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Publisher's Summary

Kepler had never meant to die this way--viciously beaten to death by a stinking vagrant in a dark back alley. But when reaching out to the murderer for salvation in those last dying moments, a sudden switch takes place.

Now Kepler is looking out through the eyes of the killer himself, staring down at a broken and ruined body lying in the dirt of the alley.

Instead of dying Kepler has gained the ability to roam from one body to another, to jump into other people's skin and see through their eyes, live their lives, be it for a few minutes, a few months, or a lifetime.

Kepler means these host bodies no harm and even comes to cherish them intimately, like lovers. But when one host, Josephine Cebula, is brutally assassinated, Kepler embarks on a mission to seek the truth--and avenge Josephine's death.

©2015 Claire North (P)2015 Hachette Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    220
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    205
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    115
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    29
  • 1 Stars
    17

Performance

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    147
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    43
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    13
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    13

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Sort by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Repetitive

Would you ever listen to anything by Claire North again?

Probably not

What about Peter Kenny’s performance did you like?

Clear diction. He didn't attempt to change voices for male/female, which was probably a good thing.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Not as far as I am concerned. The story premise might have been interesting, but it was squandered

Any additional comments?

It was waaaay too long; the plot could have been condensed in so many places. Felt like I was watching the same movie sequence over and over. The main character keeps asking, "Who's Galileo?" By the time I started Part 2 of the audio, I didn't really care.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

I can't deal with Peter Kenny's Narration

I seem to be in the minority here, but the narration made this one unlistenable for me and I had to get it in print. The narrator has this weird thing where he sort of chops sentences apart, saying a couple of syllables with such violence and rigour that it sounds like he's about to jump out of his chair and have a seizure. You could have a sentence that read, "I looked at the sky, and it was blue." This narrator would say, "I LOOKED!!--at the sky!--and it was BLUE!!!." Seriously, I can't take it. Please just settle down!

To be fair, this trait of his is not quite as pronounced in this book as it is in some of his earlier works, but after trying to listen to him in Andrzej Sapkowski's Blood of Elves, I now hear it in every sentence he says. It's less severe here than it was in that one, but it is still there, and I can't deal with it.

I think this is a good story, but the audiobook is going to have to go back.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great concept

Claire North (aka Catherine Webb) is quickly becoming an author climbing the ranks of my favorites list. She has a unique voice and creates worlds that blend nightmares and wishes into thrilling adventure.

In Touch we meet Kepler our protagonist, a being that moves from body-to-body with just a touch of skin. “Have you been losing time?” A few minuets here or an hour there? Kepler is a Ghost, a near-immortal species that moves from body-to-body, taking over life after life. All the while the host body has no idea anything has happened. One minute they are shanking hands with a stranger the next hours, weeks, months, even years have passed and their life is upside-down.

Kepler is genderless, ageless, and able to take over the body of anyone. Kepler doesn’t choose bodies for money, or fame like some might. No, instead Kepler prefers bodies that don’t have pains and aches. Kepler takes care of his hosts, always leaving them in a better position then when he found them. But the dead body of Josephine Cebula changes everything.

The thing that this book does, maybe unintentionally, is challenge sexuality and gender in a new way. The Ghosts, once probably human, can be any person, gender, race they want. There is also a major theme in the book, LOVE. The love of oneself, love of others.

This is a dark and thought provoking novel, and exquisitely written. If you are a fan of The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August (and if you’ve not read that, please jump on it) then you’ll enjoy this book as well. It’s a thrilling and unexpected journey with no limits on time or the human race.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Remarkable

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The narrator was amazing and the style of writing was amazing. I hadn't read the author's previous book but may try it now. It's a whirlwind of action and emotion. She's created a race of ethereal beings that could exist. This book could make you paranoid. Not me. My life is way too boring. But you...have you lost any time?

5 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • LL
  • edmonds, washington, United States
  • 11-03-15

Good Tension, Great Characters.

