Book Review: Rogue Touch
This is the second of the 2013 Marvel-licensed novels released by Hyperion, and thankfully, the last (the first being The She-Hulk Diaries).
Firstly, the back cover plot summary:
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.
Yes. Your eyes do not deceive you. That actually says "Goth girl to the extreme". Because she wears all black. Black clothes = Goth. That's math. Look it up.
Several times i wondered "why is she only wearing black?". Yes, she has to cover her skin to prevent accidental touching, but, you know, long sleeves come in all sorts of colors nowadays at no extra cost. It's one of those mysteries we will never know the answer to.
Anyway, Rogue Touch by Christine Woodward (who's actually Nina de Gramont) is a YA romance starring a young Rogue who left home and the aunt who raised her a few years before the start of the book. Sadly, Mystique and the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants are not in any way part of this story.
My understanding of Rogue's powers has been that she only absorbs a person's memories and abilities temporarily. The person touched will fall unconscious, the length of which is determined by how long the contact lasts. In the novel, however, a brief touch is able to put Rogue's former employer in a coma that lasts weeks. Memories and abilities absorbed seem to be permanent. And her absorption powers work on animals.
By making the absorption permanent and nearly lethal no matter what, the author pretty much neutered Rogue. She took an essential characteristic of Rogue and made it impossible to use. Naturally, you can't have your heroine going around putting people into comas willy nilly.
So, other than accidental touches (5, including Cody) mostly involving animals attacking her, Rogue uses her powers a whopping two times in this book.
What you're left with is simply a story about a young girl on the run. Girl meets boy. Boy is totes hawt. Boy is also on the run. They both fall in insta-love. They run away together. They almost get caught. They run away some more. They get caught. They defeat the bad guys. The end.
Anyone could have fulfilled the female protagonist role in this story. If you were drawn to this book because you loved mutant-power-wielding Rogue from the comics, you might be disappointed. If you always secretly wondered if Rogue ever got hot wearing all those clothes to prevent accidental skin-to-skin contact, rejoice, my friends. This is the book for you.
For those of you who aren't concerned about spoilers, read on.
Just a couple of wackadoo things that happened in the story that made me go "Hurnh??":
Mackie revealed that the first boy Rogue kissed, Cody, spent the rest of his life in a coma after Rogue kissed him. A lot of readers had problems with it but that's probably what the story is mentioning.
i would attribute Cody's extreme case to a few things.
1) it was the first use of Rogue's powers so perhaps there was a surge as it manifested
hence Cody getting the lifelong coma and everyone else Rogue taps only being a little unconscious.