2 out of 4 stars
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Alabama is a 60-year-old nurse providing end-of-life care to the terminally ill. Gabriel is an 11-year-old orphan living with a secret. Many people misunderstand him, except for his best friend Joshua. Gabriel has been receiving messages since he was born. They come from a voice that only he can hear. But he doesn't know where the voice comes from, or whether to trust what it tells him.
All over the world, children just like Gabriel are hearing the same voice. It helps them make decisions and protects them from evil people. They also find out that this voice can be passed on to others by touch. But where is the voice coming from? Is the voice good or evil?
It took me a long time to finish reading this book. Usually, if I am enjoying a book, I will read it within a single sitting or two. However, I struggled to finish reading The Touch by Robert Flynn III. The ideas behind the book had promise, e.g. good can overcome evil and the power of good can spread to others. I found the writing bland, the characters were forgettable, and the plot was slow and repetitive. The story followed multiple main characters living in the US, Iran and Afghanistan. Perhaps if fewer perspectives were taken, the reader could connect better with the main characters.
The novel was advertised as a supernatural story, but I would describe it as more of a spiritual or religious novel. Therefore, this novel may appeal more to those who enjoy books about religion, rather than the supernatural.
I disliked the writing style the author used. There were not many contractions in the text. So the full terms were given e.g. “has not” instead of “hasn't.” Even though this is grammatically correct, this writing style made the book seem too formal. In general, the dialogue was quite awkward. Many of the characters also had similar speech to each other, despite ranging approximately from age 5 to 60. For example, 5-year-olds would be unlikely to produce sentences such as, “...he never really spoke to me audibly, like you and I are speaking.” Formal speech such as this example made the characters seem unrealistic.
I was reviewing the Kindle version and I found a total of 30 errors while reading. These included continuity errors, misspelt character names, wrongly placed apostrophes, and misused commas. While most of the errors were not too distracting, I think The Touch could do with another round of editing to clean it up.
Due to the dull storyline, forgettable characters and frequent errors within the book, I have given The Touch 2 out of 4 stars. I would have rated it lower as I really did not enjoy reading this. However, I wanted to award more than 1 star because I appreciated what the novel was trying to achieve and believe it could be enjoyable for some readers who like the religious genre. Even though I liked the ideas behind the novel, I will not be reading the sequel.
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