Review: Tiger’s Curse by Colleen Houck

Posted by Jessi (Geo) on April 16, 2012 | 1 Comment

Review: Tiger’s Curse by Colleen HouckTiger's Curse by Colleen Houck
Series: The Tiger Saga #1
Published by Sterling (1.11.2011)
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: Hardcover, 448 pages
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon

1.5 Stars

Passion. Fate. Loyalty.

Would you risk it all to change your destiny?

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.

My thoughts

Passion. Fate. Loyalty.

This cover should be flagged for false advertisement. After all of the glowing reviews, I’m left to wonder….WHY DIDN’T I GET THE COPY THEY READ?! Ha ha, very funny, now where’s the REAL Tiger’s Curse?? The one that everybody LOVED because it was such an awesomely awesometastic book of awesome???? Guess the joke’s on me…

Alright, where to start? First of all, the writing. GOOD LORD. Talk about sophomoric. I dealt with it for the first half because the premise was just so absolutely stunning that I thought I would like the story anyway. And for that half, I did. If it had continued that way, it would have easily been a 3.5 for me. But, after the first half everything went downhill. There were things that I just couldn’t look past.

First of all, our protag Kelsey. OH. MY. LORD. I kept hoping she’d stab herself in the eye with a spork. Or throw herself off a cliff. But alas, there were no cliffs or sporks in this story. Sad face.
So, Kelsey is almost 18, right? I had to keep reminding myself of this, because frankly she acted more like 14. She was SO naive. And whiny. And lame. Example:

The little love plant in my heart was grasping at each wispy though, absorbing his words like sweet drops of morning dew.I felt the little love plant inside me stretch, swell, and unfurl its leaves, like he was pouring Love Potion #9 over the thing. I gave up at that point and decided what the heck. I could always use a rototiller on it. And I rationalized that when he breaks my heart, at least I will have been thoroughly kissed.

I was able to deal with her ridiculous words (who actually says twitterpated, really?) and ‘jokes’ for a while, but towards the end she got so bad that I wanted to chuck the book at a wall (while picturing her face). Characters are supposed to grow as the story goes on, not regress.
She continuously belittles herself throughout the whole book. In the beginning it’s one thing, but surely there should be some realization somewhere in the book that she’s not so mundane?? Nah. Not here. I found it very difficult to respect her when she couldn’t even respect herself.
Sure, all female leads don’t have to be kick-ass, but I like them to at least be somewhat strong. Kelsey was weak and spineless, with absolutely no character to speak of. I really don’t understand what Ren (and Kishan for that matter) could possibly have found interesting about her.

Ren. In theory, I should have loved him. He can change into a tiger for crying out loud!! (I love tigers, by the way) But he was portrayed as too perfect in my opinion. Sure, he was a bit stubborn, but that’s the only flaw he really had. He was gorgeous (of course), a perfect gentleman, sweet as can be, and a Prince to boot. And he changed into a tiger. Sound like every girl’s fantasy? Yup. Well okay, maybe just mine, ha. But still. He was TOO perfect. A few flaws would have made him more convincing. Like, asshat tendencies. Where were those? Surely a man of nobility is entitled to a little arrogance.

Now. The relationship between Kelsey and Ren – this was what really ruined it for me. When he was a tiger, she loved him unconditionally. Duh. If I could get up close and personal with a tiger and have it lick me rather than eat my face, I’d love it too. But, then he changes into a man. And when their relationship steps up a bit (kissing, oh my!!) Kelsey freaks. As far as I can tell, Ren never does anything to elicit such a strong reaction. He’s a gentleman yet she treats him as dangerous:

He nuzzled my neck, and an image came to mind of him beckoning me to jump off a cliff and then laughing as my body broke on the wet rocks below. 

Okay? I don’t really understand this, because he never showed an ounce of cruelty towards her.

Ren appeared to be sweet and attentive, as harmless as a little kitten. He was about as harmless as a Kappa [vampire monkey]. I, on the other hand, was like a porcupine. I was bristling. All of my quills were standing on end so I could defend my soft belly from being devoured by the predator who had taken an interest.

I just felt like she viewed her innocence as a bit exaggerated and overreacted about Ren’s intentions.

She seems fine with the kissing, then out of nowhere starts pushing him away – ignoring and avoiding, because she doesn’t want to get hurt.

I had never been in love with anyone before. I had never even had a boyfriend before, and these feelings were exciting and scary all at once. For the first time in my life, I felt out of control, and it was a feeling I wasn’t sure I completely liked. The problem was, the more time I spent with him, the more I wanted to be with him. And I was a realist. My brief moments with him now, though exhilarating, wouldn’t guarantee a happy ending.

