Read Mindtouch by M.C.A. Hogarth Online

mindtouch

Seersana University is worlds-renowned for its xenopsychology program, producing the Alliance's finest therapists, psychiatric nurses and alien researchers. When Jahir, one of the rare and reclusive Eldritch espers, arrives on campus, he's unprepared for the challenges of a vast and multicultural society... but fortunately, second-year student Vasiht'h is willing to take hSeersana University is worlds-renowned for its xenopsychology program, producing the Alliance's finest therapists, psychiatric nurses and alien researchers. When Jahir, one of the rare and reclusive Eldritch espers, arrives on campus, he's unprepared for the challenges of a vast and multicultural society... but fortunately, second-year student Vasiht'h is willing to take him under his wing. Will the two win past their troubles and doubts and see the potential for a once-in-a-lifetime partnership?Book 1 of the Dreamhealers Duology....

Title : Mindtouch
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 19455735
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 426 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Mindtouch Reviews

  • Quartzen
    2019-03-13 22:58

    This is a cozy, finding-one's-place story about two students at an alien medical school who discover they have a special connection. It brings to mind Anne McCaffrey's Dragonsong and Dragonsinger or Mercedes Lackey's Arrows of the Queen, and I think people who like this would like those and vice versa. I strongly wanted things to work out for all of the characters.Jahir is an Eldritch, a member of a long-lived, rigid, xenophobic esper society, and Vasiht'h is a Glaseah, a member of a laid-back centauroid esper species that, along with many of the other aliens at the university, is a product of long-ago human genetic engineering.The story follows them through about two years, starting with Jahir's arrival at the school and first meeting with Vasiht'h. This is a character-driven, somewhat episodic story that follows their deepening friendship, their search for their place in their chosen fields, and their time volunteering at a children's hospital, keeping a group of very ill young girls company. It ends at a point of transition that feels very like a cliffhanger, so you may want to have part two on hand.The children's hospital was the weakest of these elements for me- the girls often felt like uncomfortably idealized figures of noble suffering to me, tools used to explore Jahir and Vasiht'h's feelings, (view spoiler)[especially when one passes away in Jahir's arms (hide spoiler)]- but overall this was a very enjoyable visit to an alien society that feels fleshed out enough to live and breathe, with the parts of alien societies we often don't see in SFF (because things are typically on fire): work, study, leisure, homemaking, both friendships and professional relationships, holidays and religious observances, discussions about the ethics of psi powers.One note: I've often seen this book recommended as an asexual same-sex romance, but as a homoromantic asexual it did not strike me that way- while there is decidedly no sexual element between the two, I didn't really feel there was a romantic one either. Instead, this felt to me like a queerplatonic love story, about an intense, intimate platonic friendship, and I would recommend it as that.(A note for ace and aro readers: Vasiht'h's species does not feel sexual attraction or romantic love, and this is said to be due to a lack of hormones as part of their genetic engineering, and that lack of hormones is also linked with self-description as lacking the capability of passion and intense emotion, though the story casts doubt on whether that lack is really true. This is only mentioned in passing, but it comes up a few times, but may be a touchy trope for some.)

  • Zeta Syanthis
    2019-03-09 18:59

    This review is going to be a little biased due to my own experiences this year, but I'm going to start with this. This book is beautiful. I just finished reading it a few hours ago and it's already found its way into a particularly treasured place, both on my bookshelf, and in my heart.This book came to me at just the right moment. I've been going through a lot this year, including my own journey much along the lines of Vasiht'h and Jahir's this year. (I've felt similarly to both of them at different times.)Now, the book... I've read a fair few books by now, and the common descriptors of "Powerful, intense, painful, heartfelt" aren't really applicable here. They are in some measure, but the real word is "beautiful." The blossoming of a friendship and the journey it takes the characters and the reader on is something pure and wonderful, accented perfectly by the author's choice of words throughout the novel. Several times I've caught myself going "How would I have written that?", and the answer has always either been "that way" or "nowhere near as well". (Often both.)I'll leave you with a final thought. This book is inspiration and love poured into pages to be shared with the world. It is a tremendous gift we have been given, and we would be foolish not to accept it. Go read the book.

