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Shadow's Curse by Alexa Egan

Shadow's Curse

by Alexa Egan

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Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: Two people from warring races/species come together in order to safely travel to Scotland. Along the way, they have to fight their feelings for each other as they try and escape those pursuing them. Will they be able to continue to fight their attraction?

Opening Sentence: The man stood over his victim, knife flashing in the dim light of Silmith’s round yellow moon.

The Review:

I really wanted to like this one. I thought the concept sounded interesting. I really like stories that involve the Fae, so I thought that was a plus as well. Unfortunately, despite some positives here and there, by and large, this book just didn’t work for me for a variety of reasons.

David is Imnada, a shapeshifter who can transform into a wolf. Long ago, he and his friends were placed under a curse, one that is slowly killing each of them. There is a “cure” that keeps the curse at bay, but it also does its own damage. David’s resigned himself to a slow death and fills his time with drinking and prowling the streets looking for people up to no good, so he can put the fear of God into them while in his wolf form.

Callista is a necromancer, one who can walk the paths of the realm of Death and contact the spirits who live there. Her opportunistic brother has made a living off of her skills and has now arranged a marriage with the king of the London underworld, one who wants to use Callista’s powers for himself. After a couple unsuccessful attempts to escape her brother and travel to Scotland to find her aunt, Callista tries one last escape attempt. This attempt brings her directly into contact with David, who eventually agrees to help her reach Scotland despite the fact that his race has been at war with hers for eons. They embark on a journey that is fraught with danger, fighting their feelings for each other all the while. Will they make it to Scotland before Callista’s fiancé finds them?

As I said early, I had multiple issues with this book. The biggest, as is often the case for me, has to do with the fact that I really had no feelings whatsoever for either Callista or David. There didn’t seem to be much character development, to the point where I had no idea who these people were in terms of their personalities. At times, David would come off as flippant and almost fun-loving, and then his frequent drinking and moodiness would get brought up, and it would seem like he was a completely different person. In the same way, I never got a very good feel for Callista as a character. At one point, David is mentally listing the things he loves about her, and everything mentioned was completely new information to me.

There was also a lot of jumping around with regards to the narration, usually with no warning. One moment, we’ll be with Callista. Then, all of a sudden, we’re in David’s head. After that, we jump back to Callista, but it’s a few hours later, and we’re being brought up to speed on events that transpired outside of the narrative. There was a lot of telling here, but no showing, and that combined with the jumping all over the place made for a very confused reader.

On the positive side, I found the realm of Death fascinating. I would have loved to spend more time there and learn more about what necromancers actually do. The Fae characters that were introduced were also intriguing, and I wish they had shown up sooner in the story. All in all though, I just could not get into this book. I didn’t have any characters to root for, I was constantly feeling confused, and the story itself just didn’t work for me. It was a very interesting concept, but it just fell flat.

Notable Scene:

“Are you mad?” she hissed. “You scared me to death.”

He put a finger to his lips. “Shhh. They’ve found us.” David’s words hit her like a punch to the stomach.

“I didn’t expect Corey’s thugs to be so skilled, but even a rabid hound can track a scent once in a while.”

“You saw them?”

“Four men. London accents. Weapons out of sight, but close to hand. They just rode in. There’s few people awake yet. It’s early. But soon the tap will be full and the maids up and about. It won’t take these chaps long to find someone willing to trade our whereabouts for a purse full of coins.”

“I thought you’d left me.”

“I should have. It seems I really am a gentleman. Who knew?”

Gentleman was hardly the sobriquet she would have used. His shirt was wrinkled and smelled like horse, his breeches were the same, and his boots bore a bog’s worth of thick black mud. She gave a surreptitious sniff. No smell of alcohol on him, and his eyes shone clear and bright, without a drunkard’s stare. In fact, not just clear and bright but glittering with wide-eyed excitement.

“Prove your gallantry.” She swung her feet onto the floor, dragging the sheet with her. “Turn your back.”

“Excuse me?”

“Turn your back while I dress. I can’t very well escape in nothing but a chemise.”

“Is that all you have on under that sheet? I’m not that much of a gentleman.”

FTC Advisory: Pocket/Simon and Schuster provided me with a copy of Shadow’s Curse. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review. ( )
  DarkFaerieTales | Jun 3, 2014 |
Shadow's Curse is the second book in the Imnada Brotherhood series written by Alexa Egan, but this was my first so I have some catching up to do as I'm not going to miss out on any of this series because this book was wonderful.

David St. Leger is a shape- shifter, he is able to change into large a black wolf, but he is cursed. He has been cast out by his people and he has to take a special draft to control the curse, but still he is dying.

Callista Hawthorne is a necromancer, and is being forced by her brother into a marriage to man who want's to abuse her talent. She try's to flee, but is caught in an alley in London where she is rescued by a wolf who turns out to be a man called David. He then ends up being captured himself by her evil fiancé.

The story then progresses with the hunt for a cure for David and he helps Callista in exchange to freedom she hopes she'll find in Scotland where her aunt lives who may may also be able to help David.

I loved the story line, it was well written and fast paced. A very hot romance developed and it was tastefully written. The characters were also very likeable.
This was a great combination of paranormal and regency, I highly recommend it.

A complimentary copy was provided by the publisher for an honest review. ( )
  JulieD2 | Apr 18, 2014 |
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Drawn together by danger, David and Callista find passion in each other's arms. But can they forswear the centuries of enmity separating their two races, and find a love they dare not even imagine?

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