Review: The Coldest Touch by Isabel Sterling
I hear vampires are back in vogue…well if you make them queer, they sure as hell are back! Both Christy and I loved The Coldest Touch, the newest book from Isabel Sterling, and I love that it was as paranormal and queer as her last duology, These Witches Don’t Burn! Check out our 5 star review below and when you’re done watching First Kill, pick up The Coldest Touch!
Many thanks to Penguin Teen for the gifted finished copy which in no way influenced our thoughts below.
The Coldest Touchby Isabel Sterling
Published by: Razorbill
on December 7, 2021
Genres: LGBTQIA+, Paranormal, Young Adult
Elise Beaumont is cursed. With every touch, she experiences exactly how her loved ones will die. And after her brother’s death—a death she predicted but was unable to prevent—Elise is desperate to get rid of her terrible gift, no matter the cost.
Claire Montgomery also has a unique relationship with death, mostly because she’s already dead. Technically, anyway. Claire is a vampire, and she’s been assigned by the Veil to help Elise master her rare Death Oracle powers.
At first, Elise is reluctant to work with a vampire, but when she predicts a teacher’s imminent murder, she’s determined to stop the violent death, even if it means sacrificing her own future to secure Claire’s help.
The trouble is, Claire and Elise aren’t the only paranormals in town—a killer is stalking the streets, and Claire can’t seem to shake the pull she feels toward Elise, a romance that could upend the Veil’s mission. But as Elise and Claire grow closer, Elise begins to wonder—can she really trust someone tasked with securing her loyalty? Someone who could so easily kill her? Someone who might hold the key to unraveling her brother’s mysterious death?
The Coldest Touch is a YA paranormal urban fantasy with two main characters. Claire is a lesbian morally-grey vampire hired by the Veil (a mysterious supernatural agency) to convince Elise, a mortal girl who recently gained powers of divination and can see someone’s death by touching them (naturally) that she needs to train her powers (clearly no nefarious intentions mmm). The two immediately have chemistry and Elise, starved for touch, can finally be touched without seeing someone’s death – and get answers on what she is and how to control her powers. Oh, and also survive the people trying to murder her.
The pacing of this book is designed to keep you on your toes. You’re getting to know the characters and the world they live in and W H A M, you’re suddenly in a heart-racing, fast-paced setting. Reminds me of the horror books and movies of my youth. There was just the right amount of drama balanced with both sweet moments and mysteries that unravel as more of the world is exposed. The story is also accessible for readers who are leery of paranormal or urban fantasy (contemporary fantasy? Is that what we are calling it now?).
Isabel is only 3 books into her career but I can already tell her jam is secondary characters you won’t forget (ahem, I wouldn’t mind a Wynn novella). As a bonus, the book is a standalone, which means you can get your vampire love on without commitment (looking at you, Crave). With all the Buffy (but make is queer AF) vibes, you can’t go wrong adding The Coldest Touch to your read list!
Pride Month Giveaway
All month, we are hosting a giveaway on Instagram with 4 winners! Win a stack of 4 queer books by entering on the post below!