  • K. Orion Fray
    2019-02-24 20:57

    I’d only read one novel of Hogarth’s before, set in a different universe – a novel I helped back on Kickstarter called A Rosary of Stones and Thorns – and had thoroughly enjoyed it. Hogarth had a way with character and setting that rivaled few I’d ever read before. However, I am hesitant to step into an author’s established world without good reason. While I’d spoken with her on Twitter a few times, and she speaks with several other authors I know there as well, few seemed to be well-versed in her work.However, after Hogarth sent out a plea on Twitter for beta readers, my copy editing job (and boss) tossed me into the fray. I received a file in my email, was given my timeline, and I set forth – thinking that it would be good for me to edit something from a world I didn’t know. It would make me objective – able to see the flaws without being entranced by the world itself.I didn’t hold my distance long. It took me about a chapter to acclimate myself to the word usage and the new races, but as is her wont, Hogarth made it easy for me to find my way. We meet Jahir Seni Galare, a new student at the school who’s come from his xenophobic home world to study psychology. The Eldritch – Jahir’s race – are touch espers, beings that can sense emotions by touch. The Eldritch do not embrace this, finding it uncomfortable and improper. Jahir is not your average Eldritch…but neither is he that far distanced from his people.Next we meet the co-leader of the plot, Vasiht’h – a Glaseah, a bit of a cross between a centaur and a pegasus. Vasiht’h becomes Jahir’s roommate – an accommodation to the unfortunate forcing of Jahir to have a roommate in the first place – and from there, the plot blooms.Mindtouch is a story about coming of age, in a way. It’s a story about finding yourself – a story about carving your own path where one has not been laid. It’s about friendship, and about trust. It’s about walking into a world where no one matches you, forcing your way into some small niche, and realizing that there’s been someone waiting for you there the whole time. And it’s about finding out what to do with that person when you find them.Hogarth describes herself on her website as “the daughter of two Cuban political exiles.” The concept of the Other, of the outsider, is likely not one that she finds new. But she doesn’t play up the Other-ness of the characters, letting them sit in their exclusion and refuse to become part of the rest (much like Eldritch culture indoctrinates). Hogarth brings them – and their Other-ness – to the forefront and makes it the point of the story, without ever allowing it to be a caricature of itself. Jahir and Vasiht’h fight their own natures in themselves, the natures of each other, and the natures of their friends around them. The Glaseah and the Eldritch are well-matched in some ways – and exactly polar opposites in others. And when something that’s only spoken of in fairy tales and romance novels begins to happen…well, it will take each and every one of them to figure out what is happening – and if they like it.It was far too easy to fall in love with both of these characters. I wrote in my response to Hogarth with the edited draft I had that I was afraid more of my notes were me personally commenting to the characters and less actual help. Being able to watch each one grow, being able to see them come into their own – fall away from each other – fight their way back… Each one was a personal thing for me. My heart tightened with each hurdle to be jumped, and sang with each victory. I mourned with them in their loss and celebrated in their joy. Each and every writer should be aspiring to make their characters as real as themselves in a reader’s mind, and Hogarth has done just that.The plot doesn’t need to be “new” and “edgy.” It doesn’t need to set out to tackle something that “no one has ever tackled before.” It finds its novelty and its power through Hogarth’s writing and her characters, and the reader can be surprised each step of the way as they learn alongside their protagonists. And by the end, with its dramatic twists, vicious turns, and the sudden heart-dropping cliffhanger that the book is left on, the end result is obvious.Each and every reader, just like myself, should be on edge waiting for the sequel Mindline to come out.This is cross-posted on my blog here.

  • Jasmine
    2019-03-16 18:47

    University friendships have never been so adorable. (It's the genetic engineering)

  • Book Gannet
    2019-02-26 20:39

    This book is beautiful, there’s no other way to describe it. It’s thoroughly character-led, not a lot actually happens, but throughout the course of it you firmly get to know both Jahir and Vasiht’h inside out and get a fascinating glimpse of the Pelted Paradox universe populated by so many different species, many of them genetically-engineered melds of humans and animals and all kinds of wondrous things.But I’m getting ahead of myself. Although this is at heart a Science Fiction story, dealing as it does with alien races and distant planets, it’s also almost New Adult in the way it deals with university life and reaching that crossroad of maturity between education and advancing into the real world. Not that Jahir is a teenager. As one of the mysterious Eldritch (think high elves), he’s around one-hundred-and-fifty years old. Yet because his life has been so sheltered, he’s the character with the most growing to do. He’s sweet and reserved, has impeccable manners and unquenchable thirst for knowledge and new experiences. I couldn’t help but be swept along with him on his new voyage of discovery.Luckily for Jahir (and the readers) he finds himself an eminently capable guide in Vasiht’h, one of the Glaseah, who is like a centaur… but not quite. Vasiht’h is the complete opposite of Jahir – he’s open and friendly and helpful and the perfect match for his new roommate. But the most curious thing about these two is that quiet, reserved Jahir is full of enthusiasm and passion (though he rarely shows it), while Vasiht’h comes from a species that was effectively created without deeper feelings. They balance each other beautifully and it makes their asexual romance all the deeper and sweeter for their complimentary and contrasting shades. The way their friendship develops and deepens so naturally is wonderful to read about.This is a quiet story, with nothing more exciting happening than the ups and downs of academic life, and yet I never found it boring. I loved how easily the Pelted races are introduced and how smoothly this universe functions, the depth of implied history and the myriad cultural differences. I was never left feeling confused or wondering how something fitted in, because everything was already there for me to read. This is world building on a meticulous level and I reveled in it.There’s also a surprising amount of emotion packed into it all. Partly because poor Jahir feels everything so deeply, his esper (psychic and empathetic, made worse by touch) abilities often throwing him in the deep end, but also because of the girls at the children’s hospital. Oh, those girls, such a simple thing to add so much to the story. There are also new friends, new experiences and shared wonders that made this a joy to read. I’ve already bought the second one and I’ll definitely be reading it soon.(I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.)

