Warning This fiction contains:
  • Traumatising content

Touch is a story about a boy named James, and his friends: a group of young, superpowered people brought together by trauma; all trying, in their own ways, to come to terms with what that trauma means to them and who they want to be in response to it. This is a learning process, and mistakes are made, but they grow, learn, and adapt to these difficulties in ways that some might say only young people can.

While it may look it at first, this is not intended as a sad story, merely an honest one. I wanted to make the characters human, and unfortunately, that means that difficulties hit them in very real ways through the story, but then again, they have some equally human moments of warmth between one another as they grow.

Triggers: Explores the aftereffects and recovery process of sexual abuse, and some other forms of physical abuse. I like to think I avoided making it edgy, but you deserve to be informed. Some readers have told me that it can feel a bit too real at times. A bit too honest.

If you like what you read, feel free to comment or review. I like the feedback. Or you can vote for Touch on TopWebFiction.

Touch also now has both a Discord and a Patreon!

Updates weekly.

  • Overall Score
  • Style Score
  • Story Score
  • Grammar Score
  • Character Score
  • Total Views :
  • 443,324
  • Average Views :
  • 3,958
  • Followers :
  • 671
  • Favorites :
  • 228
  • Ratings :
  • 232
  • Pages :
  • 909
Go to Table of Contents
Fiction breaking rules? Report


Top List #50
Fledgling Reviewer (I)
4th Anniversary
20 Review Upvotes
Word Count (13)
Table of Contents
112 Chapters
Chapter Name Release Date
Prologue: David. ago
Mistakes: 1.1 ago
Mistakes: 1.2 ago
Mistakes: 1.3 ago
Mistakes: 1.4 ago
Mistakes: 1.5 ago
Mistakes: 1.6 ago
Mistakes: 1.7 ago
Mistakes: 1.8 ago
Interlude 1 ago
Catharsis: 2.1 ago
Catharsis: 2.2 ago
Catharsis: 2.3 ago
Catharsis: 2.4 ago
Catharsis: 2.5 ago
Catharsis: 2.6 ago
Catharsis: 2.7 ago
Catharsis: 2.8 ago
Catharsis: 2.9 ago
Catharsis: 2.10 ago
Catharsis: 2.11 ago
Catharsis: 2.12 ago
Bonus chapter one, Bex ago
Interlude 2 ago
Escapism: 3.1 ago
Escapism: 3.2 ago
Bonus chapter two, Tuva. ago
Escapism: 3.3 ago
Escapism: 3.4 ago
Escapism: 3.5 ago
Escapism: 3.6 ago
Escapism: 3.7 ago
Escapism: 3.8 ago
Escapism: 3.9 ago
Escapism: 3.10 ago
Escapism: 3.11 ago
Escapism: 3.12 ago
Escapism: 3.13 ago
Escapism: 3.14 ago
Bonus chapter: Ray Sullivan. ago
Interlude 3 ago
Dissonance: 4.1 ago
Dissonance: 4.2 ago
Dissonance: 4.3 ago
Dissonance: 4.4 ago
Dissonance: 4.5 ago
Bonus Chapter: Doctor Sharpe ago
Dissonance: 4.6 ago
Dissonance: 4.7 ago
Dissonance: 4.8 ago
Dissonance: 4.9 ago
Dissonance: 4.10 ago
Dissonance: 4.11 ago
Dissonance: 4.12 ago
Interlude: Lee. ago
Aid: 5.1 ago
Aid: 5.2 ago
Bonus Chapter: Natalie Sharpe ago
Aid: 5.3 ago
Aid: 5.4 ago
Aid: 5.5 ago
Aid: 5.6 ago
Aid: 5.7 ago
Aid: 5.8 ago
Aid: 5.9 ago
Aid: 5.10 ago
Aid: 5.11 ago
Aid: 5.12 ago
Aid: 5.13 ago
Aid: 5.14 ago
Aid: 5.15 ago
Aid: 5.16 ago
Aid: 5.17 ago
Interlude: Casper Sullivan. ago
Care: 6.1 ago
Care: 6.2 ago
Bonus Chapter: Small Worlds. ago
Care: 6.3 ago
Care: 6.4 ago
Care: 6.5 ago
Care: 6.6 ago
Care: 6.7 ago
Care: 6.8 ago
Care: 6.9 ago
Care: 6.10 ago
Care: 6.11 ago
Interlude: Waves. ago
Tide: 7.1 ago
Tide: 7.2 ago
Tide: 7.3 ago
Tide: 7.4 ago
Tide: 7.5 ago
Tide: 7.6 ago
Book One Epilogue: Elementals. ago
Interlude arc: Hunt. ago
Hunt: 8.1 ago
Hunt: 8.2 ago
Hunt: 8.3 ago
Hunt: 8.4 ago
Hunt: 8.5 ago
Hunt: 8.6 ago
Hunt: 8.7 ago
Hunt: 8.8 ago
Hunt: 8.9 ago
Hunt: 8.10 ago
Hunt: 8.11 ago
Book Two: Winter. Prologue. ago
Need: 9.1 ago
Need: 9.2 ago
Need: 9.3 ago
Need: 9.4 ago
Need: 9.5 ago

