Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Review of TOUCH OF DEATH by Kelly Hashway

Author: Kelly Hashway
Publication Date: Paperback: January 15th 2013
E-Book: Hopefully in time for christmas!
Source: ARC from Spencer Hill Press

*I Hereby Award This Book 5 Wings* 
(but I would gladly award it a thousand times that)

"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"

I first came across Touch of Death on Spencer Hill Press's website. I saw the cover and had to look up what it was about. From what I read [synopsis above] I knew that it was something I would LOVE to read. I put in a request for the ARC there and then. I am eternally grateful that Kate put me on the list to receive it.

Now, the book itself arrived in September 2012 and I agreed to buddy read it with a blogger friend Kay once hers arrived the following week. I had another book to read in the meantime, but boy I didn't know how much it would kill me not to read it right away - I think I died a little inside each day that I looked at it's gorgeous cover on my shelf.

Finally, I got to read it on September 30th and I loved it so much and couldn't bear to put it down so I finished it in one day. I'd say one sitting but that wouldn't quite be true, I did have to put it down to go food shopping and once in the evening because I was in so much pain (you guys know I've been poorly recently).

Before I get to my actual review, let me just point out that ToD has the most beautiful cover I have seen on a book in a long time. The only other one that I've seen that compares to it's beauty is it's sequel, Stalked By Death [pictured below]

I mean seriously, I have the pictures of the two as my Facebook/Twitter profile pictures and as my iPhone wallpaper! That's not quite how far I have gone in my love for this book though.... I also had a tattoo! [pictured below] It's on my right clavicle. I absolutely LOVE it!! 

[This was taken the day I had it done]

I also took a picture of the chapter header page and put it side by side with my tattoo!
Reading the book and seeing the picture of my tattoo all the way through was ace!! <3

Anyway I suppose I really ought to get on with my actual review, that's what you came here for after all...

Jodi Marshall was home-schooled by her mom until recently when she was enrolled in the local school. Once there, she made friends, her best friend being Melodie. She's even found herself a boyfriend, Matt. Oh Matt, what a sweet, charming, thoughtful...(I could go on) kind of guy he is. He is just the kind of guy you take home to your parents. 
Jodi's first day of school doesn't exactly go as smoothly as that of your typical junior high kid. It begins as she's driving to school. That's when she hits her first snag. By 'snag', in this instance means a deer. There's a huge dent in the front of her car and Jodi is shaken as she sees the deer lying there, dead. Only, moments pass when the deer gets up and runs of into the trees. Strange!
Her neighbour Mr Leeman pulls up in his car and asks if she needs any help but Jodi has called her mom and and she is sorting out a tow truck for the car. She can't drive it to school in that state. 

As Jodi gets to school late on her very first day, she tells the lady in the front office, Mrs Thompson, that she's late because she hit a deer. Mrs Thompson tells her she needs to get checked out by the school nurse, so Jodi goes to her office, even though she doesn't feel as though she has any injuries. Ms Steingall, the nurse, looks Jodi over and clears her for class.

It isn't until a little later that Jodi's day gets that bit stranger. It turns out that Ms Steingall died and as Jodi was one of the last people to see her alive, the police need to question her to see if she knows anything about  her sudden death. 

Not a great start to her day. As if the day couldn't get any worse, there's a guy, Green Eyes and he seems to be stalking Jodi. He turns up in class and then disappears. He turns up outside her house and ends up in a near fight with Matt.

All in all, I think we can say that it hasn't been the easiest of starts to her school life. I guess you can say it was eventful, but not really in a good way. 

Jodi volunteers for a construction project but that day isn't exactly an easy one either. Let's just say 'watch out for the squirrel' - you really, really need to read that scene for yourself. It's funny but then it's disgusting. Seriously, I was thinking to myself at the time that Kelly Hashway has a penchant for death.

[There is seriously one big missing piece here but I can't explain it without getting into spoilers and I don't want to do that because it's more exciting to read it first hand than after having read it in my review. All I can say is WOW - I didn't see it coming and I cried my eyes out. Twice.]