  • Shelly
    2019-02-22 20:58

    Jahir Seni Galare was an infrequently seen Eldritch; a telepath or esper, and heir to Seni Galare. As part of an enigmatic race, they rarely left home due to their hypersensitivity to others around them. As a first year student in Xenopsychology on the planet Seersana, Jahir had finally escaped the monotony of life and decided to experience new things. Vasiht’h was a centaur with wings; a species of Glaseah. He’s also an esper but not as susceptible and debilitating as Jahir. As in any fantasy novel there’s a dump of information that pertains to the universe. I admit I was a little overwhelmed as usual, but I have a tendency to scan more than read so I just had to hit the brakes. This book has a simple plot – two individual’s self-discovery and their growth as friends. We get to discover the world with Jahir and Vasiht’h including the Alliance, cultures, species, and history.This was a long, slow book and will not be for everyone. Since the plot is more on the relaxed side and there wasn't much happening, it does need to be a little shorter. I think one reason I loved it so much was because it was a change of pace I desperately needed and it came at the perfect time. I was completely immersed in the story. I laughed with them, loved with them and cried with them. It’s an ordinary plot in a fantastical universe, but those creative touches made this a brilliant read.The author has written a riveting and personality filled world. The dialogue stayed true throughout the book. I find some authors stray and sometimes there’s a mix of both modern slang and old English for example or, contractions used when there wasn’t any in the beginning. There was great tone to the writing; Hogarth sends clear images to the reader that resonated well. If you’re looking for romance, I’m afraid this is not the book. Don’t get me wrong there was development of love but it was purely platonic.I loved this book and I will be continuing on to find out what happened with Jahir and Vasiht’h.FTC: Netgalley provided a copy in exchange for an honest review.

  • MMF
    2019-03-03 22:39

    The writing is nice and it had a few good moments, but in general this was just pappy and boring. There is almost no action or plot aside from the two main characters' relationship, which was... just not that interesting. None of the side characters are developed much at all, there are no surprises, just a lot of chitchat, strolls across campus and baking. If you want a slow, peaceful and sweet romance this might be your thing, but it sure wasn't mine.

  • Rindis
    2019-03-07 17:30

    I can remember reading a fair number of books dealing psychic powers, adventure, and relationships in the '80s. This is kind of a return to those, but much improved.Psionics is never a favored subject of mine, though it's not exactly a turn-off either. Here, we get some interesting exploration of the problems faced by a couple of contact-empaths (one in particular, really), though even with that focus, the entire subject is a bit... fuzzy. (Though the perception of emotions gets an interesting bit in the second half.)However, the real driving force of the book is the blossoming friendship between the main two. There's a decent supporting cast, but the novel maintains its focus so well, that many of them just serve to color their lives around the main events. Concurrent with that is the partial exploration of xenopsychiatric therapy that they are uniquely suited for. (It took me three chapters longer than it should have to realize just where the series name 'Dreamhealers' was headed.)It's not a heavy book, and it is very definitely part one of two; I've dived right into the second book as the first ends an appropriate break, but isn't really the full story. It does a great job of presenting a pair of people who are not outgoing in nature, and perfect for each other. Recommended as a very good coming-of-age, alien/college environment, and lifelong-friendship story.

  • Gregoire
    2019-03-01 19:39

    Lecture abandonnée à 1/3 du livre A part la description plus ou moins intéressante (surtout sur la couleur du pelage ou la longueur des oreilles !) des aliens, il ne se passe pratiquement rien Un duo d'étudiants en psychologie s'installe sur le campus et font connaissance de leurs 'particularités' C'est guimauve (pas même un "gros" mot... mdr) , empli de bons sentiments, aucun défaut, aucun mauvais rôle bref même si quelques discussions sur la télépathie ou l'empathie, sur la découverte d'autrui pourraient intéresser de jeunes lecteurs (et encore, certainement pas ceux élevés avec Divergante, Hunger Games , Harry Potter etc), pour ma part, j'ai trouvé cela ennuyeux et tirant sur des ficelles 'faciles" comme la maladie grave chez les enfants !J'ai le numéro 2 en réserve J'attendrai que ma (mauvaise) impression passe pour voir si l'histoire se complique et se bonifie en devenant plus réaliste

