Tiger’s Curse by Colleen Houck

Summary of Tiger’s Curse by Colleen Houck:

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 exciting first volume in an epic fantasy-romance that will leave you breathless and yearning for more. (via Goodreads)

My Thoughts on Tiger’s Curse by Colleen Houck:

This is one of the harder reviews I’ve had to write…lots of mixed feelings with this one. I really enjoyed the first half or so of the book…Kelsey was a great heroine and I enjoyed seeing the world through her eyes. I also appreciated the folklore and history (laced with fantasy) that unfolded as she learned more about India and Ren’s curse. That was something I expected to love – fantasy and India are two of my favorite things to read about.

However, once I hit the halfway mark things started to change, and not in a good way. In fact, by the end of Tiger’s Curse I was so relieved that I was finished that I forgot to care about what was going on with the characters. And that is a shame, because the book had a lot of promise…and a lot of good things going for it. In fact, it is not impossible that I will give the next book in the series a try.

Have you guys heard of bushwhacking? It means to push or cut your way through dense vegetation.

Yeah. Like that guy.

Well, y’all. I have to say that I felt like that guy for a large chunk of the story. I had to shove and fight my way through way too many details that weighed the story down. For instance: food. Okay. She is in India. I get it. The food is different and exotic. I agree and appreciate that fact. Indian food is awesome. If Houck had wanted to go into detail on a couple of meals (heck, even three or four), I would have understood and enjoyed reading about them. But seriously. I did not need to read every morsel of food that Kelsey consumed throughout the entire book. Every granola bar and ball of rice was detailed down to the last bite. In fact, for awhile I was even betting with myself internally on how many pages I’d turn before she’d eat something else – and my guess was never higher than three. (FYI, I was reading this on my Kindle so the pages were really small.) I know I’m writing way too much about the fact that the author wrote too much, but I can’t help it. After spending hundreds of pages thinking about it, I needed to vent.

I’ll move on now.

Next…a lot of the dialogue was awkward. It only really bothered me a few times…the writing had a rambling style that helped to mask a lot of the issues. I actually enjoyed that rambling style during the first half of the novel when I was still getting to know the characters and their situation.

Next, even Kelsey herself bothered me toward the end of the story. She suffered a lot of loss in her life that made her wary of love and commitment. I got that. But still, for most of the story, she seemed very open and willing in her attraction to Ren. But then – all of a sudden – she became completely and 100% emotionally constipated. I didn’t like that twist, because it screamed “plot device!” and not “characterization development!”

But, Tiger’s Curse by Colleen Houck really does have several things going for it. The rich infusion of Indian culture is, for the most part, a rewarding factor. I love books set in India, and Houck does a great job of giving the story culture. The plot, when you get down to the bare bones, is also a good one. If I wasn’t suffering from “I-can’t-see-the-forest-through-the-trees” reading syndrome, I would have thoroughly enjoyed seeing how things unfolded.

So anyway, if you aren’t scared of getting hit with a freight load of details and over-writing (which, obviously you aren’t if you’ve actually read this whole review), then you should give Tiger’s Curse by Colleen Houck a shot. If I do pick up the next book, I’ve learned my lesson and will start scanning the paragraphs that begin with “I was hungry” or “meal time.”

{ 7 comments… add one }
  • Momo (Books Over Boys) January 20, 2011, 1:34 am

    I just bought this book on Monday! 🙂 Awh, I started reading the first two chapters or so last night. I don't know what to think of it just yet. I think I'll still continue on with reading it! 🙂 Great, honest review!

  • Stephanie January 20, 2011, 2:07 am

    I love this review for its honesty and thoroughness! I wish I read more reviews like this. I've had a pet peeve about food descriptions ever since read The Naming by Alison Croggon (a book I LOVED overall). But, I found myself constantly thinking "Not every meal is going to be a life-altering experience! Sometimes food is just food!" because the food description seemed to go on forever. I started wanting the main character to eat something really disgusting just so she would stop gushing about everything she ate.

  • Andrea January 20, 2011, 5:42 am

    Great review! I thought about buying this book recently (mostly because it was 20% off to be honest), but now I think I'll probably just check it out from the library first.

  • Small Review January 20, 2011, 3:21 pm

    Thank you for your review. Overwriting can really annoy me, especially when it's about something that really isn't important to the plot at all (like food). That turn around in the character's personality is also a little off-putting. I think I'll give this one a try, but at least now I'll be entering into things with my eyes opened.

  • Anonymous February 28, 2011, 11:45 pm

    I got this book about 1 week ago, and finished it within that week. I thought the book was fantastic, but I do agree with you on the food part. But overall I loved the book!

    Towards the end, though, I was getting increasingly annoyed with how Kelsey was treating Ren!

  • Maddy September 27, 2011, 9:29 pm

    I must say that i didnt notice the food thing at all ._.
    i like it when she eats food, it makes me want to try new things 😀
    Btw i LOVE this series, im insanely addicted, its one of those series that end up with me getting a whole lot of detentions for not doing homework and no sleep because i cant put it down
    This series = <3

  • Love the books!!! November 28, 2011, 6:10 pm

    I think that the book was great!!! I don’t care how much detail she put into the food!!! She did a great job!!!


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