Title: Touch (Denazen #1) and Untouched (Denazen #1.5)
Author: Jus Accardo
Published: November 2011 & March 2012
Touch: When a strange boy tumbles down a river embankment and lands at her feet, seventeen-year-old adrenaline junkie Deznee Cross snatches the opportunity to piss off her father by bringing the mysterious hottie with ice blue eyes home.
Except there’s something off with Kale. He wears her shoes in the shower, is overly fascinated with things like DVDs and vases, and acts like she’ll turn to dust if he touches her. It’s not until Dez’s father shows up, wielding a gun and knowing more about Kale than he should, that Dez realizes there’s more to this boy—and her father’s “law firm”—than she realized.
Kale has been a prisoner of Denazen Corporation—an organization devoted to collecting “special” kids known as Sixes and using them as weapons—his entire life. And, oh yeah, his touch? It kills. The two team up with a group of rogue Sixes hellbent on taking down Denazen before they’re caught and her father discovers the biggest secret of all. A secret Dez has spent her life keeping safe.
A secret Kale will kill to protect.
Untouched: Until he met Dez, Kale’s days were filled with violence and death. He was used as a weapon of destruction by the power hungry men of Denazen. He’s a Six. A person with an abnormal ability. Some people call them gifts, but not Kale. Kale’s touch means instant death.
But now there’s Dez, the girl he can touch, and they’re hunting down Sixes and warning them about Denazen. Kale is learning about the world outside captivity and trying to put his dark past behind him. But they underestimated how badly Denazen wanted him back.
When Dez sacrifices herself to save the new Six they’d rescued from falling into the corp’s hands, Kale is lost. Denazen has brought out its best to get the job done. Samsen, a nightmare from Kale’s past—the only person he’s ever truly feared—has come for them, and it soon becomes obvious he has his own twisted agenda.
Kale will need all his training to get Dez back and ensure they make it out, free—and alive. But will it be enough?
**The books were received from the publisher but that did not influence the review**
Ana & Celeste will put these books on their 2nd shelf.
♥ Initial thought after finishing:
Ana: Really enjoying this series! So many twists and turns…such evil bad people…and a great romance!
Celeste: Loved! Holy double crossing!! Fast paced with a great romance full of sparks (lol).
♥ The story:
Ana: I liked the adventure of these stories. There was lots of action and unexpected twists that kept the stories moving along quickly. The premise of the books, one where there’s an evil organization using people with special powers, may not be new but the level of evil the Denazen corporation is capable of is quite different. The appearance of Kale at the very beginning of Touch meant that the mystery started immediately, it was a book that captured me right from the start. In Untouched, the adventure continues as the characters continue to try to escape the corporation’s evil and save other “Sixes” – people with special powers. Touch captured me right from the very beginning and ensured that I fell in love with these characters!
Celeste: Touched: I really, really really enjoyed it. I devoured the book-read in one day. Deznee, or Dez as she prefers, lives with her cold, unemotional father. She’ll do anything to get a rise out of him. One day she runs across Kale who is fleeing for his life. She doesn’t know what to make of him, but soon starts to learn her life with her “lawyer” father isn’t what it seemed. There’s evil to fight and people to save!
Untouched: This was from Kale’s point of view and while I loved the first book, this was more like a filler scene, and written from Kale’s perspective this time. It was also set at an amusement park which just seemed a little too predictable.
♥ The Characters:
Ana: Dez was such a spunky, smart character. Her ability to figure out situations and face danger head on was great. She had a sarcastic inner voice that had me laughing at times. Although I couldn’t relate to her dislike of her father, I was still on her side and admired her sass. She was strong and good with “weird” which worked for her because her life is full of weird! Kale is a great mystery at the beginning of this story and goes through lots of growth as the book progresses. His curiosity had me smiling and his straightforwardness was refreshing. He was simultaneously innocent and fierce. Of course, it didn’t hurt that he was also sweet and dreamy but didn’t seem to know it! The villains in this book were indeed evil and I didn’t have any trouble disliking them.
Celeste: I flip flopped a lot with many of the secondary characters because their loyalties were not clear. Personally, I loved the mystery of trying to decide which side of the fence so many were really on. However, there were solid main characters in this book that definitely had their side and were consistent the whole way through.
Dez = a great heroine. At first look she is a typical rebellious teen, just looking for attention and not afraid to get it. She will defy her father in any bold way – even I was impressed with the lengths she would go.
Marshall Cross (her father) = not at all what he seemed. The more I read the more absolutely evil he was. He doesn’t seem to have a single ounce of humanity in him, even for his daughter. He seems to use her as a pawn in his game as well. Truly awful.
Kale = I loved him! Yes, maybe a bit silly since he has been kept on the “inside”, but his personality was still kind. He spirit never got destroyed. Then let’s talk about his perfect physique and ice blue eyes and shaggy hair that could tuck behind both ears…..rawr!
♥ The Relationship:
Ana: As with many YA books, the relationship takes off pretty quickly. The difference here is that the character with the life experience is the girl, not the boy. The innocence that Kale brings into the relationship made it all that much sweeter. It was a slow smolder in many ways while still moving along quickly enough for the reader. I liked the way that Dez handled the relationship in almost a delicate way considering she was so worldly. Because of Kale’s special power, I was concerned that the relationship couldn’t be real (trust me, this will make sense once you read the book) but he was ultimately able to convince me of his feelings and I jumped on board of the Dez/Kale train.
Celeste: Yup, I’m on board this train! While Dez was no innocent teen, it was all for show. Her previous relationship with Alex had been (in my opinion) just something that made her feel loved since it seemed like she had no affection in her life. Almost as soon as she meets Kale there is a connection, and not just because he is gorgeous and she is resistant to his ability. It is sweet and sexy because Kale was just going on his feelings and pure physical reactions.
♥ Overall feelings:
Ana: I found Touch more enjoyable than Untouched because, in truth Touch is where the character building happened and where we had the opportunity to get immersed in the story. Untouched, being a novella, was just a short “episode”…almost too quick to fall into. I did enjoyed the fact that Untouched was actually written in Kale’s POV. It was good to see what his feelings were about this world and understand the range of emotions he felt both for his past as well as Dez. But, in reality, it was Touch that won me over. Overall, the books were well written and the stories moved along smoothly. I liked the characters and routed for them from the very beginning.
Celeste: Touch: I thoroughly enjoyed Touch. It jumped right into the story from the first chapter. Of course many secrets were uncovered and revealed as we went along. It was well written and I was sold. Honestly, my biggest complaint is that I hated the name Deznee “Dez”. I understood later kind of why she was given that name, but still. terrible choice. It could easily have been something else. However, it didn’t make me like her or the story any less.
Untouched: I was excited to start it and it was OK, but I’m glad it was short. I usually get excited over a switched POV, but this one was harder for me to get into.