Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Touch of Power


Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder

There is a certain type of book that I seek every time I'm at the library or bookstore, a kind of story with a quality I can't quite describe but will pulls me in so completely that I get lost in their worlds. There's something in them that calms me when my life is full of stress and I just can't deal with any more of it. 

It's somewhat tricky to explain what kind of book fits my criteria; instead I'll offer a list of titles that encompass it:

Now there are many more books with this same feel, but discovering stellar examples can be tough. So many times an upcoming book will sound like it has the same qualities but ends up lacking the essential elements that so appeal to me. (Don't ask me what they are, as I have yet to figure out exactly what draws me to them.)

One very long intro later, we get to the heart of the review: Touch of Power launched itself smack dab onto this list and is one of the best books of this type that I've read in quite a while. It probably isn't too surprising, considering her Poison Study made the list several years ago. In all honesty, I like this one so much more than Poison Study, which is saying a lot.

The basic premise is this: A horrific plague decimates the populace of Avry's world, leaving survivors beleaguered and wary of another outbreak. Avry is a Healer, and while normally this would be a good thing, people blame the Healers for causing the plague and take to executing every Healer they find.

With practically nowhere to hide, Avry is constantly on the move. Without getting into too much detail, she ends up the captive of a band of rogues who drag her across the world to have her heal someone. Adventures, danger and romance ensue. 

It isn't the plot that's so incredible about this book; it's the world-building. My favorite has to be the giant lilies that can swallow a man whole. While there are two varieties, there is no way to tell them apart: the Peace Lily is a beautiful sight while the Death Lily is a danger to every creature that wanders by. I found it fascinating to see how the Lilies and other unique elements developed and added to the story.

In conclusion, I really enjoyed this book, even though I read it through the night and finished bleary-eyed at 5 am. That's probably another indicator of how much I liked Touch of Power.

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for an advance copy of the book.


  1. Haha! See, the how-much-sleep-did-I-give-up factor *is* a good indicator of how much you liked a book. Hence my blog title and philosophy :D

  2. Yes, it seems to be an indicator I use regularly. Too regularly, if the zombie-days that follow are to be believed.

    There is one thing about all-nighter books. They might not be my favorites or even stellar, but they keep you reading and saying, "Just one more chapter."

    This is why I hold off on reading Catching Fire and Mockingjay: I need to set aside an entire day where I don't have any commitments because I know that I won't be doing anything else—including sleeping though minus eating—once I start into them. Hmm. . . Maybe after things slow down post-Christmas/pre-New Years.