Sorry but what the hell kind of 17 year old thinks like that? When you’re that age, you don’t think about being out of control, you just jump head first into love. The “realism” only comes after you’ve been through 3 or 4 bad ones and have been burned, and you finally learn to use caution. I just found it a little strange that with all of her previous naivety, she has this random moment of maturity and insight.
She started thinking WAY too much and became a driveling, pathetic excuse for a female. I felt quite sorry for Ren at this point. Even he could only take so much, and after her being shut out for pages on end, he gets frustrated. And of course, she gets angry that he’s frustrated and calls him a jerk. What? She acts like a cold distant bitch, and he has to roll over and take it? Okaaay.

Then the fighting starts. Ugh. I think conflict is necessary in a relationship, and I enjoy a little banter…but they were straight up just bickering like children. I mean, yelling “FINE” back and forth. Really? I think that’s a bit unnecessary. That’s basically what the last quarter composed of. Immature bickering. I’d expect it from her, because she acts 12 anyway, but not from Ren who was cursed at 21 (and anyway he’s a little old for her, don’t you think?) and has been stuck that was for THREE HUNDRED YEARS. Surely at some point he’s got to be the mature one. Right? WRONG. Almost 80 pages of this crap. I was getting so annoyed at the book that I had to stop at very frequent intervals and count to ten to calm myself down so I wouldn’t throw it and break something. There were lots of heavy sighs, UGHs, and facepalming on my part.
Kelsey also continuously flip-flopped. One minute, she’d be dead set against Ren, the next, she’d be getting jealous over his attention to another woman (even though it’s obvious he’s fixated on her). She kept saying how she wanted them to go separate ways, but then Mr. Kadam mentions home and she panics? WTF. Make up your mind!!

The scenes between Kelsey and Ren just got a bit too outlandish for me at this point.

He looked me up and down. And not a quick look. He took it all in slowly. The kind of slow that made a girl’s face feel hot. I got mad at myself for blushing and glared at him.
Nervous and impatient, I asked, “Are you finished?”
“Almost.” He was now staring at my strappy shoes.
“Well, hurry up!”
His eyes drifted leisurely back up to my face and he smiled at me appreciatively, “Kelsey, when a man spends time with a beautiful woman, he needs to pace himself.”
I quirked my eyebrow at him and laughed. “Yeah, I’m a regular marathon alright.”
He kissed my fingers. “Exactly. A wise man never sprints…in a marathon.”

Then Ren tells her she smells like peaches and cream…………….awkward turtle.

Other issues were the far-fetched scenarios. So many things just seemed totally unrealistic to me. Yes, it’s a fantasy world, but…surely the research could have been done better? We were in India, yet for the majority of the book I forgot this fact. I feel like the culture wasn’t portrayed properly. And anyway, what kind of a moron would travel across the world with a total stranger? Also, the way the Phet guy talked was outrageous and I feel as if it should be an insult to Indian people everywhere. He talked in broken and sporadic English, and I’m talking so broken I could barely understand what the hell he was trying to say. It was worse than Yoda. Yeah, that bad. Yet he was able to use big words? And he couldn’t string together a simple sentence? Riiiiight.
It just felt like most of the dialogue and happenings in this book were downright silly. Even the scenes with supposed ‘danger’ were ridiculous.

There were also a lot of unnecessary details. Long paragraphs to explain small and pointless things…why couldn’t that kind of attention have been used for the world building?

I feel like this should be considered middle grade, not YA. When I was 12 or 13, I might have loved this. If I could get through the length at that age. But at 23, the writing was just too novice.

Favorite character: Kishan. He was the only one with even an ounce of personality.


Plot: 3/5
Writing style: 1/5
Characters: 1/5
World-building: 1/5
A little more research would really have helped.
Pace: 3/5
Cover: 5/5
Shame. Maybe if I sit and stare at the pretty cover, I’ll be tricked into forgetting what’s underneath.
Overall rating: 1.5/5 starfish
The premise was fantastic, but the book was a waste of time for me.
Jessi (Geo)

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One response to “Review: Tiger’s Curse by Colleen Houck

  1. Mary

    “I kept hoping she’d stab herself ” That’s the best comment about Kelsey, I couldn’t have said more. She’s the biggest pain in the ass; she’s stupid, jealous, immature, weak, coward and bitchy person I’ve ever met. Seriously. I just hate the story because of her. Her logic is the weirdest! She play with the princes feelings all the time, thinking only on her well. And the end of the story, after all, is something quickly arranged, without romance nor climax. In the end we don’t even believe she deserves the luck she have.

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