Source: Hyperion/Netgalley – I received this book in exchange for an honest review. I received no compensation.
Edition: Egalley, 288 pages
Genre: Science Fiction
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository *
*I receive a small monetary kickback from Amazon purchases
Twenty-year-old Anna Marie was just fired for the third time–this time from a bakery. Why can’t she hold a job? Well, for starters, she dresses . . . differently. She looks like a Goth girl to the extreme, her shock of white hair contrasting with her head-to-toe black garb, her face the only skin she chooses to reveal. But Anna Marie doesn’t have a choice. Her skin, her touch, is a deadly weapon that must be concealed. She accidentally put her first boyfriend, Cody, in a coma when they kissed. Horrified, she ran away to Jackson, Mississippi, where she’s been living alone in a cramped apartment and scraping by on food stamps.
Then she meets otherworldly James and everything changes. He’s just like her–completely alone and also on the run. To elude James’s mysterious and dangerous family, the pair takes to the highway. As they cross the country, their simmering attraction intensifies and they both open up about their secretive pasts. James reveals that his true name is Touch and he christens Anna Marie Rogue. But with danger at their heels, they know they can’t run forever. Rogue must decide if she’ll unleash her devastating powers once again, which she swore never to do, in order to save the only person who seems truly to understand and accept her.
It’s finally happening! Comic books are getting actual novels! (I’m excluding the movie based novels of course). I saw this on Netgalley and practically attacked my mouse trying to request it. I will admit to having certain expectations heading into it, because I do know some of Rogue’s story and I was expecting to see more of the Marvelverse. However Rogue Touch takes us in the the part of Rogue’s origin that we never got to see, that time between her first experience with her powers and the time she meets up with other ‘mutants’. I was pleasantly surprised by what Rogue Touch delivered.
Anna Marie was a normal girl until she kissed her boyfriend and her latent powers awakened, sending him to the hospital and driving Anna Marie to run away. She’s a young woman afraid of her own skin, literally, and she goes to extremes to prevent the same thing from happening to anyone else. She dresses in leather and keeps herself covered, she avoids people as much as possible and it really forces her into a lonely place. I really loved Anna’s personal journey in this one, she goes from being someone who hides who she is because of fear to someone who is stronger and more confident. James (Touch) was totally unexpected and I really liked his role in bringing out Anna’s more confident nature. I do wish that I knew more about him and his home though, we do get to see and hear about it but I think I wanted some more details.
The overall story is not something you can find in graphic novels (or at least not yet) so it’s fresh and new. We get a in depth and emotional look at what Anna has to go through when she absorbs another person’s “power”. We get to see her visit some of the memories she gains from other people in comics but I think the book touches on just how much of that becomes Anna. Suddenly another persons’ experiences are now hers, and I really felt for her because I couldn’t even begin to imagine what it would like to live with someone’s life going through my mind. I also like the twists that Anna encounters and most of my guesses were kind of off base.
Overall I think that this was the perfect book to kick off the Marvel books. It’s an easy read with the familiar nature of Marvel and the added depth of a full length novel. I had some slight issues with the lack of detail where Touch was concerned but I really liked Rogue’s voice. I can’t wait to see what Hyperion and Marvel do next!