Sealed with a Curse by Cecy Robson
Series: Weird Girls #1
Published by Signet
Published on: December 31st 2012
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Werewolves
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Celia reluctantly agrees to help Misha, the handsome leader of an infected vampire family. But Aric, the head of the werewolf pack determined to destroy Misha's family to keep the area safe, warns Celia to stay out of the fight. Caught between two hot alphas, Celia must find a way to please everyone, save everyone, and—oh, yeah—not lose her heart to the wrong guy or die a miserable death. Because now that the evil behind the plague knows who Celia is, he's coming for her and her sisters.
Sealed with a Curse deviates wildly. Characterizations (often caricatures) fly at you. The fight scenes (so many fight scenes, you would think this was Fight Club) are messy, confusing, and almost always nearly deadly. You get that extra mile of tension because Celia, unlike any good were at all, cannot heal herself, so she must depend on Emme, her younger sister and designated healer. The other two sisters, Shayna and Taran, can sharpen wood and metals magically to incredible levels of sharpness and summon flares, respectively. This does feel a lot like X-(wo)men.
Thrown on top of that, vampires and were-everything (literally, mentions of wererhinoceros, wereracoons, and wereweasels to name a few memorable ones) cause the major problems in this world. As always they have hottie representatives. In the vamp corner, we have Misha, a classy and savvy businessman. And in the other, Aric, a werewolf teacher with a sinful, ever-on smile.
Thankfully, it’s the vampires who cannot hold their hierarchy together this book. Many are suffering from an inexplicably strong case of bloodlust, which makes them super-strong and ever more dumb, the hungrier they get. This central plot does not gel with the four different romances, all going on at once as Taran, Shayna, and Emme all gracefully find weremates that just so happen to serve Aric.
I will say a good enough job is done of the characterizations/caricatures that one will never confuse a name and a special ability. All the sisters’ dialogue is immediately recognizable, as is their mates. This alone is fairly commendable. Although the fight scenes are as I have said “all over the place”, the sheer surprise factor of how far they go and how brutal they get, makes them entertaining, if a teensy bit dizzying.
The ending cannot be well defended. It gives no closure or confirmation to any, and I mean any, of the many plotlines. Of course, due to this sudden closure, it has the unexpected effect of making everything that had appeared before a drawn-out fever dream, as if Celia had been suffering from a strange bit of Celia-specific bloodlust herself. I really like this idea, albeit certainly unintended.
|Recommended:||For whirlwind romance & action|
|Like this, like that:||The Horngate Witches series by Diana Pharaoh Francis and the Lone Star Witch series by Tessa Adams|
Go read war and peace. You obviously don’t get a great urban fantasy series. This book and its follow ups are really fun, well written and page turners.
Well, Fang, I happen to enjoy urban fantasy reads. This one included. I am sorry that you felt a three star review was negative or that War and Peace is the model for great literature. There are plenty of elegant and well-paced urban fantasy reads as there are plenty of jarring and diffuse works of great literature. Personally I found Sealed with a Curse to be lacking in some details that I would have wanted but this is not to say that it might not appeal to someone with warmer blood than I. That is why there is a written portion of my review in which I try to describe the feeling it gives in addition to the paw rating. I hope you enjoy War and Peace as it sounds like you either have already read it and enjoyed it or will soon read it.
Actually, War and Peace is a big snoozefest. That was my point. Which went over your head I guess. Sealed With a Curse on the other hand is fast paced, hilarious, highly entertaining and anything but a snoozefest so I just assumed war and peace would be more to your liking. I think your dismissing your review as not negative because you labeled it as three paws is delusional. It’s certainly not a positive review. In fact I noticed that most other bloggers and reviewers have highly praised the book (i.e., publisher’s weekly, USA today, romantic times, fresh fiction, book chick city, paranormal cravings, night owl reviews, etc. just to name a few). Also, it has over 1000 reviews on goodreads, so most readers are really digging it and telling others they should read it too. Which is probably how you heard of it. I’ve read the second book in the series, A Cursed Embrace, and that is one of the best second books in a series that I’ve ever read. It’s a rollercoaster ride and takes readers through a full gamut of emotions. I’m a little passionate about this series I admit because it’s really the first urban fantasy series that I’ve liked in along time. I was actually getting a little board with the perfect heroine story line that seemed to be dominating the genre. Where most of the heroines were invincible and rather one dimensional. Robson’s Weird Girls series introduces flawed characters who have human qualities and insecurities that we can identify with. I love the characters, the world building, the action, the humor; it’s all really well done. Which is why I disagree with your take on the book and also why I can’t wait for book three, Cursed By Destiny, to release in January.
I am glad you feel so passionate about the book. I will, regardless of the supposed negativity of this review, be continuing my reading of the series. Two things you might want to keep in mind: a) something not positive is not necessarily negative and b) not everybody sits down with a book to be barreled along a rollercoaster. So if reading is either, according to your schema, a snoozefest or a rollercoaster, I would opt for the former since it better eases me to sleep. But, of course, as I suggested in my first point, just because a book is not a rollercoaster ride does not mean it is a snoozefest. You may want to consider that at the time of War and Peace‘s release I am sure it was deemed something closer to a rollercoaster of a book since their idea of page-turning and slow-paced were very different from ours. In our present age it has been comfortably absorbed into snoozefest literature but my precise point is that it has not always been this way. As far as Weird Girls is concerned, as I said in my previous post my blood is not warm and often I do not like my head tossed about, thus the three stars. Happy reading.
Great review Josh! Even though it’d seemed that I enjoyed this a little more than you did, I totally get your point 🙂
Lol on your reply to Fang.
I agree with Loupe, I did enjoy this better than you did but I do agree with some points that you mentioned. It was quite a challenge keeping tabs with all the characters because there’s a LOT of them and at some point it was dizzying especially during the fight scenes.