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Monday, October 21, 2013

eBook Review: The Curse Keepers


The wall between our world and that of vengeful spirits has protected humanity for more than 400 years. It’s about to come crashing down.

Ellie Lancaster has lived her whole life by the site of the mysterious Lost Colony of Roanoke, the Virginia settlement that vanished without a trace around 1590. Only the descendants of the two men who banished the spirits of an enemy tribe from the material realm know what really happened to the colony. Ellie is one of those descendants—a Curse Keeper. Her father took pains to teach her what he knew of the curse and the responsibilities of its guardians. He taught her that if the two Curse Keepers ever meet, the curse will be lifted, the gate will open, and the raging Native American spirits will be unleashed to seek their revenge.

Despite her father’s seriousness, Ellie has always taken the legend for a harmless fairy tale. Until she meets the darkly handsome, but downright infuriating, Collin Dailey and realizes everything she was told is true. For when they meet, it’s like the air is sucked from the room. Collin’s presence is electrifying… and it’s not just attraction Ellie feels, but the inexorable pull toward her destiny. The prophecy is real, and now Ellie and Collin must battle supernatural forces and their loathing—and passion—for each other to set things right.

The Curse Keepers are all that stand between the world and its destruction
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A) Roanoke Island, my guilty historical love. So that had me hooked.
B) Curses! Always fun!
C) Ancient angry gods! Even more fun.

So in conclusion, fun was had.

+++

I stand by the above--I had a lot of fun reading THE CURSE KEEPERS and seeing a different spin on one of history's great mysteries. I thought it was clever of Swank to weave real life happenings and coincidences into the plot to add a layer of 'hey it could be!' (though as her author's note at the end suggests, she believes a wholly more realistic idea of what happened to those colonists).

I had a bit more problem with Ellie and Collin however. I liked Ellie--I liked that she didn't accept Collin on face value, listened to her friends' advice (even if it irritated her) and wanted to do right by her father (even as she didn't believe him).

I didn't trust Collin at all. And that distrust just kept building the further the book went along. Especially after he has smexy times with Ellie. He would say things, red flag things like 'I want you to remember this' and 'no matter what else happens know I loved you' and Ellie would think 'huh, well that's a bit weird...' without following up.

To be fair he did tell her he couldn't be trusted. He was very open about his thieving ways, his womanizing, his callous disregard for how his actions hurt others. His duplicity lay in that he kept urging Ellie to give more and more of herself for her destiny without telling her everything she needed to know. Her (justifiable) reluctance to be part of the Curse Keepers world was brushed aside because there were bigger things to consider.

That rubbed me the wrong way. Even after he apologized I wanted to shank him (which is odd for me to want to do to an attractive rogue--I love them). Every time he told Ellie he wanted to put her above everything else I wanted to kick him. Every time he told Ellie she would be protected I wanted to punch him.

And in the end when everything is laid out on the table (or almost everything, his motivations still remain mostly murky) I felt nothing but crushing dread for Ellie. She didn't deserve any of the crap. She wanted to live in her town, take care of her father, work hard and make others smile.

As this is part of a series the ending is not really an ending, but a bridge to the next book. There's resolution to only a handful of the plotlines and opens up a can of worms that promise to make Ellie's life harder.

So I say this to the author--Bring it on. I'll just have to think of new ways to make Collin suffer if he didn't learn his lesson yet.