  • Bill
    2019-03-05 20:49

    I registered a book at BookCrossing.com!http://www.BookCrossing.com/journal/13368055M.C.A. Hogarth is a writer that also belongs to the Furry Writer's Guild, something I've been involved with these last few months since crawling out from under my bed after hiding under it for a few years. I went looking for a few good books about Furries with LBQT+ relationships for a future Bookcrossing bookbox, because I like to share Furriness with my friends.I wanted to buy a few books from Amazon for the free shipping; something I hardly ever do. I figured I should get to know my fellow writers better, and while this didn't seem like the kind of book I was looking for for, I liked the idea of two different types of ESPers co-mingling, both aliens on an alien world (not to mention, college kids... education is sexy, am I right).I have to admit to being daunted by the size of the book. 400 pages. OMG, I wanted a writing sample, not a bible. I have 100 unread books in my queue! Did I really want to push most of those back in order to relate better to a name in a chat room. And it was Book One of Two. Who writes Duologies, anyway?But my plan is to write furry exclusively at least for a year and M.C.A. Hogarth is certainly well liked and respected, so I put the book in the top ten queue (Mount TBR is large and requires a map), and one day, I picked up this book, having doubts about letting a whole batch of new books cut to the front of the line of my books To Be Read. I picked a page at random... I read the jump rope scene with the great untangling... and I went back to Amazon and ordered Book Two, MindLine.And to the giggles of a friend named Munch, I was into the story by 40 pages and I immediately announced on Twitter that I was looking forward to seeing a M on M romance take place.OK, that doesn't exactly happen, but it is a romance with three very alien/cultural vectors going on (college being one of them) and it was a very satisfying read.Here are some of the highlights.1 - Domesticity is used to great effect. It's used with humor, it's used to emote, and it's used to show the growing connection, even when unease is present, between our two leads.2 - Deportment and conformation... for psychics, there's sure a lot of talk about body language and uncertainties about what people mean when they say stuff. I really found that refreshing. 3 - The girls in the hospital. OMG, this author made me cry in at least three places. Once for being happy, once for being sad, and once because Jahir had dreams, not nightmares, but dreams of dying so slowly in inches in a montage of banality that Jahir could not defend himself against.Maggie took banality and made my heart twist with it. For three days after that, I stopped writing. The bar was simply raised too high. I can't count the times I wanted to slap Jahir. I can't count the number of times I wanted to shake Vasiht'h to his senses. The romance here was real, without sexual longing. I've known of asexual people but I've always seen them as a thing apart... like how atheists are considered a religion and yet they are not... or black being the absence of colour yet still a colour... I'm sure I'm explaining that imperfectly, but that is exactly what I mean... my understanding of asexual IS imperfect.This helped, I think.I really am quite impressed I loved the culture and the universe and these characters. They are fighting for the lives... their happiness... and there is not a single true villain in the piece.Still, I hope to see these two be intimate in the next book... whatever form that intimacy should take; I want to be there for it.

  • Waru
    2019-03-16 22:49

    I received a free copy of this via Netgalley.com. Thank you for allowing me to read this!At it's core, this is a story about a person who goes to college, tries to find his way in the world, and makes friends while learning about himself. Jahir is one of a race of seclusionist empathic aliens. His presence at this university means that a lot of the other races stare at him; it's rare for his people to leave and join the galactic alliance. Jahir has a very real anxiety over being touched, because being touched lets him experience anther person's feelings and thoughts. Initially, some of the university officials are rude to him, but he makes a centauriod friend that can also read minds. His friend, Vasiht'h, is very understanding of his condition and their relationship grows.The two of them study a branch of psychology, and spend some time deciding what path they are gong to take at university and what they'll do with their careers. At one point, Jahir thinks about how he's going to have a very long lifespan, longer than most races will experience. What will he do with all that extra time? I was once a student, and that feeling of uncertainty really resonated with me.One thing I particularly enjoyed was how well different races seemed to get along, and how even a simple curiosity about Jahir was still presented as rude and mentally tiring. Few people are outright rude to Jahir, but it's a good lesson for the reader to learn: Don't gawk at people who are different than you, no matter how respectful you think you're being.I enjoyed this book, and i found myself liking the main characters. They're rather nice and giving people who spend some of their free time playing with sick children at a hospital. Jahir even puts his empathic powers to good use helping the children.That said, there aren't a lot of huge, shocking events in this book. It's a slow burn, with a lot of world building and dialogue. If this were about a normal human person at an earth university I think it would get pretty boring, but there are so many different things that you have to find out what they're eating, what this race looks like, what this method of healing is, etc. The pace is a little slow at times, but there is a lot of critical thinking and future planning among the young people.This may not be your cup of tea if you like sci-fi/fantasy, but I just finished reading some very heart-pounding and gory books. This was refreshing, like taking a scenic walk.

