Friday, April 24, 2015

Series Spotlight: Touch of Death Trilogy by Kelly Hashway

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 1:00 PM

Title: Touch of Death, Stalked by Death and Face of Death
Author: Kelly Hashway
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Publication: January 15th 2013, August 13th 2013 and January 7th 2014
Cover Rating: 3/5

Touch of Death by Kelly Hashway is a very interesting twist on some of the Greek Gods. I have never felt very strongly about the Greek Gods and, quite frankly, I didn't even think I would enjoy reading books about them. But I really enjoyed this book. Medusa has always interested me. I guess that makes me twisted. Oh well! It is also a Coming of Age story where coming of age isn't exactly a good thing. 

Jodi is a sweet, innocent girl. She has been home-schooled her entire life and she is pretty new the the whole "being around other people" thing. She just wants to live a normal life but, unfortunately for her, she was born as something not quite human. She is also stubborn and refused to leave until she almost killed someone she couldn't imagine living without. I thought being stubborn was a Taurus thing. Haha! Ahh, zodiac humor fits well for this book. I also kind of think her mother knew about her because she was home schooled for most of her life. It's just a hunch.

Alex is a weirdo, at first. Who the heck stalks a girl in order to get her to like him? I mean, I guess it kind of worked out for him in the end. But that still isn't the way to go about those types of things. By the end of the book I have a love hate thing going on with my feelings for Alex. He did prove his worth but I still don't trust him.

Poor Matt, the doctor and the school nurse. It must really mess with Jodi conscience knowing she did what she did. I was more upset what Matt killed the bunny. I wonder what that says about me. But Jodi went through so much more after leaving home that I'm shocked she didn't run away screaming. 

Learning about Ophi and Medusa was extremely cool. I found myself looking up Ophiuchus and reading the meanings behind a lot of things in the book. I enjoy a good book that makes me want to learn more about the subject it's centered around.

The ending was completely crazy and chaotic. Everything exploded in a matter of like 20 pages. There was plenty of action and plot throughout the rest of the book but the end is where everything goes down. I love the bargain Jodi made with Hades. It was the perfect punishment for Victoria and Troy's "gang". 

Overall, I gave the book 4.5/5 stars.

When I first started Stalked by Death I was wondering where the author was going to take everything, The first book had such a sense of finality that I didn't really think it needed a sequel. But I am glad there are more books because you get to see some of the characters progress, or in Alex's case, digress. 

Jodi really progressed through this book. She start out being overly worked and kept trying to do everything on her own. But because of that and other circumstances she ended up putting herself and everyone else in a lot of danger. 

Alex was a total jerk through the entire book. I feel like his jealousy and over protectiveness kind of pushed Jodi towards Chase. I do admit he truly had something to worry about but there was still better ways to handle everything.

I didn't like Chase from the beginning. He seemed like a womanizer and shouldn't have been trying to get with Jodi. The fact that Chase was trying to get in-between Jodi and Alex just proved what kind of guy he was.

Leticia needed to grow a pair. She is an OPHI for god sake and she was acting like a 5 year old who dropped her ice cream at the park. I honest feel like she was worse than Abby. Very cry babyish and very immature. She asked impossible things of Jodi and refused to accept things at face value.

The entire plot-line was done very well. The fact that Jodi could accidently raise the dead was a great angle and it had me guessing what was going to happen a lot. 

The one thing that I keep wondering is, if they know they are deadly to humans, why do they put humans at risk by living around them. I am sure they could all live fine on their own. I think it has something to do with the thrill of being around the humans. They could kill them so easily.

The ending is definitely a cliffhanger. I am going to start the next book ASAP. That ending just can't happen. I am pretty sure Hades is happy now. I wonder how Jodi will get the Ophi out of this mess. I feel so terrible for the people who read these books before the last book was out.

Overall, I gave the book 4.5/5 stars.

I couldn't wait to start Face of Death. The way Stalked by Death ended made jumping right into the last book unavoidable. This book was definitely a joyride from Hell. HAHA pun intended. There WILL BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW. So caution.

Jodi has gone to Hell. But so have all of her Ophi friends. She goes through so much inner turmoil and internal battles because of having to watch her friends be tortured. The fact that Jodi lost her human self and that weak human form was pretty much the solution I found to be a little odd. 

The fact that Jodi has to pretty much split herself was pretty interesting. It was a little hard to picture but it was a pretty cool concept.

