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The Mulberry St. Blog is a review and writing blog. I review mostly fiction/science fiction/fantasy sorts of books, with the exception of the occasional YA or nonfiction book. The blog is updated daily, excluding Mondays.

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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Tiger's Curse

Tiger's Curse (Tiger Saga, #1)

Passion. Fate. Loyalty.

Would you risk it all to change your destiny?

The last thing 17-year old 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.

Oh goodness, where do I start? I'm not sure that this book as a single redeeming quality, and I don't mean that to say that I simply didn't like the book. No, it truly was that the writing, the characters, the storyline - all were done terribly and I seriously wonder what the author was trying to get at. The book initially drew my attention when the bookstore I work at began promoting its sequel, Tiger's Quest. The menacing black tiger on the front cover caught my interest, and upon researching it, I found it was the second in a series. Naturally, I decided to start from the beginning. I did read a few of the reviews on goodreads.com, so I definitely did not go into the book with high expectations. That being said, I was severely disappointed in the novel.

We begin with Kelsey, an 18 year old who has just graduated high school and is now looking for a summer job. She finds a job at a circus where she fills in doing a bunch of odd jobs, including feeding the white tiger the circus keeps. Naturally, as is custom in recent fiction works, Kelsey immediately becomes obsessed with the tiger. You don't even need to read the back-of-the-book blurb to know that something's up. The tiger is being taken to India by someone with a rich employer and this man asks Kelsey to help transport the tiger to the other side of the world. She agrees, and adventure ensues!

I don't think I need to tell you why this book got me interested in the first place. The captivating cover, the interesting blurb. This book had serious potential that I really believe it wasted. The plot feels contrived and loosely strung together. I feel like there were so many ways for the events in this book to happen, and everything seems to follow a over-used, unoriginal formula that barely keeps me entertained. There is no emotional pull to anything in the novel. I feel no connection to Kelsey or Ren. It's like reading a string of facts, one after another. There was no reason for me to want to connect to it. It lacked any sort of voice beyond what you might find in a history book.

I know I pick on writing a lot, but there are some things that just shouldn't be done. One of those things is writing a character's thoughts in past tense. It only makes sense to write a thought in past tense if they are thinking of something that has already happened. Just because the book is written in past tense, that doesn't mean you have to continue that through to thought processes. If I was in the middle of eating a piece of cake, I would not think, "That piece of cake tasted really good." It doesn't make sense. People don't think in past tense all the time. Also, overexplaining everything the character comes into contact with does not reassure me that you did your research. Every time I finished a paragraph the detailed the exact type of plane they were in or exactly what was in the food she was eating, I only found myself completely annoyed and I still wondered if she really did her research.

And does nobody else find it creepy that while in tiger form, he keeps licking her? I mean, first of all, I don't think it's normal tiger behavior. I know that he's not a "normal tiger" but I feel like the author is trying to push it across as if that just him behaving as a tiger. It doesn't feel like that way at all. I feel like Ren-as-tiger could find so many better ways of comforting Kelsey than licking her. It's creepy and weird. Also, even if she was supposed to be the one to break the curse, Ren's behavior is oddly uncharacteristic of the society he grew up in, and even still of the society he would belong to today. I don't see any of his princeliness or proud heritage or upbringing in his behavior. You could count it toward 300 years as a tiger, I guess. Still, it's strange to me.

One redeeming thing, though small, was that she certainly got the traffic situation down. While I don't know how Kelsey managed to drive around with a tiger in her car and have no one ask question, the way the roads in India were described were perfectly accurate. It made me remember my own time in India. It would be nice to go back one day.

In the end, not the greatest book I've ever read. However, I will call say that toward the end, it got a little bit more entertaining. Once I let go of any expectation whatsoever, I found myself enjoying the mindlessness of it. Though, I think I might have enjoyed it more when I was younger and more unwise to the ways of the world. Ha.

Rating: 5, Mediocre
Recommendation: Eh. Could go either way. Don't waste your money, get it from the library or borrow it from a friend. Don't expect anything of it, bad or good.

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