by Claire North
The electrifying new thriller from the author of the acclaimed The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August. Kepler is like you, but not like you. With a simple touch, Kepler can move into any body, live any life - for a moment, a day or for years. And your life could be next. SOME PEOPLE TOUCH LIVES. OTHERS TAKE THEM. I DO BOTH. 'Just extraordinary' Clare Mackintosh, author of I Let You Go 'North's talent shines out' Sunday Times 'Dazzlingly imaginative' Sunday Mirror 'Breathless and brilliantly original' Love Reading 'Destined to be one of the biggest thrillers of 2015' Rick O'Shea, radio presenter Discover the mesmerising new novel from one of the most original new voices in modern fiction.
- Format: Hardback
- Pages: 432 pages
- Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
- Publication Date: 26/02/2015
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780356504599
Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.
Review by AdonisGuilfoyle
Whereas the last book I read was all character and no action, Claire North's 'bloodless' take on the vampire novel is all concept and no characterisation. Or rather, lots of characters, but only their skins, not their souls. 'Kepler' (*not his, her or its real name) has been hopping from body to body for hundreds of years, switching hosts with the briefest touch. The only trace that ghosts like Kepler leave is a fleeting sense of amnesia in their victims - missing moments, hours, days or even years that cannot be accounted for (and perhaps a better life, or at least a new wardrobe, for the unsuspecting host). Only these possessions have not gone unnoticed, and Kepler must first evade an assassin and then get him onside to track down the real enemy, known as Galileo.Hm. I did enjoy the world-building and the <i>jumping</i> between passing strangers, but <i>Touch</i> is a one-trick pony. We never really get to know 'Kepler', not even a real name, and Nathan Coyle, the 'ghost' hunter, is a bit of a macho cliche, so there is nothing really to bind the plot and the action sequences together, bar a lot of dialogue. I can see this making a great film - with an extended cast! - but the narrative could have done with more 'body' than even Kepler could supply.
Review by iansales
I bought this because I thought The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August was pretty good, and the central premise of this new novel – a being who can jump from body to body by touch and while in possession control them – sounded intriguing. Having now read it, I don’t think it’s quite as successful as North’s first novel. It’s certainly a polished piece of writing, the narrator Kepler is well-drawn, and the central conceit is well-handled… but the plot sort of gets lost along the way and eventually peters out. I reviewed the book for Interzone.