Review: The Curse Keepers by Denise Grover Swank
The Curse Keepers by Denise Grover Swank
Published by 47north
Published on: November 19 2013
Genres: Urban Fantasy
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The wall between our world and that of vengeful spirits has protected humanity for more than 400 years. It’s about to come crashing down.
Ellie Lancaster has lived her whole life by the site of the mysterious Lost Colony of Roanoke, the Virginia settlement that vanished without a trace around 1590. Only the descendants of the two men who banished the spirits of an enemy tribe from the material realm know what really happened to the colony. Ellie is one of those descendants—a Curse Keeper. Her father took pains to teach her what he knew of the curse and the responsibilities of its guardians. He taught her that if the two Curse Keepers ever meet, the curse will be lifted, the gate will open, and the raging Native American spirits will be unleashed to seek their revenge.
Despite her father’s seriousness, Ellie has always taken the legend for a harmless fairy tale. Until she meets the darkly handsome, but downright infuriating, Collin Dailey and realizes everything she was told is true. For when they meet, it’s like the air is sucked from the room. Collin’s presence is electrifying… and it’s not just attraction Ellie feels, but the inexorable pull toward her destiny. The prophecy is real, and now Ellie and Collin must battle supernatural forces and their loathing—and passion—for each other to set things right.
The Curse Keepers are all that stand between the world and its destruction.
There are a couple of things that immediately get my attention when I’m checking out new books.
It’s no secret that I love the Fae, but they’re a popular enough subject that I’ve had to start screening (lots-o-books = lots-o-potentially BAD books) .
Know what I love that doesn’t have a surplus of books written about it?
Native American folklore.
Yep, there’s Jane Yellowrock and Mercy Thompson, both of which I LOVE, and there’s Walker Papers (do not love), and that’s about it. I’m sure there are a few more that I forgot, but the point is that there are far fewer of these kind of books than my other FAEvorite (HA!) subject, so I get far more excited when I hear about a new one. AND I’m from North Carolina, so toss in the Lost Colony, and there’s not much that could keep me from that book.
Would that there was.
The Curse Keepers was filled so full of bad cliché awfulness that I wondered a time or two if it was a parody and I somehow hadn’t gotten the memo.
Ellie is like a bad impersonation of Sookie Stackhouse.
“But I didn’t like Sookie Stackhouse that much to begin with,” you say.
Funny, neither did I (the secondary characters are what made those books so great IMO). Oh, she grew on me, and I never absolutely loathed her (though I know that some of you did), but Sookie definitely had her faults. She was just . . . such a girl sometimes. And by “girl” I mean stereotypically female. But I didn’t hate Sookie, b/c she could buck-up and do what needed doing. She was clever. She grew up hearing people’s thoughts, so she accepted the (obvious) existence of other supernatural creatures without batting and eye.
Ellie was all of the bad Sookie parts, none of the good, and all of those bad parts were exaggerated.
She wants to marry a rich man, so she doesn’t have to worry about money. She refuses to work with the other Curse Keeper (their meeting is what triggers the curse), b/c he’s rude to her, even though it’s THE WORLD that’s at stake. She grew up learning about the curse of the Lost Colony of Roanoke, was taught to be ever vigilant, and yet, when she sees the undeniable proof of the things she was told as a child, she absolutely refuses to believe it.
And once the prophesied curse is set in motion, she and Collin (other Curse Keeper) have seven days to close the gates of the Underworld/Afterlife/whatever, and SAVE THE WORLD, but Ellie keeps waitressing and doing friggin’ laundry at her family’s B&B, b/c “it’s not real.”
Well, he’s, of course, a smokin’ hot, womanizing manwhore. A smokin’ hot, womanizing manwhore who is not even remotely interested in Ellie that way.
Oh wait . . . yes, he is . . . she’s his one true love. *bats eyelashes*
But, wasn’t he completely disgusted with her only a day or so ago? The airhead waitress who didn’t take her responsibility to the gods seriously? The girl who was unprepared to fulfill her sacred duty? The girl who PAWNED her holy hand grenade, I mean ancient relic?
Speaking of Monty Python, the gods who are trying to escape the gates of the Underworld/Afterlife/whatever have messengers. Messengers who appear as balls of light and BOOM out demands in a way that was vaguely reminiscent of God appearing in the clouds to send Arthur on his quest to find the holy grail . . .
Except in Monty Python and the Holy Grail it was funny.
Not so much here. Just one more silly thing to throw on top of the heap of silly things. Silly things like repeating the same sentiments over and over again . . .
Ellie and Collin didn’t exactly get off to a great start, so Collin suggests they start over. Only that start didn’t go so well either, so Collin suggests they begin anew. Only that beginning . . .
Yeah, that happened at least four times. In fact, it happened every, single day until they started having sex, so apparently that was what Collin thought of as “the right foot.” And I lost count of the times he asked her if she was an angel or an enchantress<——P-U-K-E.
GAH, I just really, really hate this book. Patio furniture is more entertaining than Ellie, and probably smarter too. Collin is detestable, until suddenly, he’s the perfect, doting boyfriend, and the plot is so predictable that I could have stopped reading halfway in, and still have been able to tell you EXACTLY what was going to happen. Not recommended.