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TOUCH

She’s got that invisible…

By Walter, author of The Fifth Defiance

Jan 26, 2018: [Disclaimers: First, I am doing this as part of a review swap. Second, Touch is still a young serial at this point, with only its first arc available for review. What you read may bear little resemblance to what I’m reviewing by the time you read this]

Touch takes place in a world like, but not exactly like, our own, where superpowered folks clash in a parallel world that most people aren’t aware of.

The Highs:

Touch’s author has a lot of confidence, and believes in the reader’s ability to piece together information from context. The narrative flow is not interrupted to do world building, rather they occur as components of one another.

The characters in the story are well formed and familiar enough to not need pages and pages of introduction, but distinct enough form their archetypes that they will still surprise you.

The story itself is a LOT less predictable than I thought it would be going in. I’ve read a lot of fiction, and I’d guess Touch’s author has too, consistently jinking my expectations.

The younger characters manage to be neither excessively twee nor the ‘adults in kid shaped containers’ that populate so many stories.

The Lows:

The author hasn’t mastered the trick of getting the motivations of the characters and the readers to align. A traumatized child desperately wants to get back to his ‘normal’ existence, which we have never seen and presumably didn’t come to read about. A busy character is eager to get teleporting across the world and being awesome over with so they can go back to their office, etc. It creates a tension where you don’t want them to succeed, but rooting against a POV character who is also an abused child is also not in the cards.

Our lack of knowledge about what the society knows is getting acute. We need to know what the baseline people know.

Overall:

It wouldn’t be responsible to give an overall with just this to work with. Thus far, the series is enjoyable and page turning, but it is also getting a lot of boost from swerving expectations and introducing twists. It will be very interesting to see how the author digs in with the second arc, as the dominoes they’ve set up begin to fall.

In place of an assessment let me say this. I’ll be reading on to find out what happens next.

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