Touch of Death (Touch of Death Series #1)

( 15 )

Overview

Jodi Marshall isn't sure how she went from normal teenager to walking disaster. One minute she's in her junior year of high school, spending time with her amazing boyfriend and her best friend. The next she's being stalked by some guy no one seems to know. After the stranger, Alex, reveals himself, Jodi learns he's not a normal teenager and neither is she. With a kiss that kills and a touch that brings the dead back to life, Jodi discovers she's part of a branch of necromancers born under the 13th sign of the ...

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Touch of Death (Touch of Death Series #1)

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Overview

Jodi Marshall isn't sure how she went from normal teenager to walking disaster. One minute she's in her junior year of high school, spending time with her amazing boyfriend and her best friend. The next she's being stalked by some guy no one seems to know. After the stranger, Alex, reveals himself, Jodi learns he's not a normal teenager and neither is she. With a kiss that kills and a touch that brings the dead back to life, Jodi discovers she's part of a branch of necromancers born under the 13th sign of the zodiac, Ophiuchus. A branch of necromancers that are descendants of Medusa. A branch of necromancers with poisoned blood writhing in their veins. Jodi's deadly to the living and even more deadly to the deceased. She has to leave her old, normal life behind before she hurts the people she loves. As if that isn't difficult enough, Jodi discovers she's the chosen one who has to save the rest of her kind from perishing at the hands of Hades. If she can't figure out how to control her power, history will repeat itself, and her race will become extinct.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Being an ordinary teen is not part of Jodi Marshall's destiny. As weird events happen around her, a stranger appears revealing that he possesses important information that she needs. She believes that Alex is a disturbed stalker but quickly realizes that he is telling the truth. She learns that she is an Ophi, a descendant of Medusa with tainted blood, and that she has the power to kill or heal. Leaving her old life behind, Jodi travels with Alex to live with other necromancers where she will learn how to harness and control her powers. It becomes clear right from the start that Jodi is not only powerful but also that she has special ties to Medusa herself. These abilities set her apart but also put her in terrible danger. If she cannot set things right, the future of her kind is in peril. Hashway's debut novel expertly weaves together Greek mythology, necromancy, and zombies in a way that is fresh and original. The gripping plotline feels a bit rushed but is full of intrigue, romance, and betrayal, and the engaging characters include a goddess, evil villains, a feisty heroine, and a noble hero. Readers will definitely be on the lookout for the next installment in this series.—Donna Rosenblum, Floral Park Memorial High School, NY
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781937053307
  • Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
  • Publication date: 1/15/2013
  • Series: Touch of Death Series , #1
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 1,019,691
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Kelly Hashway is a former language arts teacher who now works as a full-time writer, freelance editor, and mother to an adorable little girl. In addition to writing YA novels, Kelly writes middle grade books, picture books, and short stories. When she's not writing or digging her way out from under her enormous To Be Read pile, she's running and playing with her daughter. She resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, daughter, and two pets.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 15 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 15 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 3, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Jodi Marshall was leading a pretty normal teenage life, had a be

    Jodi Marshall was leading a pretty normal teenage life, had a best-friend, boyfriend, everything seemed to be going great until really weird things started happening.  Weird things with animals, then a green-eyed boy seems to be stalking her, and she seems to be the last person to see several people she knows alive.  It has to be a coincidence, right?  At least that is what Jodi tries to tell herself.  Alex, aka the green-eyed stalker, knows what is going on with Jodi, but Jodi won't talk to him,"because she thinks he is a stalker."  Finally, she gives in, and what he tells her blows her mind.  Jodi, like Alex, is a necromancer.  Anything her blood touches has the power to kill or bring back to life.  Even her kiss is deadly, which she finds out the hard way.  On top of that, if you don't bring people who die back the right way, they wind up as zombies, which Jodi also finds out the hard way.  Finally convinced that she needs to leave and go to a special school with others just like her, she and Alex leave.  Upon arrival, she thinks things are going good.  Everyone seems to be nice, everyone except Abigail that is.  They all seem glad to have her there, after all she is the chosen one, and she has a special connection with Medusa.  Jodi begins to notice that things don't seem quite right, the people that she things are on her side really aren't, and she isn't sure who she can trust.  Jodi must get to the bottom of things and discover the truth about who she can trust before they all endure the wrath of Hades.




