch that brings the dead back to life, Jodi discovers she’s part of a branch of necromancers born under the 13th sign of the zodiac, Ophiuchus. A branch of necromancers that are descendents of Medusa. A branch of necromancers with poisoned blood writhing in their veins.

Jodi’s deadly to the living and even more deadly to the deceased. She has to leave her old, normal life behind before she hurts the people she loves. As if that isn’t difficult enough, Jodi discovers she’s the chosen one who has to save the rest of her kind from perishing at the hands of Hades. If she can’t figure out how to control her power, history will repeat itself, and her race will become extinct.

I'd like to thank Kelly Hashway for her time and Spencer Hill Press for allowing us to be part of the blog tour and providing the tour giveaway.

Andrea @ Reading Lark: Where did you come up with the concept for this novel?

Kelly: I was researching for another book at the time and came across a lesser known myth about Ophiuchus (the 13th sign of the zodiac) and Medusa. I loved the story about how Ophiuchus was given two vials of the Gorgon Medusa's blood, one with the power to restore life and one that could take life. I knew I had to create characters who had the same abilities.

Andrea @ Reading Lark: Do you have an interesting writing ritual or quirk?

Kelly: I'm a big planner. For Touch of Death, I had 24 pages of planning before I started drafting, but once I started writing, I didn't even look at my planning. It's crazy but I do this for every book. I have to get the story in my head first, and then I don't glance at my notes anymore because I let the characters just take over. I feel like I'm just trying to keep up while they play everything out in my mind.

Andrea @ Reading Lark: What is your advice for aspiring writers?

Kelly: Read! Read a lot. I learned the most about writing from reading great books.

Andrea @ Reading Lark: Which character is most like you? Why?

Kelly: Definitely Jodi. She's very accident prone like I am. Plus we have the same birthday, December 8. We both drink hot tea in one big gulp and love steaming hot showers where the water is so hot it feels cold.

Andrea @ Reading Lark: Where is your book set?

Kelly: The book is set in an unnamed town in Pennsylvania.

Andrea @ Reading Lark: Who are three of your favorite authors?

Kelly: Rick Riordan, Becca Fitzpatrick, Rachel Hawkins

Andrea @ Reading Lark: What is your favorite bird?

Kelly: The Phoenix (even thought its mythical)

This or That:
- Coffee or Tea? Coffee
- Winter or Summer? Summer
- Read or Write? Write
- Ocean or Mountains? Ocean
- Ketchup or Mustard? Mustard


  1. Thanks for having me, Andrea. I'm so glad you enjoyed Touch of Death!

  2. I love the concept of this book. I am a sucker for Greek and Norse and Roman mythology. Love everything surrounding these mythical gods and goddesses, I am very happy that this book has a huge potential and i am adding it to my TBR
    GREAT review, Andrea!
    Your reader,

  3. Great review and interview! I loved Touch of Death as well! I thought the story was such a unique take on Greek mythology!

    Teresa @ Readers Live A Thousand Lives

  4. My little niece made me smile this week in her little bear coat ;D

  5. Thanks for the great review and interview! This sounds like such an interesting read, looking forward to reading this one! Medusa is one of my favorites!


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