Friday, December 30, 2011

Tiger's Curse by Colleen Houck

iconiconI've had some spare time lately, so I've been catching up on my reading. I've been flying through books, as you can probably tell by all the reviews that have gone up in the last week, and for the most part I've loved everything I've read.  I'm afraid Tiger's Curse is an exception.

First of all, I can't say that I hated the book, but I did have some issues with it — more than my usual, I must say.  I'm typically a pretty easy reader to please: I like most of what I read, and have a fairly easy time suspending disbelief (an ability I think you have to be at least decent at in order to enjoy reading fiction).

I really wanted to like Tiger's Curse.  The book was originally self-published, and was picked up by a traditional publisher because of its popularity.  I always like hearing about these sorts of success stories, especially because I intend to self-publish my own novels.

But I don't think Tiger's Curse was a very good example of this kind of success story.  For one thing, it was obvious the book was never edited by the traditional publisher who picked it up — it was riddled with errors.  I'm pretty sure the author has absolutely no idea how a comma should actually be used, or when a phrase in a sentence should be bracketed by commas on either end (something she frequently neglected to do).  There were other errors, too, to the point of distracting me from enjoying the novel.

Perhaps I could have overlooked the errors if the story was so amazing I hardly had time to pay attention to them...  But alas, this was not the case.  For one thing, I don't believe the author has ever had the difference between "showing" and "telling" explained to her.  There was far too much of the latter for good, compelling storytelling.  Also, the characters were weak and changeable, and their motives were not always solid.  The main character especially started out the novel as a strong, believable heroine; but then halfway through the novel, the author apparently decided she and the main love interest were getting together too fast, and suddenly turned Kelsey into a wishy-washy, whiny girl with low self-esteem — characteristics that had definitely not been present in the first half of the novel.  The other characters were equally unbelievable, such as the grandfather-like servant to the cursed prince — or should I say grandmother-like, even though he was male, because of the way he gabbed with Kelsey?

But there were things I definitely liked.  The fairy tale-like idea of an Indian prince being cursed to remain a tiger is, of course, very unique.  And the author's research into Indian culture, language, history, and geography was impressive (assuming it was all correct, though I have to say that was the one thing I didn't doubt).  I might still pick up the next novel (there are three, so far at least).  Perhaps, if the next one has been edited instead of being published as-is, I will at least be able to relax and enjoy it a little more, rather than getting annoyed with all of the errors!

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