    I really liked Jodi's character.  She seemed innocent and naive at first, but that was because she was raised human, home schooled most of her life, and had no idea she was an Ophi.  Once she discovered who and what she was, she was determined to do what was right, and didn't want to abuse the power she had been given.  I liked Alex a lot.  He is quite the hottie, though somewhat mysterious, and I wasn't entirely convinced of his loyalty until the end of the book.  The chemistry between Jodi and Alex was pretty hot, and I enjoyed their romance.  




    I really liked Kelly Hashway's take on zombies and the way she integrated them into the book.  She also did a great job incorporating mythology and necromancy, which was original and fresh.  The plot was great and  the story flowed really well, keeping my interest, and had just the right amount of romance mixed in.  The story ended really well also.  It leaves you wanting more, but not feeling like you're cliff diving.  Touch of Death is excellently written with mythology, zombies, necromancy, suspense, and romance all mixed together.  Overall, I really enjoyed Touch of Death and I am looking forward to Stalked by Death the next book in the series.    

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2014

    Kelly Hashway intrigues readers with her style, character develo

    Kelly Hashway intrigues readers with her style, character development, descriptive story and twist of plot! I thoroughly enjoyed reading "Touch of Death" and would highly recommend it for pre-teens, teens, and even adults. Hashway uses Greek mythology and gods like Hades to develop a story which will only leave people wanting to dive into the rest of the series.

    I'm also picky when it comes to romance and the development of love in YA books and she does a really good job with Jodi and Alex. She touches on it just enough to envision the fondness which grows between the two of them without overdoing it.

    As a reader, I could imagine everything the author depicted and was able to follow the plot from beginning to end. "Touch of Death" is interesting, quick and will leave readers not wanting to put the book down until they are finished! Two thumbs up!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 25, 2013

    Let's put it this way: I read this book in the span of a day. It

    Let's put it this way: I read this book in the span of a day. It was that good. The story was very well-paced, and I found myself flying through the pages.

    Everyone who knows me knows how obsessed I am with mythology: Roman, Greek, Egyptian, Norse... it doesn't matter, I am fascinated by it all. Hashway did an amazing job tying Greek mythology in with her novel. From the summary above, "A branch of necromancers that are descendants of Medusa." How cool is that?!

    I really did feel for Jodi, the book's protagonist. We are introduced to her and instantly all of these strange things start happening to her that she can't explain. Animals she thought to be dead, coming back to life. Healthy humans mysteriously dying. All after being in contact with her. Not to mention the fact that a random blonde haired boy with green eyes seems to be following her everywhere she goes.

    I liked that Jodi was tough, but at the same time she was also sensitive. Hitting a deer at the beginning of the novel upset her. I like my protagonists to be real and believable. We have a 17-year-old girl who's life is turned upside down and it would be strange if she didn't show her emotions in regards to the death that is occurring every which way around her.

    Alex, the blond haired 'stalker' is not a stalker at all, but actually is there to help Jodi get a grip on everything that's occurring. After finally getting her to listen to him, he tells her he can help her understand what's been happening to her and help her control her necromancy. He brings her to a 'school' with others who are descended from Medusa, where she will begin training. I ended up really liking Alex and I liked seeing him and Jodi interact. Alex ended up being Jodi's rock, seeing as no 'school' could be complete without your token mean girl! Abby takes an immediate dislike to her and becomes an adversary of Jodi's. Not to mention she also so happens to be crushing on Alex. (Who clearly isn't interested.)

    However, Jodi now has a new set of problems to face. She is different from the others and there is a big battle brewing with Hades, who does not like the fact that these Ophi can raise the dead.

    Betrayal, lies, and deceit all await Jodi. Can she overcome them and do what she was meant to do? Guess you'll have to read and find out!