Leave a review

Sort by:
Moist Nugget

It's weird that this story is here in RRL, it really shouldn't be. The quality of this story goes far beyond anything posted on the site (apart from the top 5). So If you're looking for a legit book about the lives of people with superpowers (with the nitty gritty details, no gary sues showcasing 100% positivity and good) then this is the novel for you. Everything seems to have been planned for and is interconnected. The characters have depth and we might actually got some sort of plot later on. Thnx for the read, Author.

Killua Lawliet

The stuff the characters are going through are real life things that actually happen and despite this being fiction what with the superpowers they have actual responses a'real' person would have the plot is great and the writing amazing not to mention that the characters themselves are well developed with plenty of though put into them


Best modern magic story I've read in a long time~

in a lot of stories, I'll gravitate to one character and be frustrated when the pov changes... 
but in this novel, I've actually found every single character compelling in some way~
they all seem to be like actual people, instead of just caricatures of evil/good to further a plot~  

Although this story has a lot of mature themes, it isn't gratuitous and doesn't continually step on the main characters in order to invoke pitty. it starts off with tramatic events, and they are handled really well, but the plot also has many magical/vigilante arcs which are really fun~ It also holds a lot more tension than usual because, unlike other stories, the main characters can and do fail.

The logistics of this world are very well done too. Unlike most modern magic/superhero stories, there isn't the darker undertone of someone inexplicably going out of their way to make characters' lives terrible for no apparent reason. Motivations and plot points make sense for the characters and nearly all of them are redeemable and sympathetic. and those that aren't, at least think they are.

Overall, the story is very exciting and is easily one of my favorite novels on this site~

Minutiae Idiosyncrasy

This story is the best on RoyalRoadl. The realistic reactions and emotions, are of a far higher quality than any others on here, and even the works of formally published authors. I cannot wait for more, my favourite character as of now is most definitely Tasha...She is, seemingly the muse for all displays of sassiness, crude-but-lovable and lighthearted even in the worst of situation characters. Her issues are...different than the others, but no less serious...though how well she's handling her living situation leads me to believe there is another issue that caused her powers to awaken. if that is true, my heart will undoubtly shatter into nonillions of pieces. This story is wonderful, and I hope you the best Rythminthemind.


