Overview Of Tiger’s Curse by Colleen Houck

13 03 2011

So after a few weeks, I finally finished Tiger’s Curse. It took waaay longer then I anticipated. To be honest, it took me a while to get into the story. While the first few chapters gave a little background on the main character, Kelsey, it took a while for the story to get to the infamous tiger. In fact, it wasn’t until chapter 3 that I even got to see (metaphorically speaking) the tiger, whose name is Ren (short for Dhiren). Houck’s details through the eyes of Kelsey were written very well and I could imagine myself at the circus where young Kelsey works.

After a few more chapters of circus-life, the plot finally starts to move when Mr. Kadam comes to buy the tiger and offers Kelsey the opportunity to come with him and Ren and make sure Ren is comfortable in the wildlife reserve. Did I mention that Ren is being shipped off to India??? Yeah. India. And Kelsey is going with them. Pretty surprising considering she is just barely out of high school and has not had the proper training with tigers, but the whole ‘bond’ thing is what makes her the prime candidate. I’m sure you all know that the tiger is actually a guy right? I knew it the moment she heard of the job and was waiting for a long time for Kelsey to find out. I mean, the book is called Tiger’s Curse. If there wasn’t going to be a guy who transformed as a tiger, I would definitely call it false advertising.

So the overall love plot of the book was not very surprising. I was able to anticipate the KelseyXRen thing in no time. Plus, it’s an added bonus that Ren is like an Indian God where looks are concerned. I wouldn’t expect less from our heroic Prince of India. Oh yeah, he is a prince. And about 400 years old. Pretty old. But hot. So its okay. And of course, he is head over heels in love with Kelsey by the tenth chapter. No surprise there. There were some scenes that were literally a few feet from crossing the line to one of the adult romance novels. (I mean, have you ever noticed that those books involve Sheiks? I saw a good 5 books that had ‘sheik’ in the title).

Back to the book at hand. Its the basic, girls meets tiger. Tiger is boy. Girl helps boy break curse. They fall in love. etc. etc. Nah, its not that simple. Instead of the easy head-over-heels-will-do-anything-to-keep-him heroine, Kelsey surprised me by resisting Ren and keeping her feelings locked up. The two spent a good part of the second half getting all lovey dovey and then getting made at each other. If you throw in Ren’s younger brother Kishan (who is one of the reasons the curse is on both of them), it brought some interesting kind of love triangles. I enjoyed reading about Ren’s jealousy and protectiveness of Kelsey. Though, Ren did practically force himself on Kelsey half the time. Oh yeah, Ren has a time limit to being human. Only 24 minutes per day. Then he’s a tiger again.

Lets step away from the whole love and relationship aspect of the story and focus on the whole point of it: breaking the curse. So Kelsey is apparently the favored one of a Hindi goddess, Durga. She is also the only one who can help Ren and Kadam break the curse. So they get Durga’s prophecy (which included going through a secret underground path and nearly get impaled by spikes, attacked by insects, drowned, and burned by hot liquid). Then she finds out she has to get four gifts to offer Durga in order to break the curse. She has to seek Durga’s blessing before she begins the journey. Doing so, a statue of the goddess and her faithful tiger (coincidence?) come to life and give Kelsey a type of Hindi club and the queen of all snakes (which turns into an arm bracelet). The snake is supposed to help them when they need to find the right path.

So after a couple chapters, they set off to this ancient city Hanuman, where they are to seek the golden fruit of India (the first gift). After going through needle trees, they finally reach the temple and Kelsey deals with her feelings for Ren and his continuous attempts of hitting on her. They fight, and though both are angry, head to the temple of Hanuman and get the golden fruit (which is a mango). When Kelsey gets the fruit, she has a vision of Mr. Kadam and another man. All three of them have parts of an ancient amulet with extraordinary powers. (forgot to mention that Mr. Kadam got it waaaay back when Ren was still fully human and the amulet has kept him alive and slowed his aging considerably). Turns out, the other guy is the evil sorcerer who put the curse on Ren And Kishan.

So Kelsey falls unconscious for a bit, but then her and Ren have to run away from Monkeys, the Kappa (which are underwater vampires), and the needle forest. Kelsey is bit by a stray Kappa and is nearly drained, but Ren saves her. She’s out for two days and finally wakes up, only to have another fight with Ren. They share one deep romantic kiss before leaving the place and return to Mr. Kadam. Forgot to mention that the entire time they were in Hanuman, Ren could stay human without needing to turn into a tiger (unless it was necessary).

So Kelsey gets mad at Ren and ignores him for most of the remaining part of the book. She finally decides to head home until Mr. Kadam has the next part of the prophecy figured out. She leaves a heart-broken Ren behind in India and returns to her home in Oregon. Returning home, she is surprised to see that not only has Mr. Kadam bought her a new house and car, but has already signed her up for classes at an Oregon University. And not only for one semester, but for the next as well. Lucky girl.

So the book basically ends with Kelsey missing Ren and regretting leaving a little bit. She’s questioning Ren’s feelings for her and wondering if she should open her heart to him or not. She’s afraid that now t hat he is human for six hours a day (a plus for getting the first gift) he will return to society and fall for more beautiful girls then her. (That was one of the main reasons for their fighting, by the way.) And the prologue hints at the evil sorcerer preparing to kidnap Kelsey and take her part of the amulet. His men apparently figure out where she is at the end of the prologue.

So yeah, that’s basically how book one ends. I assume that there will be at least 3 more books. One for each gift. And maybe one more after that. Just in case they don’t break the book after the 4th book. I give the book a 4 out of 5 star rating. The story took a while to get going, but once it finally did, I couldn’t put it down.

Up next is Paranormalcy by Kiersten White so be on the look out!





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