January 28, 2011

review: tiger's curse

Tiger’s Curse by Colleen Houck

Passion. Fate. Loyalty.

Would you risk it all to change your destiny?

The last thing Kelsey Hayes thought she’d be doing this summer was trying to break a 300-year-old Indian curse. With a mysterious white tiger named Ren. Halfway around the world. But that’s exactly what happened. Face-to-face with dark forces, spellbinding magic, and mystical worlds where nothing is what it seems, Kelsey risks everything to piece together an ancient prophecy that could break the curse forever.


Tiger’s Curse is the first volume of this fantasy romance, leaving much to be desired once you turn the final page. The story is entertaining and a must read for anyone in love with Indian mythology. As a lover of Indian mythology myself, I was immediately drawn to the idea of this book. The author’s experience with the rich culture and folklore of India shines through in this fantastic tale. The mythology is true to its origins, the romance is both heart-racing and maddening, and the adventure itself is beyond thrilling. I look forward to the next installment. Even having finished the book a couple of weeks ago, the world and the characters are still in my head, and I can't wait to find out what happens next.

For a more technical and detailed view… the first part of the book is slow and somewhat tedious. Not much happens, and what does happen is hardly believable. The characters are awkward and unnatural, lending themselves to robot dialogue and unrealistic, forced transitions from scene to scene. That being said, the story really picks up eight chapters in. The story goes from a somewhat bland and far-fetched account of Kelsey’s summer vacation to an exciting adventure full of danger and romance. If you can suspend your disbelief for the first seven chapters, it’ll pay off, I promise

The prose throughout the book is beautiful, full of imagery and feeling. I found myself getting lost in the words and the world they create. Unfortunately, the phenomenal storytelling is punctuated by the awkward, forced dialogue throughout the first half of the book, slowly tapering off as the novel progresses. Once the story hits its stride, it’s a thrilling, non-stop read to the end. The characters feel more alive, and the relationships between them grow.

I found that I associated with Ren more than I did Kelsey. I found the main character annoying, whiny, and without much depth, while her love interest, Prince Dhiren, swept me off my feet in the prologue. Kelsey is one of those characters you want to slap across the face every other scene, while Ren is the character you want to yank out of the book and go make out with behind closed doors. The other characters, with the exception of Mr. Kadam and Kishan, feel extraneous. Luckily, those characters are left behind in the world of the first seven chapters… easily and willingly forgotten.

All in all, the book leaves a feeling of incompleteness, harboring the sort of dissatisfaction that reading only a quarter of the entire story will give you. If this book were a stand-alone novel, it would get three stars. I give the first portion two stars, and the rest of the book four stars. The promise of the second volume Tiger’s Quest – to come out in June – leads me to believe that the story will only get better from here.

Reading level: Young Adult
Format: Hardcover, 448 pages
Publisher: Splinter (January, 11, 2011)

Rating: ★★★☆☆

[Debut Author Challenge 2011]


  1. I've been seeing this book floating around the blogosphere and really need to look into getting it from the library. I definitely need a new book with some romance in it!

  2. Sounds good... I'll put this one on the library list as well.