Book: The Tiger’s Curse
Author: Colleen Houck
Bookshelves: 2011, curse, fantasy, fiction, India, romance, Oregon, paranormal romance, tiger, USA, were-creature
Begun: March 11, 2011
Finished: March 14, 2011
Media Type: hardcover
Setting: 17th century India, present day Oregon (USA), and present day India
Characters: Kelsey Hayes, Prince Dhiren (Ren), Mr. Kadam, Indian goddess Durga,
Review: When I started reading Tiger's Curse by Colleen Houck, I was pretty sure it was going to be ... well ... boring. I had seen the book in the hands of a couple of my students and in the front section of the Barnes and Noble I frequent, but I wasn't sold on the book.
I had, also, heard that this was originally published online as a free book (or was it as a Podcast? I honestly don't remember).
Anyways, I started reading it and thought: Oh damn, it's set in Oregon. This is going to be another Twilight-esque knock off. Well, come to find out, Houck was inspired by Twilight to the point that she began writing this series of books. And unfortunately, the main female and male characters will remind you WHOLE HEARTEDLY of Bella Swan and Edward Cullen. (And I, personally, think the world has had enough of these characters and their incarnations!!!)
I was pleasantly surprised when I got into the story. The writing is mediocre (at best) but Colleen Houck does a pretty good job of weaving a lot of information (there is soooooooo much info dumping) into the plot. The problem for me was that the writing off set the whole "good plot" she had going on.
The story goes like this: Kelsey lost her parents a while back to an accident. She's in foster care. To pay for junior college in the fall, she goes to a temp agency (she's not yet 18 ... how many temp agencies take 17 year olds?) to get a job for the summer. They send her out to a circus that is going through town who needs help (her foster parents don't even bat an eye at the fact that the circus expects her to sleep there for the two weeks she'll be working with them). Slowly, she develops a bond with the white tiger in the circus. A man, Mr. Kadam, comes and buys the tiger and wants to take him back to a nature preserve in India. He wants Kelsey to help him. Kelsey agrees to fly half way around the world ... and, apparently, that too is ok with her foster parents because they let her go.
Surprise of surprises, Kelsey finds out that her white tiger buddy is really a 17th century Indian prince, Dhiren, who had a curse placed upon him (and his brother). Mayhem ... long long drawn out mayhem ... and dialog written with a tin ear (shame on you Houck ... ensues. Houck tried to teach us about the Indian goddess Durga but the writing and the repeated usage of the main characters names in the dialog (i.e. “Mr. Kadam, do you think … (next line) “No Kelsey, …” (next line) “But, Mr. Kadam …”) take away from the plot.
There is a cliff hanger at the end which prompts readers to get the second book.
Will I read it? Probably with the caveat that I understand this is not a novel of epic/mythic proportions, that this is just a book to pass some time with ... not to call "literature."
Awards: Next Generation Indie Book Awards (2010)
Recommend to: Twilight series fans