    The second book, Stalked by Death, will be released later this year. I can't wait to see what happens next!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 17, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Imagine how you¿d feel if every living thing, human or animal, t

    Imagine how you’d feel if every living thing, human or animal, that you touched died. Imagine discovering that you have the power to bring them back to life. Imagine learning that you aren’t exactly a normal human being.
    In Author Kelly Hashway’s YA fantasy novel TOUCH OF DEATH Jodi Marshall faces such a dilemma. It seems something bad happens to everyone she’s around. She hits a deer with her car, killing it, but it vanishes. The school nurse dies minutes after she gives Jodi the all-clear to return to class after the accident. The list goes on and on. To add to her problems, a guy Jodi’s never seen before is stalking her. I won’t even mention what happens to her hunk of a boyfriend. She soon finds herself in a whole new world that she never knew existed, but that she is a major part of.
    Kelly Hashway weaves secrets, zombies, mythology, and an unlikely romance into a tale of intrigue and adventure. She adds some surprises along the way. A variety of characters, both good and evil, keep the story moving and the reader, this reader anyway, racing ahead to see what happens next. Warning, some of the scenes are pretty graphic. So curl up in your favorite spot, turn on all the lights, and enjoy TOUCH OF DEATH.
    ###

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 12, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I loved the concept - a teen girl discovers she's inherited the

    I loved the concept - a teen girl discovers she's inherited the touch of death - and life - through her ancestress, Medusa. The 13th zodiac sign. Zombie deer. Zombie squirrel. Zombie zombies. If you like zombies, this may be your book.

    The writing is good - the dialogue is mixed well with narrative, the heroine "spoke" with a teen voice, and certainly had the boy-obsession down. At the same time, I did not like Jodi or find her admirable. Yes, she had the super-duper blood, but that's not anything SHE did, said or choose. I wanted to see some seeds planted in the beginning of the leadership and courage she magically showed at the end; she seemed very passive and reactive.

    I also felt Jodi gave up her relationship with her mother way too easy. She should have fought for some way for them to stay in touch - emails, letters (just don't lick the envelope!), something, this was the only parent she knew for her entire life and they were tremendously close. To me, the only character who demonstrated real depth, internal conflicts and genuine likability was Jodi's mother, but she was gone by the middle of the book. Likewise Jodi's (former) best friend, simply GONE - Jodi doesn't give her a second thought once she's in her necromancer training school.

    It is a very fast read, and there were some interesting plot twists.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2013

    Boom

    So good

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 14, 2013

    When you touch someone you feel connected and close to that pers

    When you touch someone you feel connected and close to that person, what if that feeling was taken away because your touch was deadly. Being home schooled for Jodi wasn't all bad, and high school is another world all together. But with one simple crash, everything changed not knowing your blood can bring back the dead can be a little difficult to explain. But with everything surrounding Jodi and the accidents, its hard not to come to the solution and having a stalker isn't nice either. Alex aka her stalker has been on her since that day of the deer accident and even though she has a boyfriend willing to scare him away she still feels something is all happy times. Put your self in her shoes, someone you don't know tells you not to kiss someone, you ignore right.Would you believe someone who said your not even human, I didn't think so. Finally after some time, Jodi realizes  what Alex is telling her, and must learn how to control her 'power'.
    Ever get a creepy feeling when everyone is too nice, entering that mansion of a home, their she learns that maybe her being an Ophi is a good thing. Through in a girl who doesn't like her the moment she comes and wants at nothing to prove that Jodi isn't so special. Who knew being a descendent of Medusa would strive even the greediest of people to turn against her. With time running out and a god wanting them, Jodi must come up with a plan to help all Ophi before they cease to exist. 
    I love greek mythology so with Jodi's story I felt everything she felt, betrayed and also hopeful for a good ending. Of course this is only the beginning. Hashway brings you in and doesn't ever let yew go, if I had a stalker like Alex I don't know if I would let him in, who am i kidding of course I would let him in. I don't know how Jodi was able to not break down and cry, she is strong and has an amazing heart. I would hate to be resurrected back into my decaying body and live a life of servitude with no thoughts. Jodi senses it and strives to change things, she has this leadership quality and Im so looking forward to book 2 Stalked by Death coming out in July, the waiting begins. 