  • KA
    2019-02-25 21:42

    M. C. A. Hogarth is my new favorite writer. Her world is rich, believeable, and human in scale, even as it spans galaxies and countless species of people, some with two legs, some with four, and some with flippers. I find much science fiction to be too into world-creation at the expense of character development and storytelling, but Hogarth's world is as rich as it is in order to tell good stories. And she never, ever infodumps.Mindtouch is a love story, but not in the least erotic. It is a story set at graduate school, but it is full of excitement and human drama. It is a story about discernment, but not everything comes out right in the end. It is a story about difference and vulnerability, but one that shows the true cost of being vulnerable, both by choice and by accident. It is beautiful, gentle despite containing tragedy and loss. It's also really funny to watch Jahir, who comes from a far-off, insular planet, discover new cultures and foods and technologies. His first ice cream is a BIG thing.The character Jahir is of a species who are basically empaths, and the opening scene shows Jahir trying to get a college administrator to make special arrangements (a single room) for him so that he'll be able to keep his sanity. He soaks in, without trying, the moods, energy, and feelings of others; when touched he is flooded by the other person's thoughts and memories as well. Because of this, he needs a safe space he can retreat to, where he can be alone. As someone who is highly introverted and struggles with anxiety disorder, this felt very real to me. Maybe that's why I love Vasiht'h so much!I keep trying to write a longer review, but I'm afraid of making the world sound more complicated than it is, or of giving away spoilers, so you'll just have to read it for yourself. Unless your books must have romance or a major, over-arching conflict; in that case, leave it alone. But do pick it up if you'd love to read a beautiful, gentle, platonic love story.

  • Amy Keeley
    2019-03-18 16:38

    Disclaimer: I write fantasy and the occasional science fiction. I hesitate writing glowing reviews of anything outside of manga because of this.But this book is so much more than I expected, I have to say something.This is a platonic romance novel. I know that sounds crazy, but it's the only way to describe it. It's called gentle/pastoral but there's so much organic drama (I mean, they're psych students working once a week with terminally-ill children) "gentle" isn't really a word I'd use to describe it.There's death in this novel, and life, and unexpected turns, and wise words from older folk, and idiotic remarks from older folk that need to be ignored, and so much friendship it warmed my heart.This friendship-love is one of the deep kinds, the kind that brought me back to Sherlock and Holmes over and over again. Even though this novel doesn't have a mystery, it's a delight watching Vasiht'h and Jahir figure out each other and themselves, all while the mindline is forming between them, a rare bond that is the equivalent of falling in love for espers. It makes them, for the most part, a couple, but not in the conventional sense and I love, love, love, this exploration of friendship!Yes, the characters eat a lot of sweets. Yes, there's a lot of feasts and a lot of talking and a lot of focus on the college/university experience. But none of those scenes are extraneous. All of them further the plot. All of them show how these two characters can and should be together.Highly recommended for anyone who wants a smile at the end of a book.(Note: this book ends on a cliffhanger, but not the kind that will have you throwing the book across the room. Or, in my case, my smartphone.)

