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3.81  ·  Rating details ·  9,875 ratings  ·  1,264 reviews
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,
Hardcover, 426 pages
Published February 24th 2015 by Orbit Books
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Kirabohm If you mean sex, no, there are no scenes in which sex is detailed. As for love and loving, you will have to judge for yourself if this story's idea of…moreIf you mean sex, no, there are no scenes in which sex is detailed. As for love and loving, you will have to judge for yourself if this story's idea of those concepts "invades" your mind. Love is certainly a major theme in this book--but maybe not what you expect.(less)
Haley Mathiot There are a lot of things the message can be. Many books have many messages. Love never dies. skin is just skin. souls are more complicated--love is m…moreThere are a lot of things the message can be. Many books have many messages. Love never dies. skin is just skin. souls are more complicated--love is more complicated. what does sacrifice mean. There are many messages. I can guarantee it's worth reading.(less)

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Average rating 3.81  · 
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 ·  9,875 ratings  ·  1,264 reviews

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Kate Griffin--excuse me, Claire North--is one of a handful of writers on my 'will probably read everything they write' list (not that this means immediately, mind you. But an interesting and talented enough writer that I'll likely give everything a shot. Probably. With a couple of exceptions). With that in mind, I had bought Touch on the cheap and saved it for a time when I could give it some proper attention.

I was both successful and a failure at this.

Before leaving on a ten-day vacation, I gav
Feb 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book deserves five stars for originality alone. I suppose from the author who created the blue electric Angels and who wrote about a man who had fifteen lives I could have expected something equally bizarre and fantastic. And I certainly got that and more. I am not sure what to call the entity which is the main character but I know I want to be one. His/her (it depends) ability to switch bodies is just delightful and the author has the details all sorted. Little things like how you deal wit ...more

Hated this. Crap story, crap characters, crap relationships, crap everything. What I loathed most about Touch was the main character (Kepler), he was a complete an utter bitch, everything he said or did or thought pissed me off.

-I was intrigued by the premise of 'ghosts' who no longer had a body of their own and could only live by jumping from one person to the other. For some reason or another I expected loads of depth, ambiguity and complexity, but I got none of that. The characters w
Mogsy (MMOGC)
4.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

Does the idea of a unique, sc-fi thriller excite you? Read this book. Love wild, mind-trip movies like Inception? Read this book. If you’re looking for a smart, entertaining, and psychologically hard-hitting novel, this is what it looks like. READ THIS BOOK.

Touch was, in a word, fascinating. “Have you been losing time?” I don’t think I can ever hear or read this phrase again without getting a shiver down my spine. Imagin
Aug 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi, fantasy
I think I've found my next go-to artist for must have reading material.

"Do you like what you see?"

This is like an ultramodern retelling of a vain girl's obsession with appearance versus what belongs solidly beneath the veneer. Of course, how else could you see life when you're without a real body, except those that you steal on contact and flit from norm to norm?

Kepler was truly devoted to doing right by her hosts and loved them in her best way, but she (or he) was always superficial. Janus, on
Jan 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, thriller, paranormal
Tell me – do you feel like you’re losing time?

A chilling question for many of the people in this novel. You're sitting reading or thinking and suddenly realise it's much later than you thought it was. Or you realise you've arrived somewhere but don't remember getting there. Is it just a momentary lapse of something else?

All Claire North's books are so imaginative and inventive, no more so than this one where she imagines ghost entities who can take over bodies by a single touch of skin. Kepler i
Jan 07, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. This is a fascinating story and study of identity. If I were rating this book for mind bending and thought provoking concepts, it would definitely be 5 stars. But in terms of enjoyment- 3.5. It was a bit disjointed for me to relax into- I know this very much reflected the nature of the story, but still, it was discordant.
The ramifications of ‘wearing’ a person, of estate agents, were well thought out. Is it better to make your life in one body? Is it desirable? The potential power tha
Dec 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Yet another 5-star review for a clearly heavily read and reviewed book. Claire North is brilliant ok?

Kepler is a "ghost", an entity that can inhabit humans and supplant the existing intelligence to "wear" them. It can stay for seconds, days, years or a lifetime before moving on, leaving bewilderment behind. Ghosts seem to be able to live forever by just moving between bodies, and their personality is varied, from mostly ethical as Kepler is today, to morally dubious as we see in flashbacks to ea
Dec 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant, imaginative, unusual!

A wonderful and terrible monster deeply examined and presented.

Claire North has again (after Harry August) proven her vision and originality, and her discipline in bringing such unusual characters to vivid life. The rhythm of her prose is marvellous. It was so good to sink into her writing again!

