By Claire North
Reviewed by Miranda Boyer
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.