I resisted getting Claire North's latest novel 'Touch' as long as I could. Succumbed after three months. Clearly Catherine Webb likes her pseudonyms. She has nicely separated the genres under each identity. Kate Griffin's voice is nothing like Claire North's.
Like her first 'The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August', we are back to this concept of ouroboros. 'Touch' should be finished in one sitting. Grinned, settled in for the afternoon and read the book to IEHAC's 'The Kraken' track 12- 'Ouroboros'. (Reviews here, here, here and here.)
A non-gendered entity named Kepler has the ability to leap from body to body to survive for centuries. Kepler can be male or female. It doesn't seem to have a preference. But there isn't time traveling involved. It can't do that. It has memories and competencies gleaned. The consciousness of these willing and unwilling 'hosts' are put to sleep when Kepler is in uhh residence, and when they wake, they remember nothing and only know they've lost time, be it minutes, an hour or thirty years. Ghosts, these entities called themselves.
The story is riveting enough. Of Kepler jumping bodies to go after the man Nathan Coyle who killed his last host and tried to kill him, occupying the body of Coyle, and even working together to find out what this shadowy organization Aquarius was up to in its research, experiments and planned murders, a secretive sponsor, and what an old nemesis Galileo had to do with everything. But the conspiracy portion isn't sinister enough. Dunno, but murder and torture in these plots is too commonplace. There's something about the idea of beauty, being beautiful and being loved, something about the vibrancy of life sought by the 'enemy' Galileo. Then we're back to this concept of love. Of a very human love. And that was when the book lost me. Like everything had to go back to 'love', as an ideal, not so much of romance. I get it, yet I don't get it.
I am the stranger who gave you the white flowers she carried in her hand
the face you forget as it turned away
I am beautiful
until I see that she is more beautiful than me
and he more beautiful again
so beautiful and never enough
I am the woman who stood on your foot on the train
jostled you in the queue
asked you for the time
I am the ancient man who has forgotten his name
the tired old woman who wished to be someone else.
I am no one.
I am Kepler.
I am love.
I am you.