Quality Characterization

On Touch
So Touch is a relatively unknown webnovel (to a shocking degree) despite it being one of the best webnovels out there.  It has only 190 followers on Royalroad. It's also probably in my top 10-15 webnovels.  I will admit, it doesn't update with the most frequency, with it updating on average once every 8.7 days or so, and with only 51 chapters thus far.  To exacerbate the problem, the chapters aren't extremely long either (~2.5k words or so), so there isn't the most content, but what there is, is of immense quality.  As a warning, Touch does not shy away at all from examining dark and traumatic topics, particularly involving child abuse.
A couple of quick definitions for my reviews: Coherence and Consistency are important elements for novels.  For me they have these meanings:
Coherence: This is an external examination that things make logical sense.  For example: it makes logical sense to an outside observer that this country has developed into a powerful industrial nation, due to its advantage in natural resources and technology.  Or: The characters are running into the swamp and are thus forced to slow down due to the difficult terrain.  The events in the setting, plot and character progression make logical sense to a reader who otherwise knows nothing about the novel. 
Coherent=what is said makes sense.
Consistency:  This is an internal examination to make sure that everything makes sense.  For example:  The character is known to be childish and suddenly does something extremely mature and out-of-character with no development.  Or: the countries have been fighting for hundreds of years and hate each other, yet a peace can easily be brokered without any major developments besides authorial fiat.  This means essentially that the relationships between settings elements, plot events and character traits internally don't contradict.  Consistent=what is said does not contradict itself.
Consistency is in general more important than coherence, since novels can be somewhat illogical to a reader's perspective, yet still maintain a general logic that governs itself internally and still be enjoyable to read.
I typically break up my reviews into four parts:
1. Style
A brief touch upon style (basically word choice, phrasing and such). This doesn't factor into my review grading except if it is bad, in which case it will knock down my overall rating.
For Touch, the author has a keen hand with adept word choice and is very fluent with their use of the English language.  Little to no awkward phrasings and the chapters flow very naturally.  There have been a couple moments with awkward phrasings which have been off-putting (which the author has acknowledged and corrected).  Also, something that is annoying for me (and not really a problem with the novel) is the author's tendency to have all of their characters' dialogue call each other "bud", or "kiddo" or "pal", etc.  I find it annoying due to how prevalent it is (especially when it's not just a pet name or something) and how many characters speak like that, but it's not a real issue.  All in all, extremely well done for a webnovel.
2. Setting
Setting is one of the three major areas I examine when grading a novel.  I look for coherence, originality (this is more of a bonus points area, then a need), depth, and consistency.  There's also something of a interesting-ness factor here too admittedly; I will be more critical of re-hashed/boring settings than something new.
Touch is an urban fantasy, so it isn't in trying to build up a whole new fantasy world.  There is the traditional veil where the magical elements hide themselves from the mundane populace.  Further, it is thoroughly grounded in modern society and culture, with the main setting being NYC.  It also draws liberally on some of the ideas and tropes from cape-fic (i.e. super-hero stories) with the clash between vigilantism and government oversight and the concept of trauma activating latent abilities.  And there are the usual supernatural creatures referenced such as fauns, dwarves, elves, etc.  The author does take care to put their own twist on all of these races and elements, and explores them all in extremely satisfying ways.  What exists is quite good.  The author is liberal with leaving the detail and description of the world to the minds of the readers, you won't find much in the way of luscious descriptions of the the places, but the minimalism works well with what the author is trying to do.
The author's magic system (which as I already said draws from cape-fic tropes), is also rather interesting and while it hasn't been thoroughly explored, what we have seen has been fascinating.  In particular, the author's system thus far allows for very powerful figures with immense magical talent and skill to exist, but they can be brought low/fought off by other weaker abilities as long as they are used intelligently or it is naturally countered.  Since the magic system forces its users to trend towards more specificity, there are no masters of everything.
Really, the only issue I have with the setting is that there is still so much to explore and I personally feel that the story has trended more towards exploration of the characters as opposed to the world a bit too much.  I wish I knew more. All in all, I give it 4.5/5
3. Plot
Plot is the second of the three major areas I examine when grading a novel.  I look for pacing, originality (this not so much of a bonus area), coherence (transitions), depth, and consistency while grading.
The story of Touch is thus far both small and large.  It has already begun to touch upon some of the larger, more mythic story arcs that I believe will play a much larger role later on, while still working through the smaller story arcs that make up the ongoing lives of our protagonists.  It is not at all lacking in terms of the themes and ideas that the author has chosen to tackle thus far, which can be quite heavy, though the author addresses them tactfully.
However, Touch does have some not insignificant issues with pacing and transitions, especially early on.  The author has a tendency to switch between character perspectives extremely liberally; there are very few chapters that are limited to only one character's perspective.  This can make for some difficulty in following the flow of the story.  I spent a good 15 minutes at one point trying to figure out who was being referred to due to a change in perspective.  The author has shown significant improvement here and with some edits and continued improvement, this will certainly be less of an issue.  The author's pacing feels at time fast and slow: slow in that it is much more character study and interaction, than action; fast in that what action there is moves quite quickly (which doesn't help the transitioning issues either).
As a whole, Touch does have a deep and insightful plot, which has been hinting at much more to come, despite flaws in terms of its flow.  I give it 4/5 stars.
4. Character
Character is the last of the three major areas I examine when grading a novel.  I look for coherence, originality (again, this not so much of a bonus area), depth, development and consistency while grading.  Originality is middling here.  I do not  really want all stock characters with traditional stereotypical personalities, but having characters who are very similar to other characters, whose personalities and backstories make sense is fine.
This is where Touch really shines.  Touch is a loving examination of its characters and there is careful emphasis on each action and word of dialogue by a character.  They not only make sense and feel right, but convey complex emotional states that are informed by past and current events.  These are living characters who think and feel in extremely complex ways.  Trauma, family, sexuality, all of these play huge roles in informing our characters' behavior, personality and beliefs.  We can see them changing as well some slower than others, though trauma is a major catalyst change and is rightfully used as such in Touch.
I really can't complain all that much about the characters.  Rhythm has done a wonderful job with them and I really could only nitpick.  5/5 for character.
Touch is a great novel that is just over a year old and is really a hidden gem.  With wonderful characterization and strong world-building, to go with solid story, Touch is a must-read for English Original webnovel enthusiasts and webnovel readers in general.  Altogether I give it 4.5 stars (leaning toward 4 stars, since it isn't perfect or with enough output to commit to 5 stars).  Highly recommended.
Elliot Moors