When Jodi finally gives in to Green Eyes and decides to end his stalking her by talking to him, she discovers a whole world out there that she has no knowledge of and isn't keen on finding out anything about. He tells her that she's special, that she has gorgon blood running through her veins. He tells her that he is the same as her and there are more of them, the are called Ophi because of their god Ophiuchus. They were all born under the 13th sign of the zodiac. He tells her that that her blood and saliva have the power to kill. It's the blood from the left side of the body that is dangerous, whereas the blood from the right can bring life rather than end it. 

With all this to take in, Jodi is sent spinning. How can she be dangerous to everyone she loves? Can she really run away with Alex [yes, Green Eyes has a name] and leave everyone behind to be with more of her kind? 
If she stays, everyone she loves will constantly be in danger from her. If she leaves, she can be with people of her own kind, but can never be in the lives of those she loves. It's such a scary predicament for her to be in. 

Decision made, Alex takes Jodi to meet his parents. They have a kind of mansion where there's a group of Ophi all living together and it turns out they are expecting her. It turns out that Alex was meant to fetch her as soon as they felt her coming into her powers. 

Upon meeting the other Ophi, Jodi makes an instant enemy out of Abigail. Turns out that's not such a surprise considering Abby has eyes for Alex and thinks that Jodi does too. But Jodi has bigger problems on her plate than petty fights with Abby. 

Jodi sees a statue of Medusa in the mansion. She looks to be made of solid gold. She seems to be calling to Jodi somehow, she feels drawn towards her. 

[Another spoiler removed]

It's not all fun and games learning to be an Ophi and harness her powers. Jodi is more powerful than any of the others and it's hard to keep it in check. There's ups and downs mainly in the form of Abby trying to cause trouble. But there's also Alex. Gorgeous, mysterious, alluring. There are so many words to describe him I won't even try. He is seriously swoon-worthy. 

As Jodi learns the secrets of her past and how she came to be Ophi, it's a long hard lesson. There are twists and turns, ups and downs and plenty of action to keep you on the edge of your seat throughout.

I went into this book knowing it was something I would enjoy. I came out of this book knowing it's something that I absolutely could not love any more than I do. I am so glad I read it. At first I thought 'oh my God, someone is going to die every chapter' - but once I got into reading it, I realised it wasn't like that at all. It's just amazing. 

Touch Of Death is a highly addictive read. You know you're hooked when you pick it up and refuse to put it down til 1:20am when you are finished. I was sitting here trying to think to myself if I could describe this book in less words than I have and I came up with two words FREAKING PHENOMENAL! But if that was all I said in my review, I'm not sure you'd buy it just on those words alone! But I tell you something, you definitely should! It is a MUST read.

If you like zombies, necromancers, mythology, gorgeous men and fantastic writing, then you need to add this to your own TBR pile. NOW!!

This is the first of Kelly Hashway's books that I have read but it certainly won't be the last. For a start there's the sequels Stalked By Death (July 2013) and Face Of Death (2014). But that's not exactly what I mean. 
This may sound silly to you now, but this woman has a fan-girl for life in me. I will read ANYTHING she writes. 

Thank you to Spencer Hill Press for giving me this ARC and for putting me on the list for Stalked By Death already. 
Thank you to Kate Kaynak who constantly puts up with me tagging photos of her on Facebook and squealing excitedly about this book.
Thank you to Kayleigh- Marie Gore who buddy read this with me and listened when I wanted to cry myself to pieces.
But the biggest thank you of all goes to Kelly Hashway. Thank you for the first installment in Jodi's story. Thank you for writing Alex into the story. Big thanks also for always listening to me when I tweet you, DM you, tag you on Facebook. I am so happy to have someone to talk to about everything Jodi!!

Lastly, but not least, thank you to everyone who's come by today to read my review.

If you want to pre-order your copy, it couldn't be easier:


  1. Keren, thank you for such an amazing review! You are awesome. <3

    1. Thank you Kelly. I had an awesome time reading such a fantastic book! <3


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