Book Review: Tiger's Curse
By: Colleen Houck
Published By: Brilliance Audio
Publication Date: June 2011
Format: Audiobook (16 hours)
Audience: Young Adult
This book seems like one of those that you either love or hate. I picked up the audio version from the library to listen to on my work commute because it had such high ratings on Goodreads and most of the reviews were favorable. However, after I finished it, I learned that several people I share book tastes with didn't enjoy it all that much. I am not sure if my appreciation of the book came from the fact that I listened to the audio version. I am curious if I would have enjoyed the book as much if I had read it in the traditional format.
Regardless, I did enjoy this read. The concept was inventive and gave me the opportunity to journey into a set of myths that was unfamiliar. I also honestly don't know much about Indian culture other than the basics that I learned in school about Hindu, the caste system, and Gandhi. My ignorance of modern India made this book fascinating as I learned new things while enjoying the story. Houck does a nice job of transporting the reader into the moment alongside the main character, Kelsey, as she journeys from Oregon to the wilds of India on a quest to break a curse cast centuries before her birth.
I really enjoyed the whole curse aspect and the various quests that Kelsey and Ren must complete. Their journey is full of turmoil and danger. I was on the edge of my seat - particularly during the expedition into the city of monkeys - as I waited to see if they would make it through the trek. I was much more invested in Ren's fate than Kelsey's. Also, I really enjoyed the conflict between Ren and his brother. I am interested to see what happens with that situation in the future.
However, I can see why people have trouble getting into this one. I spent more time disliking the main character than rooting for her. She was so whiny and her choices frustrated me. I also found it hard to believe that she would bond with a tiger in a two week period enough to leave behind her life to trek to India with a man she barely knew. It didn't seem like believable circumstances, but I suppose that is the beauty of fiction - anything becomes a possibility. I felt like Kelsey goes from being this strong female lead to this whining version of Bella from the Twilight Saga. The only difference between Kelsey and Bella is that one loves a sparkly vampire while the other prefers an Indian prince who spends most of his days as a white tiger. Kelsey starts the self deprecating and "he's too pretty for me" attitude which quickly caused me to lose interest in anything she had to say. I have to admit that I only liked this book as much as I did because of Ren and I am only planning to read more of the series for his sake.
I originally was going to give this book 4 rating because of my fascination with Ren and his curse, but the more I think about it I realize that this book is more like a 3 for me. The further I am from reading it, the more issues I began to have with the book. The ending and Kelsey just left a bad taste in my mouth.
One Last Gripe: I still am confused about why Kelsey was the one to break the curse of captivity. What did she do exactly? Was it the Shakespeare? Was she just at the right place at the right time?
My Favorite Thing About This Book: The curse
Favorite Character: Ren
Least Favorite Character: Kelsey
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, spell- binding 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.