I enjoyed the story overall. It was definitely a slow start, but the later chapters were more intriguing once the plot got rolling. I like the author's exploration of superpowers in ordinary people, and a lot of the minor details about the inner workings of the powers made my nerdy side giddy. I like Tasha so far. I think she's a well fleshed-out character with fun dialogue and a lot of agency. The rest I don't connect with so much. It seems like a lot of them mill around without much direction to them. Some of the prose was a bit hard to read. Especially the fight scenes made my head spin. I'd say it's still pretty good in terms of web fiction, I've seen far worse out there. Some of the dialogue made me wince, but there were some really sweet lines in there, also. Overall, good job. Thanks for a nice read, Rhythm. I'll be looking to pick this back up once you've updated with a few more chapters.


Totally different from anything you will find on RRL. Interesting take on heros and their dark origins story. Forsure would recommend this story to anyone that enjoys good characters and are okay with dark topics. 


Excellent Story with Realistic Depiction of Trauma

Reviewed at: Mistakes: 1.6

 Touch is an excellent story that depicts trauma realistically while developing a pretty interesting premise of magic and superpowers.

The basic premise of the story is that a boy named James manifests powers after a traumatic incident, and discovers other powered individuals who went through their own traumas. This group resolves to help each other deal with the new world of powers they find themselves in as the reader slowly becomes exposed to the real nature of the world and scope of events.

While the scope of the story and its associated stakes do scale up significantly, the core of the story remains focused on its characters adapting to these revelations while dealing with their trauma. Many superpower stories that feature trauma-based triggers for powers quickly gloss past the traumatic incident so that the story can to the superhero story it wants to be. Touch is not like that, as it takes a slow and measured approach to presenting characters dealing with a recovering from their trauma. The author doesn’t pull punches in the handling of these issues, but is also not overly gratuitous in their presentation. The actions and reactions of the characters are very thought through and very realistic, leading to some sections that are so frank and mature that they almost become hard to read.

If this was all the story was, it would be decent, and might have faced the fate of becoming the story of some pitiable characters that one just doesn’t want to read. However, the introduction of the magical side of the world and the true scope of world events neatly sidesteps this pitfall and leads the story to the other part of what makes it so good. Once the reader has been introduced to this via the relevant characters, one really understands how out of their depth the main characters are in this world they’ve been tossed into. 