Here, her immortal monster-parasite struggles between the fear of death and the cost to others of her life. So many aspects of life as such an entity are deeply examined
Jun 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
"There are many ways to catch a ghost sitting in the body of a loved one. Basic questions – name, age, father’s name, mother’s name, university – can be answered by any well-informed inhabitant, but it takes a matter of minutes to probe a little deeper."

Kepler is a ghost. Kepler is a thief. And Kepler has worn many, many lives.

Once, Kepler had a name and a body – but at the point of violent death so many centuries ago on the streets of London, Kepler is one of the few souls that takes solace in
Mar 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Mimi by: SFFBC pick for January 2018
This is my first read of the year, and already it's starting out with a high. Solid 5 stars through and through.

So brilliant, so beautiful, and absolutely breathtaking. I have no words for what I am feeling right now after having just turned the last page. And now that this book is over, I am utterly lost. Why couldn't it be longer? Why isn't there more? And yet it ended on such a perfect note. I haven't read a plot coming together this succinctly in a while, so I am currently basking in the bri
Oct 11, 2014 rated it did not like it
This won’t make my blog because I didn’t technically manage to finish it. And I tried!

At first I couldn’t get into it at all. Then I had a long wait for a train so I thought I’d whip it out, but my opinion didn’t change. It just feels pretentious, and I soon got bored of superficial action and the novelty of the narrative. Give me plot, conflict, characters, stakes! Not just cheap thrills.

Initially, I found it confusing. It’s not just that the character jumps from body to body, but the narrative
Wow, this book was every bit as brilliant as I remembered! It's very fast paced and I got so caught up in the momentum that I simply could not put it down. I had to tell the world to shut up and go away for half an hour.

North is particularly adept at describing the transitions from person to person and her descriptions of the hundred or so people Kepler lands in focus on minutiae that would not be noticeable to someone who was existing in the body. Kepler feels a great deal of love for the skin
Sep 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book I picked up after hearing Claire North do a reading at SRFC in September. She was brilliant when she did her reading, came across incredibly well, and she made me want to buy her book I did. I got the audio version of this one because after hearing her read aloud from the story it was clear that this would be a book that would work so much better in audio form because of the vast range of people and characters that the main character encounters and becomes.

We follow Kepl
Nov 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: r2016, stars-4-0
“Nothing is ever quite enough. No matter who you are, there’s always something more to be had, which could be yours if only you were someone else.”

Feeling a bit perplexed...

On one hand, I absolutely loved this novel, especially the idea at its core of 'ghosts' inhabiting people's bodies as skins, jumping from one person to another on a whim. Not only is it gripping, catching your attention pretty quickly on, but it raises many questions too (identity and gender the most obvious), such as what m
Feb 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
An innovative concept (though I was enjoying comparing it to The Lives of Tao), and extremely fast-pacing make for an enthralling novel. Lots of fun!
Feb 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
I've loved Claire North's work ever since I read the First Fifteen Lives of Harry August. By now, she's on my 'will read anything by her' list, and I found Touch to be a compelling, interesting and fascinating novel.

The concept is simple: by touching someone else the protagonist can jump from one body into another, taking on another life like a new skin. The story begins with Kepler, our protagonist, being killed in their latest body, now trying to find out who the mysterious killer is, while at
May 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

If asked what I was reading I am not sure I could give a straightforward answer concerning this title. Is it a thriller? Yes indeed but one that involves ghosts. Or at least possession. This title is almost a reverse exorcist. Clare North did an excellent job keeping the first person narrator through multiple perspectives and timelines. Were all the secondary characters fully flushed out? Not totally but I guess that's why they're secondary characters. The action and pacing is strong an
Jun 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book was awesome! It was my first Claire North book but it won't be my last. The imagination and originality in this book was top notch. Even the structure of her sentences was unique. I had a hard time at first understanding the "jumps" One of my friends review mentions the movie Fallen and once I thought of that it started to make more sense. This book is good from the beginning but it really picks up steam in the second half and is a race to the finish.
Touch was my first foray into Clair North books. Principally more thriller than fantasy, North engages in a thought experiment about what the existence is like for an entity that can only exist by inhabiting the physical bodies of humans (skins) and can only experience the senses (sight, smell, taste, touch, hear) through these bodies. These "ghosts" are born through vicious acts of violence upon their corporeal bodies and they live for hundreds of years by transferring from body to body by touc ...more
Jul 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Original story, plotting and breakneck pacing kept me totally involved. Carol wrote a wonderful review of this title. It was her review that inspired me to read/ listen to it.
(view spoiler)
Jul 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: standalone, fantasy
This book was really good. It held my attention without fail, and I really enjoyed the premise. I’m giving it 4.5 stars, but I had trouble deciding whether to round up or down on Goodreads. In the end I decided to round down, only because I was still able to put it down fairly easily when I needed to and because I was a tad bit ambivalent about the ending.