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 24, 2014

    Touch of Death starts out with a lesson all teenagers should kno

    Touch of Death starts out with a lesson all teenagers should know: not to use their phone while they drive. When Jodi reaches for her phone, she accidentally hits a deer and kills it. While she kneels over the deer, she gets a nose bleed and her blood magically brings the deer back to life.

    The one thing that got me in that scene is that Jodi wiped the blood off her hand from her nosebleed onto the deer’s fur. I don’t see anyone doing that. I would’ve wiped it on the inside of my shirt, or had shown a drop fall from her nose and land on the deer instead. The fact that she wiped her blood on a dead deer was weird.

    Anyway, I enjoyed the mythology in the beginning of Touch of Death. Mythology is one of my passions, which is why I enjoy Kelly Hashway’s books so much, because she rewrites them and uses them in fascinating ways. I actually had no idea that there was a 13th zodiac sign though, so that was a treat to learn. 

    The end of chapter one is where things start to get good. And, without revealing anymore of the plot, I’ll just say I was just as nervous as Jodi was. And things really get exciting when Green Eyes (Alex from Kiss of Death) gets into the picture.

    Another thing I noticed is that Jodi sure pricks/cuts herself a lot. I understand that’s the point of the story but it’s a bit predictable. Despite that though, everything that happens after she pricks herself is entertaining.

    I enjoyed the insight Kelly Hashway gave us for a teen who was homeschooled and whose mother was a teen mom. These are two very realistic circumstances in this generation and it was nice reading about a YA character who dealt with both while growing up.

    The end had my jaw dropping. There were so many twists and turns and each one was exciting. I felt like applauding at the conclusion of this book. Over all, this was a fun read.

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  • Posted May 11, 2014

    Touch of Death was really good. I've been wanting to read this s

    Touch of Death was really good. I've been wanting to read this series for a while, and when I heard it had Greek mythology, I was ecstatic. I bought the first book in December and got it New Year's Eve. It wasn't as good as expected, but was still phenomenal. That said, there is no doubt in my mind that it lives up to the hype it has been given. I can't wait to read the next two books.




    The main character is Jodi. A few pages into the book, you learn her birthday and I about had a field day. Why? Because Jodi, the author, and I ALL have the same birthday! Don't believe me, look here:
    @Tween2TeenBooks That's my birthday too! :)
    — Kelly Hashway (@kellyhashway) January 2, 2014




    Besides being endlessly cool, because the main character has that birthday, she has special powers. Does that mean I have special powers too? (Sadly, I do not. I tried them on my friends and they did not work.) But seriously, Jodi is a cool protagonist. A little too whiney at parts, but overall, a likable heroin. She tends to jump to conclusions, but everyone has their faults. Jodi is also extremely powerful. She's a direct descendant of Medusa and has some crazy awesome powers that go along with that.




    The plot is fast moving. I easily read this in 24 hours. So, clear your schedule for the afternoon and get reading! There's action, romance *swoon*, and SO much more! The male protagonist Alex would make any reader swoon. At points, the book can be cheesy, but it's still good. The second book is out and the third (and final) book comes out in a couple weeks! Definitely a fun read that you won't regret!

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  • Posted January 22, 2014

    So not amused by this book. It reminded me exactly of Cursed, w

    So not amused by this book. It reminded me exactly of Cursed, with a different twist of having a thirteenth zodiac sign instead of people just being born with different powers. They follow almost the same plot line, and lead to the same sort of ending except that Touch of Death is a series instead of a standalone. I like how this book does have a second book because there were a lot of unanswered questions, but I also thought that had they lengthened it a little bit, they probably could have just made it one book. That statement is also made not knowing what is going to happen in the next book/s.

    Another book that this one reminded me painfully of was Undeadly. Both books are about young necromancer girls who come unto their power, unknowingly raise their boyfriends and then are shipped off to “schools” that help them develop their powers. I did like Touch of Death better than Undeadly because Jodi was a much better main character. While she was imperfect and at times annoying, she was also a lot more human and like a teenager girl. There were a few things that her reaction was a little strange like touching the deer she hit with her car or talking to the guy she thought was stalking her, but really it was just stupid.

