Ashleigh Paige

I'm a full-time college sophomore pursuing my B.A. in English with hopes of one day working as an editor. Cats, musicals, documentaries about cults/disasters/tragedies, and curse words are just a few of my favorite things. Also, check out our blog or I WILL FIND YOU.

A Touch Mortal

A Touch Mortal - Also appears on The Screaming Nitpicker. I recieved my copy via the Amazon Vine program.For some reason, all of Eden's friends and family are forgetting her. Her dreams of getting out of her tourist town and living on her own are going up in smoke and death isn't looking too terrible. Then along comes Az, a guy she meets on the beach and who drops her such a ridiculous pick-up line that she went out with him. Two weeks later and in love, she discovers his big secret: he's an angel, part Fallen and struggling to keep from finishing his Fall. Shortly after, she dies and awakens as a Sider, someone with the power to spread Touch to humans. She is trying to gain control of her unusual powers, but her connection to Az means that she will not be left alone.The book's biggest problem is in its premise, specifically how people become Siders when they commit suicide. After their death and sometimes before, their friends and family will forget who they are. This apparently leads to their fate, in many cases. Was there a good reason all the Siders had to be forgotten? Couldn't their family and friends have remembered them after they died? The only reason I can think of against this is that it would make it difficult for the Siders to start over elsewhere. But the message that people who kill themselves are forgotten? Not funny. As someone who has experienced suicidal urges before, this is upsetting. Imagine how that might be for someone who still struggles with those feelings!There were still a few holes in the mythology when I finished the book, mostly having to do with why Siders exist, but I did appreciate that some questions were answered. Why Eden is a special Sider? That does have an answer, though it doesn't come out until the very end. It's no case of Unreasonable Special here, folks. The mythology used in the novel was an interesting one, but my irritation with most of the cast kept me from enjoying it fully. The vocabulary of Siders, Upstairs, Downstairs, Fallen, etc. was easy to connect and follow. It does make me wonder why the author couldn't just use Heaven and Hell because we all know that's what they were. Not really a problem so much as a wayward thought of mine.The characters. Where do we start? Eden. What I did like about her was that she was rightfully angry when it came out that Ass Az and Gabriel knew what her future was and didn't try to tell her about Luke. It makes my blood boil when I see heroines be okay with other people doing "what's best for them" without ever talking to them, and the way no one ever seemed to trust her with anything made me angry with her.Then she would act high and mighty over other Siders and I would want to scream at her. Being able to kill them does not put her on a pedestal above them because she's still a Sider just like they are. Due to how they become Siders, I don't see how one would be superior to another.Ass Az did not win much favor from me either, what with how he manipulated Eden and planned to make her kill herself "for her own good." How is it that a centuries-old immortal acts like a fourteen-year-old boy when he falls in love, by the way? I find that an little unrealistic (and don't say anything about realism in a fantasy novel because I've already heard it). All we see is their first date. There's a two week time skip and now they're in love. The romance is a big motivator for Eden and Ass Az, so this needs to be believable for it to work. Without development, their romance is unbelievable and the story suffers for it.Just about the only member of the cast I liked was Kristen because she was delightfully unbalanced and interesting. Everyone else, from Adam the possessive boy toy (seriously, lay off--the girl chose you and you should trust her, not get possessive every time Ass Az comes around) to Gabriel the angel (who constantly said Eden should get back with Ass Az or else he would Fall--way to pressure her, man) to Libby the other Sider, got on my nerves. I would only read further books if they were about Kristen and how she runs her household.I will give A Touch Mortal credit where credit is due. In the last fifty pages, I was honestly interested in what happened. I knew Eden and Ass Az would be fine and one of the villains would die, but I wanted to see what else would happen. One big twist was visible from a mile away, but the other was completely unexpected and left a lot open for the sequel. The way all the Sider and Upstairs and Downstairs stuff goes without explanation can annoy some readers, but I liked that. I got the hang of it easily and appreciated that the author seemed to think their readers intelligent enough to figure it out themselves. I'm sick of authors talking down to me with stuff like that.According to what I found on author Leah Clifford's website, this is the first book in a planned trilogy. Because of my dislike of most of the characters and the suicide thing mentioned much earlier, there is no way I am going to read the next two books. Feel free to try it for yourself, though. Maybe you'll like it more than I did. I should have known better--angel books and I don't mix. At least the mythology and angels weren't what made me mad this time.