book review, horror

The Darkest Touch by Joseph Sale

The first appearance of the prince, but by no means his last. Sale’s debut novel is just the start of things.

The prince, and his thirteen apostles, all graced with powers by the same dark touch, have destroyed their world and now rule over a ruined New York City.

But those who are the destroyers can also be destroyed, and has the reign of the prince come to an end?

Wow, what a great debut novel. Full of super villains, complex characters, and the author’s distinctive ick factor, this is an engrossing book.

The touch, as the characters call their gifts, reminded me a bit of the X Men. Named for their abilities, there are such characters as Slick, who exudes an oily sweat; Razor, who cuts with a touch and has super healing; and Splice, who is telekinetic, rather than able to meld two things together as I was hoping.

However, as in all of the author’s work, the greatness of this novel goes beyond its surface strengths. This is a book about the corruption of revenge. How abuse of power leads to destruction. Of the madness in following a leader who wants to see the world burn.

The prince, an Oden like one eyed seer, is a recurring character in Sale’s books, with his story coming full circle in the author’s most recent book, Return to the Black Gate. In one way I wish I’d read this book first, and all the novels in order, as they are all so interconnected. However, this is an entertaining stand alone novel, and I enjoyed it, even reading it out of sequence.

I award The Darkest Touch

The Darkest Touch is available for $2.86 ebook and $14.95 print book on Amazon.

Click on the names below to read my reviews of some of Joseph Sale’s other books.


God’s of the Black Gate

Beyond the Black Gate

Return to the Black Gate

Save Game

20 thoughts on “The Darkest Touch by Joseph Sale”

  1. Yes, I love this book – others are more complex, more advanced, have a bigger epic sweep, but this one – his first seriously published novel (by a New York publishing house) – has a powerful simplicity which is just great story-telling. I feel it would make a great film.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s true what you say, but when one normally talks of later works, one imagines someone who is at least post-50; Joseph Sale is currently 26! I guess when you are young, your speed of development can be extraordinary.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Haha! True. Didn’t mean to imply age. He’s so prolific, and also very talented. Very impressed he wrote The Darkest Touch when he was 19! Wow!


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