So you’re telling me there’s a book that combines vampires AND sorcerer type of magic? That’s queer and also from a favorite author? I’m hooked and the book is The Coldest Touch. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.
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?
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
One of the biggest strengths of The Coldest Touch is the dual POV narration style. Sterling allows us to get to know both Elise and Claire so well. To see their misunderstandings and their hurt. All to see Elise’s difficult decisions for love, family, and friendship. To understand Claire’s dilemma with immortality. While there’s so much action that propels you through The Coldest Touch, what kept me reading were the characters. I was able to witness the intricacies, doubts, and mistakes.
We see the circumstances they’re both thrown into and must adapt. Throughout The Coldest Touch, Sterling examines themes of power, responsibility, and trust. On a personal level, it was so fantastic to see Claire and Elise open up to each other, to get to know each other. Then there are broader implications to their personal choices. We can become immersed in our own problems, but Sterling never lets us forget how our decisions have ripple effects.
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In a paranormal fantasy with stakes on every level, I found myself wondering how I would react to having Elise’s power. To live knowing how my loved ones will die and to watch their lives unravel. At the same time, what would it be like to be Claire. To be almost frozen in time. Overall, The Coldest Touch is a must read for all the vampire fans. It’s a book that has such a firm balance between action and character development, questioning rep, and characters who must come to terms with the costs of their choices.