The Coldest Touch

The Coldest Touch
Age Range
Release Date
December 07, 2021
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From the author of These Witches Don't Burn comes another paranormal romance for fans of Richelle Mead and Stephenie Meyer. Elise Beaumont is cursed. With every touch, she experiences exactly how her loved ones will die. And after her brother's death—a death she predicted but was unable to prevent—Elise is desperate to get rid of her terrible gift, no matter the cost. Claire Montgomery also has a unique relationship with death, mostly because she’s already dead. Technically, anyway. Claire is a vampire, and she's been assigned by the Veil to help Elise master her rare Death Oracle powers. At first, Elise is reluctant to work with a vampire, but when she predicts a teacher’s imminent murder, she's determined to stop the violent death, even if it means sacrificing her own future to secure Claire's help. The trouble is, Claire and Elise aren't the only paranormals in town—a killer is stalking the streets, and Claire can't seem to shake the pull she feels toward Elise, a romance that could upend the Veil’s mission. But as Elise and Claire grow closer, Elise begins to wonder—can she really trust someone tasked with securing her loyalty? Someone who could so easily kill her? Someone who might hold the key to unraveling her brother's mysterious death?

Editor review

1 review
intriguing YA fantasy
Overall rating
Writing Style
THE COLDEST TOUCH is an intriguing YA fantasy about friendship, romance, politics, and death. Elise began seeing other people's deaths when she turned 16. She experiences the death of anyone whose skin she touches, giving her an idea of when and where they will be as well as how they will die. This curse never felt worse than when she saw her brother die and then witnessed his death. She has estranged herself from all the people in her life as their touches hurt too much, and she is working on anything to break this curse.

Then, she meets Claire. Claire has been sent by the veil to help train and bring Elise in, as she is a very valuable paranormal. As a shepherd, her role is a bit murky. She must get close to her (though not too close), gain her trust, help train her, and then turn her over to serve the veil. The alternatives are too dangerous for someone like Elise.

As Elise makes sense of who she is, the powers she has, and the world she has stumbled into, she finds herself in the midst of a brewing political battle.

What I loved: The dual perspectives of this book are particularly compelling, adding up to the romance that simmers beneath the surface for most of the book. There are also some intriguing themes around politics, death, and friendship. Elise's ability was really thought-provoking in terms of the inescapability of death, its manifestation, and the morality of such knowledge. The plot moves reasonably quickly without spending too much time on the training - it's really more about the politics of the people interested in Elise and the way that she fits into the larger plans. The mysteries really keep the book moving as we try to understand with Elise the role that she will have, the people who are after her, and Claire.

I also really liked the representation in terms of character's sexualities, which are accepted as they are. For instance, one of the characters identifies as bi, and this is not questioned or subject to any stigma. As Elise feels herself pulled in different directions, she also begins to question her sexuality. While this was not one of the major themes, it felt important in terms of how she and those who were aware of it reacted to it.

What left me wanting more: I would have loved more of the romance and build up for that, as it felt like a much smaller part of the story than I wish it was. The ending also felt a bit open, maybe to leave room for a future sequel. Additionally, I would have loved more world-building to understand the Veil, how and why it was created, and why all paranormals seem to be controlled or subject to the vampire rule. I would have loved hearing more about why everything led to the way it is now.

Final verdict: THE COLDEST TOUCH is an intriguing YA fantasy about politics, death, and finding yourself.
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