Shelley's Reviews > Touch of Power

Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder
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's review
Nov 10, 2011

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bookshelves: 2011-releases, a-r-c, genre-fantasy
Read from November 09 to 10, 2011

*Rating* 3.5
*Genre* Fantasy (I know it's marketed as YA, but, the main character is 20 years old.)

**ARC Received from Harlequin, via NetGalley.**


Touch of Power is the story of Avry of Kazan, the so called last healer. The story is set in an era where a plague that was supposedly started by healers like Avry, spread rapidly because the healers refused to stop it by healing those affected.

That is the general consensus of the population who needed someone to blame for their sickness and deaths. The real truth is so much more intricate as we learn as we delve further into the story. The plague ended up killing roughly 6 million people or two-thirds of the population. Coincidentally, that is the same number of Jews killed by the Nazi’s during the pre-cursor to World War II, and during its destructive path.

Avry, who is 20 years old, has been in hiding and on the run for 3 years. She has had no contact with her mother, sister, or brother for that entire time and she presumes they were killed by the plague. When she decides to heal a sick and dying young girl, she ends up on the wrong side of those who want to hang her until she is dead. In healing the young girl, Avry breaks the number one rule of being on the run; don’t get close to anyone.

When Avry actually “heals” a person, she takes their pain and suffering inside of her. Avry is the kind of character you want to cheer for and follow. She is caring to a fault. She is courageous as well as fierce and determined. Yet, she is also human and vulnerable to those who wish to use her for their own needs. She is smart as a whip, and yet not devoid of emotions which she shows when she starts getting attached to her so called kidnappers.

This is where Kerrick of Alga enters the story. Kerrick has been determined to find a healer, and undergoes a journey last lasts 2 long years. When he hears about Avry’s impending execution, he and his band of merry men grab Avry and run. Kerrick offers Avry an easy way out; heal Prince Ryne of Ivdel Realm and she can go free. Sounds simple enough, but then this wouldn’t be the first book of a series if it were.

Kerrick isn't alone in his journey to find Avry. Belen, Vinn, Quain and Flea join him as well. Add Avry into this mix, and you have an enjoyable story with lots of ups and downs as well as a camaraderie that makes you smile and laugh along the way. Belen is by far my favorite, and has the absolute perfect nickname Papa Bear.

Some readers may find certain parts of the book, IE the extensive traveling to be tedious or boring. Let me offer this commentary. I've read nearly 500 books this year, and in some cases the story took place over TWO DAYS which I found absolutely ridiculous! This story appears to take months, instead of days.

This story takes place in an era where there are no trains, planes, or motor cars. The travel was often by foot, or horseback which took days, and sometimes months to reach your destination. This is a world where there are 15 seperate kingdoms and rulers, and thus obstacles the characters need to overcome including weather related.

This is not my first experience with Maria’s workings so I would probably give her a higher rating and review than others not familiar with the writing, or world building. I’ve read, and enjoyed the Poison trilogy as well as the Insider series. I have yet to start, or finish the Glass trilogy, but do have the first book in my borrowed from library pile sitting next to my computer.

The one thing that remains constant in Snyder’s world is the heroine of the story she writes about. She is normally bright, yet somewhat innocent when it comes to the world around her. She ends up in the wrong place at the wrong time, and usually for something that she has no control over and is placed into a situation where she is forced to fight her way out. Yelena was forced to become a Poison taster. Avry is given a choice to heal someone or face death or being used by someone who creates his own zombie army.

I had a hard time putting this story into a definitive category. It is being marketed as a Young Adult novel, but, since Avry is 20 years old, she could, and should be considered as an adult. This could be considered as a Science Fiction or Fantasy novel as well.

Readers will want to know more about the interaction between Kerrick and Avry, and for that I will leave you with this. Naturally, there will be comparisons between this story and the Poison story which are inevitable as life itself. You have to read the entire story and then make your own determination whether or not you enjoyed the book.

I will be looking forward to the next release Scent of Magic to see where this series goes after a stunning ending to Touch of Power.

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Reading Progress

54.0% "Wow, do I hate Avry's sister. Boo Hoo..ah, I can't or I'll spoil it."
80.0% "Have to do the percentages because the ARC claims there are 394 pages, not 400."
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Comments (showing 1-15)

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Shelley December 20th 2011 release date.

message 14: by AH (new) - rated it 4 stars

AH I'm working on my review for this one now. I see you classified it as YA. I'm thinking this can be adult too, because the m/c is 20 something?

Shelley Yeah, I'm thinking it's more of an adult themed novel as well, and will change it. Thanks for noticing.

message 12: by AH (new) - rated it 4 stars

AH It kind of straddles the YA and adult books, doesn't it?

Shelley Yep, she's essentially in the grey area between being an mature adult (21-49) and a teenager (13-19).

message 10: by AH (new) - rated it 4 stars

AH Great review, Shelley. I could not find the name of the next book, where did you find it?

I found this book very similar to Poison Study. Almost the same plot, same secondary characters. But if it works, why not.

Shelley Thank you :O) The name of the next book is actually posted here:

I need to read Glass Study now. I have Storm Glass up next after Eve of Destruction. Since I don't have but 3 ARC's, I hope my library gets my HOLDS in fast!

message 8: by AH (new) - rated it 4 stars

AH I read Magic Study and didn't really like it. Yelena is like Benjamin Linus in Lost - she keeps getting beat up and kidnapped - I lost count. I have Fire Study, but haven't gotten to it. I think her first novels in a series are always the strongest, then they lose steam. I'm hoping Avry's story gets better.

message 7: by AH (new) - rated it 4 stars

AH Thanks for the name of the next book. It must have been added this week.

Shelley I agree with what you've said above. My blast towards this story was the ending. It was like, (view spoiler) Yelena went thru the same thing in Poison Study if my brain is operating and not still asleep.

Shelley I think I have OCD, but have you ever tried to get updates on your favorite author, and others in the same Genre? I've used it for the past 2-3 years.

message 4: by AH (new) - rated it 4 stars

AH Thanks. I haven't heard of that one. I've used but not too frequently because I find it a little annoying.

Shelley I've done the same, and feel the same way. If I've asked this of you before, forgive me. Are you on Galley Grab from Simon and Schuster?

message 2: by AH (new) - rated it 4 stars

AH Yes. Haven't heard from them in a while and last month was slim pickings.

Shelley Yes it was. It's interesting that it's so late and there are a bunch of books coming out that fly the banner of Simon and Schuster. Maybe, or should I say, HOPEFULLY, this week before the US Thanksgiving.

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