Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Review: Touching Fate by Brenda Drake

Touching Fate by Brenda Drake
Release Date: October 12, 2015
Publisher: Entangled Crave
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal

Aster Layne believes in physics, not psychics. A tarot card reading on the Ocean City Boardwalk should have been a ridiculous, just-for-fun thing. It wasn’t. Aster discovers she has a very unscientific gift—with a simple touch of the cards, she can change a person’s fate.

Reese Van Buren is cursed. Like the kind of old-school, centuries-old curse that runs in royal families. Every firstborn son is doomed to die on his eighteenth birthday—and Reese’s is coming up fast. Bummer. He tries to distract himself from his inevitable death…only to find the one person who can save him.

Aster doesn’t know that the hot Dutch guy she’s just met needs her help–or that he’s about to die. But worst of all…she doesn’t know that her new gift comes with dark, dark consequences that can harm everyone she loves.

I really loved the story premise and concept to Touching Fate.  I loved the idea of a gypsy-based, magical story where a guy's family is cursed for all the first-born male children to die at the age of 18 unless they find a fate changer.  It started off great.

I loved Reese as a character.  He was sweet and lovable, as was his friend Jan.  Both of these characters were so endearing that I loved them immediately.  I felt sad for Reese's situation,and thought the story had some wonderful conflict on his side.  Aster, the other main character, was interesting in the fact that she discovers quite by accident that she is a fate changer when she and her friend go for a tarot card reading and something rather spectacular happens when she touches one of her friend's cards. After that, however, I started to run into some snags.

Aster came across as a bit cold to me, and because of that, I couldn't really understand why Reese was initially so intrigued by her, other than the fact that he discovers very early that she is a fate changer. Everybody has been through heartbreak before, and due to that, they tend to be cautious.  Aster didn't really display what I would call cautious vulnerability caused by having her heartbroken though.  She came across in a more negative way that is hard for me to articulate, other than to just say it was somewhat off-putting.  At the same time, however, the romance was insta-love, which I felt was really contrary to her behavior.  So at a certain point, I felt like saying, "okay, which is it?  Are you cautious and pushing people away with one hand due to heartbreak?  Or are you going to pull people in and ask them to go to prom with you with the other?" Because of this wishy-washy behavior, the romance was just too quick and often didn't make sense.

Although I found the author's actual writing to be well-crafted and I love the overall story idea, there were just too many things that worked against it for me to really enjoy it.  If the romance had been played out a bit better, I might have enjoyed it more than I did, but as it was, I was a bit disappointed that this story with such potential ended up falling flat for me.
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