|Book 1 in The Curse Keepers|
The Curse Keepers by Denise Grover Swank
I received this book from NetGalley for an honest review.
This is one of those books that gave me a physical reaction around the end. The only reason I gave it 4.5 stars instead of 5 is because of how slowly it started off. I was annoyed with Ellie and Collin at first. Ellie's blatant refusal to believe in the curse was annoying at first but I grew to accept it.
Okay, I love this book. It's definitely gone on my favorites shelf. What I love about it is the absolute uniqueness of it. I've never read anything like it. It's urban fantasy, one of my favorite genres, but it's a completely different take on the urban fantasy/paranormal world. This story focuses on the Lost Colony of Roanoke. As many people know, the colony literally disappeared off the face of the earth. I've only read one other series, Blue Bloods, that worked with the mystery. This was ten times better.
In this version, the colony and the evil spirits were locked away behind a gate. It's basically what we would consider Hell. The Croatoan Native American, Manteo, locked the spirits and gods away with the help of Ananias Dare. The colony also gets sent behind the gates. It was a huge sacrifice and it is the reason that the colony disappeared. It's said that when the two Curse Keepers meet, the gates will open and they will have seven days to close it again.
Ellie is the current Dare Curse Keeper. She used to believe but when her mother died, she forgot everything and refused to relearn the everything she needed to know about being a Curse Keeper. Her mother didn't believe and she basically locked away her memories. It broke her father's heart because he was the Curse Keeper before her and she needed to know everything he knew. When all hell literally breaks loose, she can no longer go to him for answers because he has Alzheimer's. In the end, she does get her memories back and in a fantastic way. I love her character and her power.
Then we have Collin. He is the Manteo Curse Keeper. He's the typical smokin'
hot guy who is also a womanizer. He doesn't really care about anyone except himself. He's really an asshole in the beginning of the book and I seriously just wanted to punch him most of the time. But he is the Curse Keeper who knows the ceremony to close the gates and they need each other to close them. He's super secretive and he untrustworthy. Stupid gorgeous asshole. I love him and I hate him.
What's also great about this book is the multiple mysteries and plot lines. They aren't confusing and they add to the story. It's like Swank throws in real life with the fantasy. We get normal characters and real world problems. Ellie is broke and the family is is almost in foreclosure. Ellie also has a great best friend, Claire, and she adds to the story as well. I think it's a great little departure from the usual urban fantasies. I'll say it again, it's unique.
The ending. Oh my goodness the ending. I saw it coming but still. It was so intense and so heartbreaking and just, ah. I won't spoil it but it's just so hard to read. I seriously wanted to scream at Ellie and Collin. It was a really good ending and it set up a great story arc for the next book.
So far this seems to be a trilogy with three short stories. I'm definitely going to read the short story and I'm jumping into the The Curse Breakers as soon as I can. This is a definite recommend. Read it!!
If you want to read more about the series visit Denise Grover Swank's website and the Curse Keepers website.