Nik Morton's Reviews > Empath

Empath by H.K. Savage
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's review
Dec 18, 2011

really liked it
Read from December 18, 2011 to March 27, 2012

Straight away, we learn that Claire Martin isn’t quite like other 19-year-old girls. She is prone to experiencing the pains, anguish and other emotions of nearby people. “… the stabbing pains in my head and wrenching in my stomach, reminding myself none of them were mine.” She’s an empath, though she keeps this fact secret. Touching anyone exacerbated the sensations and feelings she absorbed, so in order to cope, she hasn’t any close friends and she’d never been on a date. And now her problems were just beginning. She's going to Augsburg College, a small private school in Minneapolis, where she encounters Stephen Andrews and touches him – and isn’t able to snatch even a glimmer of any emotion from him. Claire’s puzzled. Moreso when it’s plain that Stephen can somehow detect Claire’s ability…

At this point, where boy meets girl, you might be forgiven for believing that this was a standard romance, with the added mystery of extra sensory perception. You’d be wrong. More surprises lie in store for Claire – not least, the existence of werecats, immortality, and … the vampire James.

Because the narrative is in the first person, this intimacy helps suspend disbelief and the reader feels what Claire feels. Indeed, the reader empathizes. There are several good passages that reveal just what being an empath can entail. Although this is the first in a series, it’s a self-contained story that gathers both pace and excitement as the end draws near.
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