  • Hidekisohma
    2019-02-24 17:00

    So, first off all, I have to start off by saying that this was my first ever self published novel that i have read. I didn't stay away from them for any particular reason, it's just because they're not in libraries most of the time and they're usually more on the expensive side. However, Goodreads said that if i liked Zootopia I would like this book, so i figured what the hell, i'd give it a shot. and honestly, i have to say, it wasn't that bad. Sure I had some issues with it, but i could definitely see this as a regularly published book. The long and short of the plot of the book is this. Tall guy Jahir is an empath who just came from his planet to be around other species at this college campus for medicine. He then runs into this skunk-like dude (a type of genetically engineered group of races called 'pelted') named Vasiht'h and they become fast friends. The story is about them hanging out in space college. oh. and Vas is an empath too.This book....the best way to describe it is like having a cup of tea on a cloudy day. Nothing really eventful happens, there's no adventure, no big story, just...friends quietly hanging out and being nice ot sick children. That's...that's really about it. However, as boring as that sounds, there was an odd sort of calmness about it. There's an anime that i really like that gave me the same feeling as this book. it's called "Haibane Renmei". It had the same asexual friendship romance thing going on and gives off the same feeling of calmness. That being said, this book was not without its fair share of problems.The biggest issue i had with the book was that the two main characters worked too well together, too fast. There was no conflict in their meetings, they never seemed to have an argument, they just kind of met up and were like "hey, let's be best friends!" "okay!" and that was about it. Even when one of the two THOUGHT there would be a conflict the other would go "no, it's cool." and that would be the end of that. There was absolutely no conflict between the two.These two characters, pardon the expression, did not feel human. Which i get. they're not. But they didn't feel realistic to me. Jahir was meant to be the emotionally distant elf-like dude who spoke softly and carried himself with dignity. The problem was, Vas did a lot of that as well. They weren't different enough for me to really see a "wow! Look how different they are and yet they make great partners!" I just..i didn't feel chemistry. It was like "Look! This one is slightly less dull than this one!" The side characters around these two actually seemed to have some more life in them. Probably my favorite characters were the nurse in the children's hospital, Jahir's doctor, and Vas's sister. They actually had some spunk in them and actually felt more real. To be completely honest, i would have rather the book starred Jahir and Vas's sister. That would have made for a far more interesting dynamic in my opinion. 1. Jahir worries about studies2. Vas worries about his college path3. They visit the sick girls in the hospital4. Vas worries about accidentally touching Jahir's mind and talks to his sister about it5. Jahir isn't offended by it.6. Jahir visits his doctor for lunch. 7. Jahir and Vas go hang out8. Jahir and vas hang out with dormmates.you can literally just repeat those 8 things about 4 times and there's your book. (obviously minus spoilers)The only other real gripe i had was that this was written like these two were some sort of tragic victims where no one understands them, despite the fact that pretty much every single female on campus wants to bone Jahir. The worst of it comes during a class in which the students all have to try to read each other. They can't read Jahir and get frustrated. So the teacher calls up Jahir and basically says "don't feel bad everybody. Jahir's race is special in this regard and has been trained to hide their feelings." Well, apparently this bothered Jahir so much he almost ran out of the room crying like a baby and told Vas about it. Vas wanted the teacher to get fired for it or something stupid like that. I was just sitting there like "okay, so the teacher made a valid statement so that the students wouldn't further isolate Jahir and tried to make them understand." I didn't exactly get WHY Jahir was so upset about this. The author tried to say something about how it was racist or something, but i didn't see it. I just saw a professor....you know, explaining something. Either way, of course the professor's put out to look like a racist bad guy. Whatever. That scene bothered me because it made me feel like they were like "Jahir and Vas are super special amazors and can't be questioned by anybody! They're sensitive! Leave them alone!" The next thing is just personal for me. This has nothing to do with writing or the story the author wanted to tell, this next part is merely preference. I think Vas being a girl would have made the story more interesting for me. It could have added another layer, because as i said, the author writes females well. She writes them with spunk and i found myself chuckling a few times at some of their lines. However, with these two, there's just.... a blahness. Like, I didn't really feel...anything about anything. They listened to music, helped kids, and drank a lot of tea and coffee...yep....that's about it. I think with a spunky female companion who maybe didn't do too well with personal space would have really spiced things up. But, that's just me. Now i have said a lot of negative things about this, but now i have to say this. This was not a fast read. This was a 400 page book, and yet i finished the whole thing. I don't know what it was, but despite all its flaws, i wanted to continue. Like i said, it was like a cup of tea on a cloudy day. It was calm and enjoyable. You read a book knowing that nothing earth shattering is going to happen. But once in a while, that's okay. This really IS just a book to relax to. And honestly, i found myself for the most part liking Jahir. Vas....I kind of got annoyed by. I felt like his personality should have been louder, more boisterous, and perhaps, even female. All in all though, it wasn't bad. If i ever came across the sequel in a bookstore, or received it as a gift, i would definitely give it a read. So that in itself is a positive. All in all, i would give this a 3.5, but i feel like being nice and will raise it to a 4 for goodreads. Not a bad first novel of this author's 'pelted' universe.

  • Ayana
    2019-03-05 23:37

    This is an odd novel. It is set in a complex fictional universe full of different races of aliens, something that makes you expect lots of action in space and drama. Instead, it's the story of two grad school students trying to find their professional way in life. There's no real plot- you get to know the characters and enjoy their development through their school years, and the growing connection between them. It's kind of a romance, really, except for the fact that the MCs aren't physically attracted to each other. Personally, I think I would have like it better if it wasn't explained that at least one of them cannot feel any kind of physical attraction- it would make it more of a pure friendship story. Instead, it kind hovers on the edges of romance and friendship. Real romance would have also been great, of course, but the author goes into great length to show that it isn't. Something else that I didn't like was the how the characters continue to make bad decisions despite the fact that everyone and everything was telling them it's a mistake. In the beginning, it was more understandable, but the series of bad decisions and stubborn behavior just continue to add up. At some point, I just want to yell at them to stop being so stupid, and after that I just grew tired of it. I mean , come on, they are supposed to be super amazing psychology students. Show some emotional intelligence....The world building was pretty great, and I kind of wish there was a better story to tell in this world. Maybe I should read one of the author's other novels.

  • Sue Lyssa Stone Shaffer
    2019-03-19 23:55

    A perfect delightConsider, a touch empath from a xenophobic culture who chooses to study psychology at an interstellar university. Just tumble the concept about in your head for a moment. Now add in the layers of a lifespan spun on on par with an elf, with just as much rarity.The journey before you starts at the beginning of freshman year. With all of the adventures and pitfalls that face any student, even one who is 3 times older than most of his professors. Add in integrating from a feudal culture without amenities to the amenities found at the cutting edge of the star faring and you stand at the entry to the challenges facing our heroWritten with sensitivity, wisdom, delicacy and hearfelt wisdom, Mindtouch, now resides on my top 20 list of science fiction. I will end up reading it again and again. Sipping kerinne with it holding the flavors and textures as they delight my palate.This is a book for savoring, from first to last. I have already bought book 2, Mindline and intend to buy every volume Hogarth releases in this special universe.I cannot recommend Mindtouch highly enough to those who want more than a quick and dirty action adventure. (Do not get me wrong I enjoy a short action adventure read as well, it is just that this book is so much, so very much more.)