MATT? WHAT?! Oh my god. I wasn't expecting that AT ALL. I knew he was dead and everything, yeah. But I didn't expect him to be in Hell. Hades is truly a cruel man for pulling Matt from Heaven. 

I still didn't like Alex too much in this book. He was a little bit better than the first two books but just something about him makes me not want to like him. I am okay with the fact that him and Jodi did end up together though. I think they are good for each other. 

After finishing the trilogy I have decided that I would have been fine with their only being one book. As I said in my last review, the first book had such a sense of finality that I kind of lost my attachment to the characters when it ended. I did enjoy that there was more to the story but my detachment from the characters made it hard to really focus. I am not saying the book is badly written or anything like that. In fact, the books are amazingly written. I just lost my attachment because of how the first book ended. 

Overall, I gave the book 4/5 stars.

As a whole I really enjoyed the trilogy. Jodi was a little bit of a cry baby and annoying at times but she made up for it in some ways. I don't normally enjoy Zombie books but the Touch of Death Trilogy was more than just zombies. It was as Coming of Age novel with a lot of trials and tribulations. There was so much drama and emotion in these books. It was also a great twist on some Greek mythology. The author knows how to write perfect situations and very believable characters even if the general story isn't something that can actually happen. Sadly, I did lose my connection with the characters after the first book so I was reading for the plot instead of pure interest in what happens to the characters. I have read one other book from this author and I can say, without a doubt, that I would buy more of her works in the future. I highly recommend this author and her books to anyone who loves YA paranormal, zombies and a good "love" story.

As a side note: If you like Kelly Hashways writing but find yourself feeling like I did about the book then please try her The Monster Within series. I really loved the first book and the second book will be out soon! 

Overall, I gave the entire trilogy 4.5/5 stars.

Kelly Hashway grew up reading R.L. Stein’s Fear Street novels and writing stories of her own, so it was no surprise to her family when she majored in English and later obtained a masters degree in English Secondary Education from East Stroudsburg University. After teaching middle school language arts for seven years, Hashway went back to school and focused specifically on writing. She is now the author of three young adult series, one middle grade series, and several picture books. She also writes contemporary romance under the pen name Ashelyn Drake. When she isn’t writing, Hashway works as an editor for Leap Books as well as for her own list of clients. In her spare time, she enjoys running, traveling, and volunteering with the PTO. Hashway currently resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, daughter, and two pets. Hashway is represented by Sarah Negovetich of Corvisiero Literary Agency. 

1) Did you plan on writing Touch of Death as a trilogy?

Actually no. I wrote the book as a standalone at first but decided to change the ending slightly and leave it open to becoming a series. Once I started planning book two, it became clear that it would be a trilogy when all was said and done.

2) What about the undead appeals to you?

Years ago I read the Darkest Powers series by Kelley Armstrong, which features an MC who is a necromancer. I fell in love with necromancers at that point and knew I wanted to write about an entire cast of necromancers. As far as the undead, I think it's sort of everyone's nightmare—the idea of the dead coming back to life and trying to kill the living. What better addition to a series that borders on horror?

3) Would you want to be an Ophi?

Probably not since they are poisonous to humans. My poor Ophi cast goes through so much in this series, and when I think of all Jodi lost and had to give up, it's not something I'd want to live through.
4) What advice would you give someone who wants to become an author?

Read as much as possible. Reading is the best way to research the market and improve your craft—other than writing.

5) Who would you have picked? Chase or Alex?

Alex definitely! I HATE Chase. He's the only character I've ever written that I just loathe. I usually love my villains just as much as my heroes, but not Chase. There's no love there. Alex is someone I fell for early on in the series, which is why I went back and wrote a free prequel novella called Kiss of Death, which tells Alex's story before he met Jodi. That's perma free on my publisher's website:

6) What was the inspiration for the Ophi?

I'd have to say Medusa. I came across a lesser-known myth about her that I loved. According to that myth she was wrongfully cursed by Athena, who was jealous that Poseidon loved Medusa and not her. I felt like Medusa got a bad reputation for no reason, so I wanted to write about characters who were descended from her and be able to show Medusa in a very different light. She's very beautiful and motherly to the Ophi in this series. Because not many people know this myth about Medusa, I also wrote a short story prequel to the series, highlighting it. That's also free on my publisher's website:


Kelly Hashway on April 25, 2015 at 8:21 AM said...

Thanks for spotlighting the Touch of Death series, Jenn!

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