Our main character, who I’ll call Kepler for lack of a better name, is an entity without a body of its own. Kepler can touch a human and inhab
Apr 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Hmm, I think I’ll be pondering on this one for a while now. Like The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, it takes a classic idea — in that case a kind of immortality, in this a body-hopping entity — and explores it almost to destruction. It doesn’t always work 100% for me, here, but it works better for me than Harry August, and the pace is a lot more thrilling. There is something about the narrator that seemed similar, though; I kinda hope I don’t find that same tone when I go back to Mirror Dr ...more
May 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: genre-box-no-fit
I can't recall the last time I read a body switcher type story. The only thing that comes to mind at all is The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers, which was thirty plus years ago give or take. For being such a well-known trope, I'm surprised I can't think of any other examples and am wondering if it's used more in children's stories.

Regardless, North has done an exceptional job with it here. The pacing was spot on throughout, and I never felt she descended into overly wordy description that dragged on
Allison Hurd
Hard one for me to rate. There were parts that were fantastic and I loved them. And then a few parts that went on a little long or that felt a little weaker than the fantastic parts. I reserve the right to change my mind about this book but I think I loved it.

I mostly loved how it talks about love and identity. What makes us who we are? How stingy can we really afford to be with love?

CONTENT WARNING: (view spoiler)
Dec 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: scifi-club-read
I am constantly questioning the nature of reality and what makes the self so I tend to like books with these kinds of themes more than others. Touch has this in spades. Who is Kepler? Is he more real or less real than the bodies he inhabits? When the ghosts inhabit the bodies where does the human consciousness go? Are they still them or do they just sleep for a longer than usual time?

The perspective changes were fascinating to me and the sense that part of your physical nature drives your perso
lucky little cat
Jan 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommended to lucky little cat by: carol.
Ring-ring-ring. Hollywood calling Claire North. Quick, this needs to be made into a  movie, not a time-travel weeper this time,

Marilyn for a day. Or two.

but a heart-stopping espionage story about nothing less than body-snatching, murder, and the transmigration of souls.

Our hero, Kepler, is a world-weary (and displaced) immortal soul who borrows a new body once every six months. When Kepler leaves, the "host" body, be it man, woman, or child, will have no memories from the six months, and frequen
Para (wanderer)
Feb 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Para (wanderer) by: Travis
Whoa. Just...whoa.

First recommended to me by Coffee/Travis of The Fantasy Inn, who has been almost as insistent with it as I am with my darling, The Gray House - and when it finally got chosen as the bookclub pick for the month after being nominated for probably like a year in a row, I simply had to. And even now, days later, I am still thinking about what I read. It did not leave me untouched.
It is not beauty, in an eye, a hand, a curl of hair. I have seen old men, their backs bent and sh
Tell me – do you feel like you’re losing time?
Sure you do. Everyone does.
At two o’clock you sit down to read a book and then, what do you know, it’s five in the afternoon and you’re only two pages further in. Perhaps, as you walk home through familiar streets, you grow distracted, and when next you wrench your concentration back to where you’re going you find that you’re already there but the hour is late – so much later than you think.

Kepler was once a normal human being, living day by day
Jan 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Problem with moving into a new body, you never quite know where it’s been.”

Touch is the second novel by British author, Claire North. The entity known to his/her/its enemies as Kepler has been around for quite some time. And Kepler is not the only entity of this type: a ghost who can move from body to body by touch. Carefully done, this can happen with minimal disruption to lives; of course, long term hosts will find their lives much changed, although Kepler tries to leave them significantly be
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/r/Fantasy Discus...: February 2019: Touch 4 88 Feb 26, 2019 06:33AM  
Urban Fantasy Afi...: November 2018 Group Read - Touch 1 9 Oct 26, 2018 07:19AM  
YA Buddy Readers'...: Touch by Claire North - starting July 9th 4 32 Jul 10, 2015 01:51PM  

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Claire North is actually Catherine Webb, a Carnegie Medal-nominated young-adult novel author whose first book, Mirror Dreams, was written when she was just 14 years old. She went on to write seven more successful YA novels.

Claire North is a pseudonym for adult fantasy books written by Catherine Webb, who also writes under the pseudonym Kate Griffin.

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