Would you try another book from Claire North and/or Peter Kenny?

Yes. For pure pleasure reading, the author and narrator entertain. I do hope the author goes in a different direction if another book is written. This and TFFLoHA were very similar.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Peter Kenny?

Depends on the book. His style is well suited for this story and this author. I'm not sure how he would do with others, but I would consider it.

Do you think Touch needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No. I don't care for series in general.

Any additional comments?

I liked this book, but not as well as The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August. This felt too similar but just with a twist, so while I enjoyed it, it wasn't different enough for me to rate it more highly. I would recommend this book to someone who likes a good thriller that is unique in well developed characters and plot, but not particularly challenging.

4 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Fantastic performance, good story

The concept was creative and original. Nicely pointing out the differences of such a person.
The plot started off very novel and entices the listener wonderfully.
The conclusion was a predictable.

Peter Kenny nailed it with an absolutely stellar performance.
I think that this story required a fantastic performance otherwise the book could very easily have been mediocre.

Ms. North - I really enjoy your concepts and viewpoints. I will look for more of your work in the future. Thanks to both you and Mr. Kenny.

5 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Very good book

I really liked this book. It is very detailed in the describing the main characters emotions in their present situation. Really well written and the story takes turns you don't see coming.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Another thoughtful and strange gem from North

Claire North truly has a gift for building plausible and fascinating stories around protagonists that are a breed apart. In The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August we had a narrator who was one of a small band of humans who relived their lives again and again; in The Sudden Appearance of Hope the eponymous character became impossible to remember as she moved through puberty, never imprinting on the long term memory of those she met. And in Touch, we are guided through the strange world of a consciousness who has no body but rather "jumps" from one person to another via touch, wearing these skins as his/her/its own for a time before moving on to another.

This is a story of love and revenge -- but the love is of a different sort, both more casual and more intimate than what most humans would consider. Our main character, known as Kepler because that name will do as well as any other, has lived for centuries, jumped between young and old, man and woman, every race, and in bodies mostly beautiful but sometimes just convenient. The plot is driven by Kepler's desire for revenge when one of his hosts is needlessly murdered, and in his efforts to track down the culprits he uncovers a covert group bent on tracking down Kepler's kind, known generally as ghosts, and wiping them out. At least so it seems.

North takes great advantage of Kepler's changing nature, examining the fluidity of identity and the various permutations of love. There is fast paced action, as a fleeing Kepler or those with similar capabilities as him jump from body to body in throngs of humans, needing only a hint of skin to make that jump. When a body is tried on, Kepler notices things light changes in eyesight, aching joints, nagging hunger, and the pangs of addiction. While he often leaves a body in a better place, he also can be nonchalant about taking advantage of whoever is, literally, at hand.

As the plot thickens we are sometimes provided peaks into Kepler's past lives/bodies, his earlier career as an "estate agent" for others of his breed, helping them find prospective hosts with all the traits they want (from gender and looks, to education and wealth). Sometimes he works with the consent of those to be worn, and other times not. And these glimpses into the past couple with the action in the present, as another of Kepler's kind proves to be equal parts sociopathic, narcissistic, and needy. There is a deep humanity in Kepler, but also something inhuman. His love is familiar and foreign, both superficial and deep. Clair North brings this shadow world alive, filled with immortal ghosts, moral questions, and a love of life. Recommended.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

lost interest toward the end

the first 3/4 of the book I really enjoyed. This is the 2nd I've listened to from this writer and narrator. But the story fizzed out, and I had trouble staying interested. I did finish, but the end was confusing.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Large volume changes on most sentences.

Great concept, good story but too large of a volume swing on individual sentences. It’s as if the narrator was running out of air. You either miss the softly spoken end of the sentence or if you turn up the volume to hear the whisper you are blasted by other parts of the same sentence. This is not suitable for listing to in a vehicle. I even considered returning it but liked the story enough to suffer through my annoyance at the volume changes.