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Review: A Touch Mortal

A Touch Mortal is the debut novel for author Leah Clifford. It was released in the U.S. on February 22, 2011 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble in both formats.

Published by Greenwillow Books, the hardcover edition is 432 pages.

A Touch Mortal is one of the books that can be chosen for the 2011 Debut Author Challenge hosted by Kristi at TheStorySiren.com and was the my second pick for the DAC.

Goodreads description:

Eden didn’t expect Az.

Not his saunter down the beach toward her. Not his unbelievable pick-up line. Not the instant, undeniable connection. And not his wings.

Yeah.

So long, happily-ever-after.

Now trapped between life and death, cursed to spread chaos with her every touch, Eden could be the key in the eternal struggle between heaven and hell. All because she gave her heart to one of the Fallen, an angel cast out of heaven.

She may lose everything she ever had. She may be betrayed by those she loves most. But Eden will not be a pawn in anyone else’s game. Her heart is her own.

And that’s only the beginning of the end.

***

Mortals have a path. Their lives have a set direction that they follow. But there are those who don’t. The pathless. The Siders. They begin to fade from the minds of everyone they’ve known and when they choose to end their existence they don’t simply die.

Instead of death, they are fated to wander the earth carrying Touch. Forced to release it before the pain becomes too much to handle. Passing it to mortals who may end their lives because of its effect.

There are Siders that do not care, even take pleasure in the fact that they are harming others. But there are those that don’t want to pay this price for immortality. With no way to stop their suffering, every day is a nightmare.

That is until the day that Eden meets Az and her fate becomes intertwined with theirs, offering them an escape from an eternity of agony, guilt and sorrow.

But falling in love with an angel who is no longer bound to Heaven and forever at risk of becoming one of the Fallen puts her in danger in ways she can’t even imagine.

Will Eden’s love be enough for Az to fight the temptation or will the urge to fall be too much to resist?

***

A Touch Mortal is a clever, distinctive and absolutely astounding debut novel from author Leah Clifford. The world that she has begun creating in this series is edgy, dark and intricate.

This is not simply a love story between a mortal and a fallen angel, but rather a complex story of immortal beings who are caught between Heaven and Hell. Every moment in this story will leave readers filled with trepidation about what might happen next.

Eden is a troubled girl who thinks she is getting a second chance at happiness when she meets Az. But Az is an angel who was sent down from Heaven for falling in love and now the Fallen want to claim him for their own.

With everyone he’s ever loved tortured in an attempt to cause his fall, Eden is his last hope. But when his friend Gabe, an angel still bound to Heaven, discovers that she has no path, the risk to her becomes even greater. And, in order to protect her from the Fallen Az must deceive her and risk losing her love.

A Touch Mortal will keep you in suspense until the very end as you follow Eden as she learns more about what she is, what she is capable of and how to cope with her new existence. The atmosphere in the story is foreboding and will culminate in a cruel, devastating and heartbreaking ending.

Author Leah Clifford has created a new series with so much possibility for what is to come. There are many characters we have yet to learn about, many questions still remaining about Eden and her abilities, and a conclusion that has flipped everything upside down for the start of the next book in the series.

Reviewer gives this book [rating=6]. Like In-N-Out Burger‘s infamous secret menu this one deserves my off-the-menu 6 star rating.

On a personal note:

I have been waiting for this book for months, which felt more like lifetimes. Just check out the description…and the cover. And yes, I am resorting to something I never thought I would put in a post, but – OMG. It was so worth the wait. This book was so freaking cool!

I completely blame Cassandra Clare for getting me hooked on Angel-themed books. She can now share some of the blame with Leah Clifford for the agonizing torture I have to endure between books.

Part of me was totally afraid that I wouldn’t like this book when I started reading it. I lived in fear that I over-hyped it and that I would hate it and then have absolutely nothing positive to say.

I will admit, for the first few pages I was a bit confused. If I hadn’t read up as much as I did on this book, the concepts of the Siders would have had me slightly baffled, but if you just go with the story all becomes clear.

This was one tense read. I was stressed and worried the entire time – which for me is one of the things I like in my books. This book is so wonderfully dark and edgy. I love and hate Eden, which is also something I like to feel about main characters.

But, you see, I totally fell in love with Az at the very beginning. So anything Eden could possibly do that was anti-Az made me want to have Kristen kick the c**p out of her!

It’s so hard to write this section without revealing anything, but I can say, “I knew it!” about a few things and can also add that the end has absolutely left me shattered. And a wee bit despondent after spending all those hours on edge and keeping fingers crossed for a happily ever after.

***

A Touch Mortal is the first book in a planned trilogy. To read an excerpt from HarperTeen, click here.

Favorite passage:

Memories rose, rippling like pebbles tossed into the lies she’d told herself to try to forget about him.

(I knew it immediately when I read it that this was my favorite passage, which is funny as it was the very passage that was rephrased and quoted later in the book by a certain evil dude.)

UPDATE 3/15/11: Book trailer for A Touch Mortal:

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