    It was also annoying how much she cut herself, I can understand being clumsy, but girlfriend, you gotta watch yourself on rusty nails and everything. I also understand That it was important to the plot progression, I just felt like it was silly. This whole book felt silly really. I wasn’t very partial to the plot and several times, I wanted to give up on it. The writing wasn’t even the problem, I had more of a problem with events that happened in the book and how the plot unfolded than I did with the characterization.

    I did also find it strange that she was homeschooled by her teen mom until her senior year so that she could have something for her college applications. I understand, sure, being homeschooled, but then her mom wouldn’t let her in the house alone with boys, which again, was fine, but what did she do while she worked with her daughter? Nothing else was indicated, and even if her parents helped her out, I’m sure they had their own jobs to go to, so they couldn’t watch their granddaughter. The homeschooling was interesting, but it would have been maybe even easier had Hashway just stated that she was new to the school district because she moved there.

    I had serious respect though for the fact that Jodi and Alex did not have instalove. Their relationship grew, and while she did give him more that she should have when she thought he was a stalker, I liked that she took her time to grieve over Matt and that she felt confused and wrong about having feelings for Alex. I did sort of like him, but mostly I felt bad for him because of his parents and how they seemed to treat him like he was nothing to him. No child deserves that.

    All in all, I don’t think I’ll be reading the second book just because I felt ambivalent towards the first one, and I’m not sure how much that will change for the second one, but maybe I will check it out.

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  • Posted January 11, 2013

    I was thrilled to get this in the mail! I thought it looked rea

    I was thrilled to get this in the mail! I thought it looked really good and was pretty excited to read it. It turned out to be even better than I expected. The story was unique and captivating.

    The only thing I disliked, was a little lack of character development. There was so much more in them that could have been explored, especially her best friend and her first real boyfriend. That was the only thing I didn't like! Everything else about this book was surprising and wonderful.

    I liked Jodi and her strength to stick by those she loved. It wasn't until she realized the danger she was truly putting her loved ones in that she let Alex into her world.

    Alex..Gah. I wish I had an Alex to look out for me and give me strength in my times of need. He might just be my favorite character.

    I loved this book so much that I am stoked to hear Stalked by Death is coming out in July next year! I hope it lives up to this one. This book deserves five stars for being such a stellar debut for Kelly Hashway:)

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  • Posted January 8, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Touch of Death is an excellent start to a new series. This book

    Touch of Death is an excellent start to a new series. This book kept me hooked from the very first chapter. I loved the mythology, concept, and characters. However, the pacing was a bit slow, and I felt misled from the synopsis. Furthermore, some of the plot occurrences felt more convenient than realistic. Overall, though, I'd recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a new YA paranormal series. 

    I absolutely loved the mythology for this book. It's based on Greek mythology, but not Hades and Persephone. Hades is involved, of course, and I do love the Hades and Persephone retellings, but I have to admit that it's refreshing to see a story starring another mythological character other than those two. Medusa is the main mythological creature in this story, and I loved it. 

    I also loved the characters in this novel. Jodi is a very likable character, and she's not bratty like so many leading female YA characters are. I also loved Alex. He is fantastic, brave, and super sweet. Matt was also wonderful, and he really added a lot to the story. All of the characters are dynamic, well-developed, and believable. 

    The pacing was a bit slow for my liking. Jodi's revelation came way too late in my opinion, and at times, she seemed super stupid not to be able to figure out what was going on. Also, some of her reactions to being stalked were unnatural to say the least. The secondary characters, such as Jodi's mom's reactions, also felt forced. A lot of the time, it felt more like the author was manipulating the story than it seemed like the story was unfolding at its own pace. Additionally, the ending felt forced and too convenient. I'll wait and see what happens next to make my final judgment on the ending, though. 

    Final verdict? This book is interesting. I'd recommend it to anyone who loves paranormal stories that are based on mythology. Touch of Death sets up what's sure to be an interesting series. 

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    Posted July 23, 2013

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    Posted July 21, 2013

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    Posted April 7, 2013

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