A Touch of Death

Dear Touch of Death,

I want more! By the end of our time I was fully enveloped into the world and didn’t want to leave the people. I am so thankful there is more of your story to dive into.

With Love,

P.S. Book Details
Author: Rebecca Crunden
Book Length: 306 pages
Book Genre: Dystopia
Publication Date: February 23, 2017
Awards: N/A
Synopsis: A thousand years in the future, the last of humanity live inside the walls of the totalitarian Kingdom of Cutta. The rich live in Anais, the capital city of Cutta, sheltered from the famine and disease which ravage the rest of the Kingdom. Yet riches and power only go so far, and even Anaitians can be executed. It is only by the will of the King that Nate Anteros, son of the King’s favourite, is spared from the gallows after openly dissenting. But when he’s released from prison, Nate disappears.

A stark contrast, Catherine Taenia has spent her entire life comfortable and content. The daughter of the King’s Hangman and in love with Thom, Nate’s younger brother, her life has always been easy, ordered and comfortable. That is, where it doesn’t concern Nate. His actions sullied not only his future, but theirs. And unlike Thom, Catherine has never forgiven him.

Two years pass without a word, and then one night Nate returns. But things with Nate are never simple, and when one wrong move turns their lives upside down, the only thing left to do is run where the King’s guards cannot find them – the Outlands. Those wild, untamed lands which stretch around the great walls of the Kingdom, filled with mutants and rabids.


A Touch of Death is exactly what I like about dystopia. While it had some of the markers of this genre, it explored into new realms and branched out of the overused tropes. I enjoy reading dystopia novels, but for a while I had been burnt out. There was the big craze a couple years ago where it was all that was being released. When Crunden reached out to me about her novel, I jumped at the chance to read it.

I could go on and on about the characters. Each was so unique and felt real to me. I appreciate the time Crunden took to develop each character individually and give them strong personalities. The first book in the pentalogy is following Catherine Taenia. As the reader, we are in her mind and looking at this world from her eyes. She is a city girl who enjoys her comfortable life, getting in trouble with her future brother-in-law (Nate) was not in the plan. In an unexpected turn of events her whole life is turned around and she does not take to it kindly. For most of the book Catherine is angry with Nate. But, anger is not the sole emotion. She is grieving many losses, angry at her situation, and hoping things will get better. Catherine is well-rounded and written with the complexity she deserves. The transformation in Catherine’s character was wonderfully done. By the end of the book, she is not a totally different character, but she is more enlightened.

As the reader, we are thrown into the dystopia world. There isn’t a lot of explaining, the reader is expected to acclimate to the new surroundings as things begin to make sense. This was difficult at first and made the book hard to get into. However, there was a point (maybe one fourth of the way through) where I caught on to the world, the style of writing, and the characters. After that point I was hooked and could barely put it down. The ending of this book is heart wrenching! I’m serious. Going into this book and seeing it was a pentalogy, I thought to myself, “Well, I’m sure each will act as a stand alone”. I was wrong. When A Touch of Death ended I almost felt like crying from disbelief.

I recommend this book to readers who enjoyed The Handmaids Tale, Legend, or Divergent. This is not a YA dystopia (even though it had a similar feel to the storylines of Legend and Divergent). There are definitely adult themes and more mature scenes which puts it into adult (like The Handmaids Tale). If you are looking for a heavier dystopia to dive into, this is an amazing book. There is so much more of the story to come. I, for one, have A History of Madness (book two) all queued up and ready to be read on a binge day!

Goodreads | Author’s Blog

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.


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