  • egelantier
    2019-03-07 18:00

    alessandriana recced these books to me as 'sunlit series' and they were, indeed, deeply comforting and full of this clair summer light. this is an asexual romance story about a touch esper elf eldritch prince from a backwards planet coming to the intergalactic universe and meeting his new roommate, a winged centaur named vasiht'h; together they study xenopsychology, navigate various social tangles, practice newfangled telepathic dream therapy, visit with some sick children in nearest hospital, bake cookies and soulbond for life. it's a slow, essentially plotless (things happen, but the main arc is emotional, not eventual), chock-full of iddy goodness (the amount of blatant, shameless h/c in the second book is incredibly dear to my heart) and endlessly kind. some things were maybe too self-indulgent for truly ~good literature, and jahir is about as mary sue-ish as it gets, and the actual therapy parts are wishy-washy (you can do dream therapy without all that hinky telepathy stuff, you know, and i don't think actual professors in actual practicum would be so impressed), but just... whatever. i read three books in a day, and i was well-satisfied with every moment of them; they brought me joy.

  • Angela Oliver
    2019-02-22 20:30

    For writing style and characterisation - 5 stars, easily - but the plot is rather slow moving, gentle and reassuring, which allows the reader's focus to drift and does not compel it to be finished in one session.This could be described as a "Furry novel" and Hogarth's world building skills are commendable, with her various engineered races - included the Pelted - being well conceptualised and developed, all with clearly defined cultures. However, I loved the fact that it was not, like many furry novels - or at least the perception of furry novels - hyper-sexualised. It is a love story, but it's an asexual love story: a story of deep friendship that transcends racial (special) boundaries. A story of finding onesself as an individual. A story of hope, and sadness, and the beauty of life, friendship and gelato. It is a story about finding your path, and the wrong choices you might make along the way.Due to the slow-moving storyline, it is not the sort of tale that would appeal to everyone, but if you want something gentle, inspiration, heart-warming, then you should definitely check this one out. It might not be packed with action, but it is filled with emotion and will definitely give you something to think about.

  • Kate
    2019-03-16 18:48

    The author describes this book as pastoral, and I gotta say, that's dead on for me. It's got the kind of plot where, when explaining it to my girlfriend I had to keep repeating "no really I swear it's good"-- there's some intense, wonderful, delightfully out of the ordinary world building going on here, but it unfolds beautifully over the course of the plot, not crammed down the readers neck. I'd heard some complaints that this book "doesn't really have a plot" and I disagree deeply. It's not a very actiony plot-- the book mostly consists of two people becoming friends and going through grad school-- but the growth and change that the characters go through is fascinating. I spent a lot of time yelling at my girlfriend about how they were going into the WRONG SPECIALIZATIONS DAMNIT and any book that can make me care that much about that is really something. Overall, super enjoyed this book, read it in an afternoon, bought the next one the very next morning and finished THAT in about three hours flat. Second one is more "action", but loved both of them.

  • Kara
    2019-03-19 20:31

    Sweet with a hint of spiceThis is a rare story in so many ways. It is an asexual romance, a story of a deep and magical friendship that transcends barriers. It is comforting and yet sad; sweet and yet realistic. The main characters come from very different backgrounds. Jahir from a world where touch is anathema, where "family" is full of obligation and duty rather than love. And Vahsit'h from a world where family is all, where touch is casual and welcome, and where passion is a watered-down thing. These two unlikely heroes pull you in. It is so easy to root for them. I understand Vahsit'h better than Jahir, but I love them both. I am glad for the happy ending (in book 2) and cannot wait to read it. I am also so glad for this book, for the experience of it. Because most of all, it is a story that you can sink into and lose yourself within. I highly recommend this wonderful tale.

  • Charlene
    2019-03-10 18:47

    M.C.A. Hogarth has a very deft touch with characters and setting, and description that wraps you up in her worlds, rather than beats you over the head with information. It's one of the reasons I love her work so much. I'm also very entranced with her Eldrich, and this book had the absolute best of both of those things. The dialogue, as always, was spot-on, and the pace of the book kept me reading most of the night. I was immediately drawn to the growing relationship between Jahir and Vasiht'h, watching each of them adapt to the other, and watching both of them being shaped by their surroundings and the bond growing not only between them, but between them and the people who populate their lives.A beautifully emotional book, I can honestly say that I've never been so pleased to spend part of a book bawling my eyes out. As always, the author has excelled.I'm definitely antsy for the sequel.

