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Touch of Death (Touch of Death #1)Expected publication: January 15th 2013 by Spencer Hill Press
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.
My Thoughts: Jodi Marshall was leading a pretty normal teenage life, had a best-friend, boyfriend, everything seemed to be going great until really weird things started happening. Weird things with animals, then a green-eyed boy seems to be stalking her, and she seems to be the last person to see several people she knows alive. It has to be a coincidence, right? At least that is what Jodi tries to tell herself. Alex, aka the green-eyed stalker, knows what is going on with Jodi, but Jodi won't talk to him,"because she thinks he is a stalker." Finally, she gives in, and what he tells her blows her mind. Jodi, like Alex, is a necromancer. Anything her blood touches has the power to kill or bring back to life. Even her kiss is deadly, which she finds out the hard way. On top of that, if you don't bring people who die back the right way, they wind up as zombies, which Jodi also finds out the hard way. Finally convinced that she needs to leave and go to a special school with others just like her, she and Alex leave. Upon arrival, she thinks things are going good. Everyone seems to be nice, everyone except Abigail that is. They all seem glad to have her there, after all she is the chosen one, and she has a special connection with Medusa. Jodi begins to notice that things don't seem quite right, the people that she things are on her side really aren't, and she isn't sure who she can trust. Jodi must get to the bottom of things and discover the truth about who she can trust before they all endure the wrath of Hades.
I really liked Jodi's character. She seemed innocent and naive at first, but that was because she was raised human, home schooled most of her life, and had no idea she was an Ophi. Once she discovered who and what she was, she was determined to do what was right, and didn't want to abuse the power she had been given. I liked Alex a lot. He is quite the hottie, though somewhat mysterious, and I wasn't entirely convinced of his loyalty until the end of the book. The chemistry between Jodi and Alex was pretty hot, and I enjoyed their romance.
I really liked Kelly Hashway's take on zombies and the way she integrated them into the book. She also did a great job incorporating mythology and necromancy, which was original and fresh. The plot was great and the story flowed really well, keeping my interest, and had just the right amount of romance mixed in. The story ended really well also. It leaves you wanting more, but not feeling like you're cliff diving. Touch of Death is excellently written with mythology, zombies, necromancy, suspense, and romance all mixed together. Overall, I really enjoyed Touch of Death and I am looking forward to Stalked by Death the next book in the series.
Kelly Hashway is a former language arts teacher who now works as a full-time writer, freelance editor, and mother to an adorable little girl. In addition to writing YA novels, Kelly writes middle grade books, picture books, and short stories. When she’s not writing or digging her way out from under her enormous To Be Read pile, she’s running and playing with her daughter. She resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, daughter, and two pets.