King Midas once had the ability to turn all he touched into gold. But after his gift—or curse—almost killed his daughter, Midas relinquished The Touch forever. Ten years later, Princess Kora still bears the consequences of her father’s wish: her skin shines golden, rumors follow her everywhere she goes, and she harbors secret powers that are getting harder to hide.
Kora spends her days locked in the palace, concealed behind gloves and veils, trying to ignore the stares and gossip of courtiers. It isn’t until a charming young duke arrives that Kora realizes there may be someone out there who doesn’t fear her or her curse. But their courtship is disrupted when a thief steals precious items from the kingdom, leaving the treasury depleted and King Midas vulnerable. Thanks to her unique ability to sense gold, Kora is the only one who can track the thief down. As she sails off on her quest, Kora learns that not everything is what it seems—not thieves, not pirates, and not even curses. She quickly discovers that gold—and the power it brings—is more dangerous than she’d ever believed.
Midas learned his lesson at a price. What will Kora’s journey cost?
I was promised pirates and adventure. I got a dull protagonist, insta-love Romeo, and a whiny sidekick.
My biggest beef with this story is that it doesn’t feel YA. It reads like a MG. The setting and the characters lack depth. From the world building, the characters, characters’ emotions and personality – the world and the characters felt cookie-cutter to the extreme. The setting – ancient Greece – feels nonexistent, like this story could have taken place anywhere in the world without it effecting the story.
We spend the first several chapters going over the same information to different characters (a peeve of mine) and then we all jump on the “save the gold for daddy” boat because that’s the plot.
No really – Kora doesn’t talk to her father, yet she’s determined to save him? Her motivation for the entire plot felt so weak-sauce.
I had no motivation to read further into this book. I wanted to like it, but I just… didn’t. Nothing about it jumped out, begging to to finish. I had no desire to find out what happens to Kora or her insta-love, or her whiny best friend.
There was nothing to draw my attention, and I have too many other books awaiting on my “to read” list that look so much more interesting.
Now, the writing wasn’t bad. The writing itself was good – but it wasn’t as a “YA” level. It read like MG, yet Kora was supposed to be like 17 – she acted like a little kid. Overly innocent and naive, and everyone else was so… innocent. Every the “pirates.” It just left so much to be desired.
After reading amazing books like Six of Crows and The Cruel King, my expectations have been raised. I expect more out of the writing, the plot, and the characters. I expect intelligence and surprises.
So, overall, A Touch of Gold gets a 3 out of 5, because it’s okay. It’s not great. It’s okay. I would have liked it better if I was 13.