  • Alice
    2019-03-16 18:58

    Deep, touching, excellent novel.Set in the same universe as the "Her Instruments" series, the heir to a major Eldrich House leaves his planet to learn about the people of the Alliance. It's only logical for him to take a course at the University in alien psychology, where he immediately runs into a alien who is a empath and telepath the same as himself. The story covers the first 2 years of their relationship and training.How do I impart the emotions I experienced while reading this story? Although there is little extroverted action, the highs and lows of their journey as they endure sick children, prejudicial instructors, love and death will take you along with them. The story is filled with short but profound bits of wisdom that not only advance the plot but can touch you deeply. A beautiful book. You will be needing to read book 2 Mindline, for the conclusion.

  • Erin Hartshorn
    2019-02-20 17:51

    This is a quiet book, about two psychology roommates trying to find their paths into the world -- quiet but deep, covering love and friendship and grief and trust and growth and family and cultural differences and belief and so very much more. It takes place in Hogarth's Pelted universe, with races who have been engineered as well as those who have evolved, and she uses marvelous language to make the characters real -- Jahir, with his use of words like coolth and succor, stands out as a touch archaic, which fits well with his knowledge of traditional things like sewing and riding a horse.I cried through the end of this book and for a bit after -- and I'm ever so tempted to just start the second book now, although I know I should do today's paying work first. A beautiful work.

  • Ryft Sarri
    2019-02-26 20:30

    This was the first story of Hogarth's that I read and I have to say that I couldn't have picked a better introduction to the universe. Getting to experience this world through the eyes of someone seeing it for the first time as well (and you even get an inside look via his guide) was more than I could have asked for. The reactions are organic and feel good to read.The characters are easy to relate to and the story is at the same time laid back and intense. The blending of the stress of studies with the wonder of a new world is masterfully done and the story itself is unique in a way that I wish there was more of. This is still one of my favorite books and it really gets to me every time I read it.

  • Jade Lauron
    2019-03-02 21:37

    So as with many sci-fi books featuring huge numbers of alien races, you do have to gulp down what seems a little silly at first...but that ends quickly in this book (quicker than most, in fact).This duology is basically a non-sexual same-sex love story. It neatly skirts around the squickiness some folks have with same sex relationships by making the parties involved pretty much asexual as traits of their species, and of course their telepathic-ness leads them to a life partnership closer than BFFs. And the characters are all rather charming. I truly enjoyed it, and was sad there wasn't a third book, which is the hallmark of all great works.

  • Ryan
    2019-02-20 17:32

    I enjoyed this story of friendship and discovery much more than I expected. Jahir arrives for grad school to discover he won't have a single room. He meets Vasiht'h who offers him a reasonable alternative and the two become roommates. As they figure out how to share a space, they become friends. I enjoyed the descriptions of the gestures each made as part of caring about the other - not looking after, but caring about. The world is familiar in some ways - university campus, hospital, gelato shop, challenges of different cultures trying to live together - but the setting is alien (literally) so the books gets to explore friendship and diversity without the usual labels.

  • Dana
    2019-03-16 21:51

    This is an intriguing book about an alien who can read minds who goes to a psychology college on a planet filled with people who have been genetically engineered to be part animal. I really felt that part was not explained very well. Jahir, who is an alien who could live for thousands of years, becomes roommates with Vasiht'h who is one of the animal/humans who can also read or touch minds with others. They find themselves falling into platonic love as they try to help others with their psychology. I received this book free to review from Netgalley.

  • Kira
    2019-03-04 20:45

    I have a very hard time reviewing books by people I know, as is the case with this. However, I can say that within an hour of finishing this book I was on Amazon buying the sequel for my kindle. And it kept me up well past my bedtime on more than one occasion. So it's good. As in, "oh my gosh these characters are ripping my heart out" good.Recommended for: People who like science fiction about non-humans, mind-to-mind communication, and sci-fi books about non-humans who can touch each other's minds.

  • Melody
    2019-03-10 22:30

    BrilliantI have not ever read a story quite like this one. This is the fourth book by this author I have read, and I did love then all. I was overwhelmed by the description of the developing friendship between the main charactersI had not ever considered the kinds of friendships as are delineated by the writing. It moved me quite deeply. I am prone to holding myself apart and so related very well to the Eldritch character at first. To experience his blossoming was transformative. I find myself hoping I can apply some of this to my own life.

  • Alice
    2019-02-27 00:53

    Set in Hogarth's Pelted universe, in which humans mix with aliens as well as with the races they genetically engineered from animals centuries before, this is a gentle and thoughtful story of two very different telepaths - one Eldritch, from an ancient and withdrawn race, and one sociable, six-limbed furry Glaseah - who go from university roommates to friends and collaborators, largely through the medium of baking.