Sunday, October 25, 2015

Review: Touched by A.J. Aalto

Book Blurb:

The media has a nickname for Marnie Baranuik, though she’d rather they didn’t; they call her the Great White Shark, a rare dual-talented forensic psychic. Twice-Touched by the Blue Sense--which gives her the ability to feel the emotions of others, and read impressions left behind on objects--Marnie also has a doctorate in preternatural biology and a working knowledge of the dark arts. She is considered without peer in the psychic community.

Then her first big FBI case ended with a bullet in one shoulder and a chip on the other, a queasy heart and a serial killer in the wind, leaving her a public flop and a private wreck. When the FBI’s preternatural crimes unit tracks her down at a remote mountain lodge for her insight on a local case, her quiet retirement is promptly besieged by a stab-happy starlet, a rampaging ghoul, and a vampire-hunting jackass in tight Wranglers. Marnie figures the only real mystery is which one will kill her first.

Too mean to die young, backed up by friends in cold places, and running with a mouth as demure as a cannon’s blast, Marnie Baranuik is about to discover that there’s no such thing as quitting time when you’re Touched.

My Review:

4 Out Of 5 Hearts

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Mystery, Supernatural, Vampires, Witches--

Revenants (aka vampires) are out of the coffin so to say, and witches, psychics and lycanthropes are members of society. Marnie is a Daysitter for the Revenant Harry, meaning they are bonded and through that bond she receives her psychic power to touch things and know what it was used for and by who. Marnie was working with the FBI on her first case, when she was shot and the bad guy got away when she decided police work was not for her and she quit. Now living in the middle of nowhere, recovering with Harry, the FBI show up on her doorstep, needing her powers for just one more case. Marnie does not ever want to see them again, but she is dragged right back into the horror she wanted to escape.

This is the type of book I love. A tough no nonsense female with a potty-mouth and endless snark who has supernatural abilities and is dragged into police investigations. The book reminds me a lot of the first 7 books in the Anita Blake series by Laurel K. Hamilton, before that series became more about the logistics of a mass orgy than an actual story-line. I loved the characters and the dynamics between them as well as the world building the author creates. This is the way I like my urban fantasy and my only complaint is probably the length of the book (over 400 freaking pages) which I feel like the author got caught up in her usage of descriptive words to create a complex visual, when in actuality I was just hoping she would get to the point or maybe throw in some action. I think the book could have been condensed with the massive quantities of descriptions removed and I would have loved it even more.

I appreciated that at the heart of the book, regardless of the messy relationships complications (like a love/hate relationship between a vampire hunter and a Daysitter, who also happens to have a lust for her vampire) and the supernatural revelations and powers, was a murder mystery to solve. I was caught up in the story, not realizing that so much time had passed when I would sit down to read because it was easy to get lost in this world. I found everything to be captivating. I had a suspect in mind, but then I would be thrown for a loop that made me question everything. The book kept me on my toes. And disclaimer here is that the book is incredibly gory and violent, so if that is not your thing then stay away from this book because you will not be able to escape it here.

Overall I really enjoyed this book and will read more in this series. I will admit that I hated the ending, with so many questions left open and how Marnie was a little like a doormat being used by everyone, mainly Harry who I think is a jerkface. That being said, I really want to read the next book to see what will happen next. This is my first book by this author and I am intrigued by what she has come up with.

I received this title from the author in return for my honest review.

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