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I Belong


Review: Shadow’s Curse by Alexa Egan

Shadow's CurseTitle: Shadow’s Curse

Author: Alexa Egan

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Series: Imnada Brotherhood (Book #2)

Publication Date: September 24, 2013

Format: Paperback, 384 Pages

ISBN-10: 1451672926 (Simon & Schuster)

ISBN-13: 978-1451672923 (Simon & Schuster)

Reviewed by: Steph

Synopsis:

The second novel in the dark and sexy Imnada Brotherhood trilogy featuring shape-shifters in Regency-era England.

Suffering under a horrible curse and renounced by his clan, the Imnada shape-shifter, David St. Leger, stalks the London nights in the form of a large black wolf, channeling his desperate rage on thieves and murderers. But when he’s captured by the very woman he sought to rescue, he’s thrown into the magical and dangerous world of the Other—half human, half-Fey, and one of the Imnada’s ancient enemies.

Forced by her half-brother to use her gift of necromancy as a money-making scheme, Callista Hawthorne wants only to flee to her aunt in Scotland where she’ll be safe. Considering David her last hope, she offers him a deal—freedom in exchange for his protection on the long journey north.

Now in a race for their lives, Other and Imnada must put aside centuries of animosity and work together if they are to overcome the dark forces intent on stopping them before they reach safety. For Callista is far more powerful than she knows, and with her help and her love, David may finally be able to break the curse of the Imnada…

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.

Excerpt: Yes

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.”

Imnada Brotherhood Series:

0.5 Awaken the Curse

1. Demon’s Curse

1.5 Unleash the Curse

2. Shadow’s Curse

3. Warrior’s Curse

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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.

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