ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘Rogue: Untouched’ Touches the Heart

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Rogue Untouched - But Why Tho?

Rogue: Untouched is written by Alisa Kwitney and published by Aconyte Books, an imprint of Asmodee Entertainment. Rogue: Untouched joins previously published Domino: Strays, and Elsa Bloodstone: Bequest, releasing on the same day as Rogue: Untouched, as part of the Marvel Heroines line. Anna Marie (who goes by Marie), has been on her own since her mom disappeared. Barely scraping by on what she earns at her waitressing job, Marie wants to save up enough money to attend university and leave her small Mississippi town behind for good. But when a stranger shows up at the diner and she breaks up a fight between him and two small-town bullies, her life turns upside down.

Marie invites the stranger to stay with her, learning that his name is Remy LeBeau, former heir to the Thieves Guild. And he’s a mutant. It’s a lot to take in. Through interacting with Remy, Marie learns that she also has mutant powers; the power to temporarily take on other mutant’s powers. However, Remy isn’t the only new addition to Marie’s once-routine life. A mysterious, glamorous woman named Lucretia Borger offers Marie the chance to join her organization. If she joins she’ll receive room, board, and training for her mutant powers.

Before Marie can even consider Lucretia’s offer, her involvement with Remy gets her kidnapped by a group of evil mutants. Lead by the villainous Góngora, the group plans to sell Remy and other mutants as slaves. Now it’s up to Marie to learn how to use her powers and save her newfound friends.

When Remy enters the narrative, Rogue: Untouched really begins to hit its stride with character interactions. Remy and Marie play off each other well, and their flirtation is a lot of fun to read. Kwitney balances the feeling of carefree young love with the overwhelming stress both Marie and Remy are under.

Kwitney’s characterization of Marie is one of the best parts of Rogue: Untouched. Marie’s voice sounds familiar to her voice in the comics, complete with her well-known catchphrase “sugar.” Marie is fiercely independent, She’s used to relying solely on herself, and staying distant from other humans. Especially after her disastrous kiss with her ex-boyfriend Cody put him in a temporary coma. But Marie grows closer to Remy, and later the other mutants she’s trapped with, and begins to open up more. She starts to trust that she can be around people without hurting them. Marie is friendly and funny, and she’ll be ride-or-die for her friends. 

One thing that meant the world to me as a disabled reader was Kwitney’s inclusion of Tessa, a mutant who uses a wheelchair. Kwitney doesn’t sideline Tessa because she’s in a wheelchair. Tessa actively takes part in the heroics. Tessa is an accomplished fighter with excellent control over her mutant abilities. And thankfully, Kwitney doesn’t have Tessa’s disability magically cured at the end of the book.

While Kwitney does many things right in Rogue: Untouched, there are a few technical issues. The pacing of the novel feels off in places. The exposition that sets up the characters and the basic plot is fine. But the middle of the story drags a bit, especially when compared to how quickly the final conflict in the book seems to fly by. Despite being a noticeable issue, Rogue: Untouched is still enjoyable.

Kwitney also struggles with repetitive word usage and sentence variation. At times, Kwitney’s sentences feel too similar to each other and not varied enough. And this becomes more noticeable as the story goes along. Kwitney tends to reuse similar words. For example, Kwitney repeatedly uses ‘porcine’ to describe Góngora. By the end of Rogue: Untouched I was ready to never read that word again.

While Rogue: Untouched has its issues, it’s still a lot of fun to read. With well-rounded and likable characters, the reader is sure to become attached to Rogue and her found family of mutants.

Rouge: Untouched wherever books are sold or online through our Bookshop.org affiliate link on May 4th, 2021.

Rogue: Untouched
3.5

TL;DR

While Rogue: Untouched has its issues, it’s still a lot of fun to read. With well-rounded and likable characters, the reader is sure to become attached to Rogue and her found family of mutants.