book review, horror, Joseph Sale

Joseph Sale Month: The Darkest Touch

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

This review was originally posted on July 9th 2020.


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8 thoughts on “Joseph Sale Month: The Darkest Touch”

  1. You may or may not be interested to know I always think of this book as “the one that got away”. It’s kind of out there on its own and not properly integrated with my corpus (because it is published with an indie press in New York). Considering it establishes the Prince, which is a vital part of Nekyia, it is very peculiar, but sometimes you have to let things go! Thank you for revisiting! It’s really healing seeing you review so many of my older works.

    Liked by 1 person

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