Castle Librarian

Tiger’s Curse

In Book Review on July 31, 2015 at 2:37 pm

book cover image
Tiger’s Curse

Contemporary Oregonian girl meets ancient Indian curse. That sums it up. Kelsey stumbles into a summer job with a traveling circus that comes to her town. Her duties vary, including being involved in the care of the white tiger, the circus’s only exotic animal. The tiger is actually an Indian prince under a centuries old curse. Kelsey is soon involved in a journey to break the curse.

This is the second book I have read this year (2014) in which the plot idea is good, but the execution falls short. This book could have used more editorial assistance; blunt, honest criticism. The traveling circus is just a device for getting contemporary American girl together with cursed tiger/prince. I happen to be an Oregonian and I haven’t seen a traveling circus there (with actual exotic animals) in decades. There would be too much protesting to make it viable. The thought that a summer temp worker would be charged with handling a dangerous animal pushes the credibility limits. Despite this, I thought, it’s just an awkward set up, maybe the story will improve.

Then the story moves to India and it soon became clear to me that the author had not actually been to India. Unfortunately, fantasy writers think they don’t have to write about what they know. They can invent imaginary places. That is true, but does not apply if they set their story in real places and cultures. According to the acknowledgements at the end of the book, the author ran the manuscript past an Indian reader/editor for accuracy. It still would have helped if she had actually taken even just one trip to India.

There were also strange writing choices, like a four paragraph description of the private jet restroom versus a single paragraph description of the tiger morphing into a man.

Then there is the romance aspect of the story. I will admit that I do not read romance novels because I find them tedious and uninteresting. Same holds here. A passionate and strong bond forms between Kelsey and Ren with a love triangle option in the brother Kishan. Kelsey repeatedly jerks Ren around. Then Ren decides two can play at that game and becomes a smarmy jerk. Kelsey keeps jerking him around and then breaks it off and runs away, because she thinks it will never work out. Most of this should have been cut out. It was thoroughly annoying.

There are three more books in this series. I will not be reading them. I suspect it could have been edited down into a single, really good story. Unfortunately, we won’t get to read that story.

(I delayed publishing this review because it is so negative, but having had time to gain some distance and re-read it, I stand by every word.)

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  1. I agree with what you say about authors needing to do more research when they write about culture aside from their own. Making another person’s country and home exotic is awful! Fantastic review!

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