The story gets built up from many angles, and really starts to shine when its component parts get forced together and all the characters have to deal with the implications of those events. Its hard to say too much about the story without spoiling some reveals and discoveries that are best read instead, but in a broad sense, the story is a solid and clearly well-planned one with a lot of potential that is slowly and steadily being realized.

The characters are the true strength of this story. The main characters are all complex and well-developed individuals who are more than just victims, and who have journeys that are very easy to get invested in. The supporting characters are also well fleshed out and interesting, with motivations of their own in the grand scheme of events. This story doesn’t have any cartoonishly evil villains since it’s not that type of story, with its antagonists simply being messed-up or twisted individuals, and characters in their own right, rather than just being set up as stepping stones for the MCs to beat.

The writing style of the story is easy to read and follow, but the style of the story as a whole is one element that could be improved. As the story has grown in scope and complexity, adding characters and storylines in the process, its POV style storytelling has occasionally faltered. The nature of the way events are presented across chapters does a good job overall, but in hindsight can sometimes leave some characters feeling neglected as a function of the style. To reiterate, this is not a big issue, but simply a function of the directed/deep third-person writing style used. The style is great at developing characters and show-not-tell, which shows in the story, but can also be narrative-limiting. I don’t think anything should change, but being aware of these style drawbacks and working to account for them would be an easy way to make the story even better.

Finally, the story is well edited, with few grammar issues.

Overall, I would strongly recommend this story for its trauma depictions and characters, while noting that it is not a fast-paced or action-packed progression story, and so might not be for everyone.

(Review as of Chapter 6.6)


I read a lot of this story before marking it "Not Interested." Then, I read all the glowing reviews, and honestly, I get the praise. The story is better written than a lot of stuff on RR (really confused, therefore, that the author still makes the common RR mistake of putting action tags in a separate paragraph than the associated speech). The characters are really vivid with actual emotional depth, and the author develops the story with a lot of tension.

On the other hand ...

1. There is nothing fun about the story. Entertainment comes only from the tension from reading about horrible things happening to people as they escape even worse stuff happening. It is dark and depressing.

2. I generally tend to not get to bent out of shape over content that some readers find cringy, but the amount of story space dealing with pedophiles and child rape is just not what I want to read about.

3. If you're one of my fellow RR readers who hates it when authors jump POVs a lot, you're going to hate this story. Everybody gets POV chapters. Everybody. A lot of them just weren't very interesting for me.


What can I say about Touch?


Reviewing is not my strong suit, and I doubt I'll be able to do this story justice. Touch is good and you should give it chance cause you'll love it. That's probably as far as I would go in my description of it, if someone asked me my views on it. But Let's try and go deeper than that shall we.

Touch is a story that explores very sensative topis and honestly does them well. I have no personal experience witht the main subject matter of Touch nor would I deem myself very knowledgeable on the matter but I think the author does a good job of exploring them, in a way that's not overbearing or off putting to people with or without experince on the matter.

I have a golden rule with my content. I always give tv series three episodes to catch me and for books I do five chapters. I do not belive in the whole "It gets good later, you just have to hold out for a few chapter/episodes.". I believe in strong first impressions. I expect a story to at least pique my interest and continue to hold said interest. Touch does that. First drawing in me in with its intriguing characters and then leaving me full invested in its story.

Touch is one hundred percent a character-driven story. And oh boy are the characters great. There are probably some bumps in the road I'm not seeing, but as far as I can tell they are flawless. I like how the author switches the perspective to different characters. Giving us a fine glimpse into each an every character. The way they think, and react to the same things as other characters, personal views and whatnot. This is something I personally enjoy. I love getting into the head of each and every character.

Touch's magic system can be defined to me, as somewhat refreshing. Its interesting to say the least. Its not like the common potrayal of magic I'm used to in some stories. It has my interest and I look forward to seeing the abilites of others and how they function.

I guess this is really all I have to say on it. So is this review good? Proabably not. But the real answer your looking for is if Touch is good? And to that I say it is. Its a fantastic well-written and interesting read.

But hey everyone has their own views on things. If you don't like it all I can say is. I'm sorry your missing out on something spectacular.