Reviewed by: Amanda
Rating (out of 5): 4 stars
Note: While this review is spoiler free, it does assume you’ve read Silence.
It is a very rare occurrence that I cry while reading a book. I’m not much of a crier in general (Hunger Games movies notwithstanding), so if a book makes me cry, it’s a big deal.
I cried during the prologue of Touch. The prologue.
Nathan was killed in a car accident four months ago, and Emma hasn’t gotten over it. She’s learned to live with missing her father, who died eight years ago, but the thought of having to live without Nathan is too much. So she goes through the motions of everyday life, convincing most people she’s fine, even though she’s not.
In the intervening months, Emma’s learned she’s a Necromancer, or at least, she has necromantic powers. She’s different from the others with the same powers; unlike them, she sees the dead as people and wants to help them find solace. Not use them for the power they can give her. Because of the events at the end of Silence, she’s become a target, and her friends, who have refused to leave her side, are caught in the crossfire.
Touch is much darker than Silence. If Silence was about grief and loss and the love you felt for someone who was gone, Touch is about acceptance of that loss – and what it can do to you if you don’t. Emma isn’t ready to let Nathan go. Nathan isn’t ready to let Emma go. He doesn’t care that her touch gives him a little bit more of her warmth and kills off a tiny part of her each time. They’re only for each other, and reading about Nathan waking up after the accident, realizing he’s dead, and that he’s left Emma behind, that made me cry.
The story is told mostly from Emma and her friend Allison’s points of view, which is a change from the previous book. Allison is worried about Emma. She knows Em’s putting on a show for everyone else, and she knows that one more death, one more loss, will destroy her. She’ll give up the pretense of living and just wait for death. When Chase, one of the hunters sent to kill Emma, starts trying to convince Allison to abandon her friend for her own safety, Allison won’t, even though she’s in danger.
Pretty much everyone’s in danger this time around. The Necromancers want to bring Emma to the Queen of the Dead, and they’ll kill anyone who gets in the way. Friends and family aren’t safe…and they’re also in the dark. Aside from a few friends, no one knows Emma can see the dead, so they don’t know they’ve got targets painted on their backs.
It gets a little preachy toward the middle (there’s a subplot involving Emma and a small dead boy trying to find his way home), but the story is otherwise solid, and the connection between Nathan and Emma is heartbreaking. By the end, we think we know that Emma and Nathan will have to make a choice to let the other go.
But we may very well be wrong.
Sexual content: Kissing