Colorworld is a refreshing paranormal romance about intelligent and witty characters. It follows Wendy, a nineteen year old gifted with enhanced senses who is struggling to provide for herself and younger brother. After undergoing hypnosis to earn some extra cash, she discovers that her senses have not only improved exponentially; but she has also evolved lethal skin and can now kill people just by touching them. Needless to say, this changes her life dramatically; she moves to a top secret compound and is introduced to techniques of ‘hypno-touch therapy’ to learn to control her abilities. On this journey, she falls for the rather dashing, ever-honest Gabe.
Wendy’s exploration of her enhanced senses coupled with an emotion radar, death touch and ability to see another plane of existence make for an engaging story. The Colourworld and techniques of ‘hypno-touch’ had a well-explained internal logic that I wanted to know more about. Ms Kelly has expanded on the esoteric ideas of coloured auras and energy manipulation healing techniques like reiki to make Wendy’s powers seem plausible even in today’s world.
Her relationship with Gabe was beautifully crafted with all of the intensity and frustration that comes with two lovers not being able to touch. I found their banter very entertaining and definitely fell a little bit in love with Gabe. His seduction technique of broadcasting his emotions loudly at Wendy so she became completely immersed in them was an ingenious way of creating intimacy. At times, however, I felt that these scenes were overlong and too frequent, and I found myself impatient for answers about Wendy’s powers and family.
It was very refreshing to read about such witty, intelligent and believable characters. Wendy’s priorities were realistic and she was very pragmatic even in the face of her sudden supernatural abilities. Too often in paranormal novels a character simply ups and leaves their real world responsibilities without a second thought. Her brother Ezra was a great comic relief and played an active role in the plot rather than just being her ‘responsibility’ to be escaped.
I had been hoping for more information on how to control her powers by the end of the book. I feel the majority of the plot was regarding Wendy’s relationship to Gabe and exploring her abilities, not actually learning control of them. The ending satisfactorily ties up the action and hints at answers to come. In general it’s a great read.