Review: Tiger’s Curse by Colleen Houck

January 26, 2010, Posted by Lisa at 9:34 am
Tigers Curse by Colleen Houck

Tiger's Curse by Colleen Houck

It’s likely you haven’t heard of this book until now. There is no marketing team assigned to create buzz or sell this story to the masses. It’s all word of mouth at this point and I’m glad I heard the word myself because this is a GOOD book! The story is exciting and fresh. Romantic and adventurous. Self-published Colleen Houck has a brilliant, vivid imagination that sold me on her abilities as an author.

Teenage Kelsey is looking to save money for college by taking on a temporary job. As fate would have it she is placed as a temp for a circus that made a stop near her home in a small Oregon town. The main attraction at the circus is Dhiren, the fierce yet regal white tiger from India. Kelsey is intrigued by the tiger and begins working with his trainer and learning about the animal and species in general. She and Dhiren quickly develop a bond.

Soon a mysterious businessman comes to buy the tiger and return to India with him. Kelsey is given the opportunity to travel with the tiger as his caretaker and see that he arrives at his destination. But the journey  doesn’t go quite the way she had expected. She soon finds herself in an unfamiliar country stranded with a white tiger in the middle of nowhere and learns that her tiger is actually an Indian prince under a centuries old curse. Kelsey is the only human being with the ability to bring about the end of the curse but it isn’t an easy task.

Kelsey’s journey with Dhiren leads them through the jungles and ruins of India with fast paced adventure and danger, and even love.

The prologue grabbed me right away. I was ready to rock after the great lead-in but chapter one had me second guessing my enthusiasm. I trudged through the first two chapters although they did get progressively better. I found the extensive background and character development of Kelsey to be overkill. I just wanted to get on with the story. I got that she was just the average teen girl right away and didn’t need so many paragraphs with inner monologue to describe just how plain she was. Watching the bond develop between Kelsey and Dhiren (or Ren, as she calls him) while she worked at the circus is where the story grabbed me and didn’t let me go.

The chapters are entrenched in the rich culture, history, mythology, and imagery of India. The exotic setting only enhances the deliciously romantic scenes. The book is as romantic as it is adventurous. Ren has the potential to have legions of drooling girls and women everywhere dreaming of him — but the kicker is his equally gorgeous and charming brother, Kishan, also vying for Kelsey’s affections. Look out! (And don’t be too quick to pick your team early on.)

A reputable publishing company needs to get a hold of this amazing story to smooth out the rough edges and re-title(!) it to make it more marketable to the YA/Adult audience. It could easily be the next big thing. And would make a great movie.

I am dying to get book two. Kudos on this self-published debut novel. Self publishing may not be looked upon very well in the publishing world but this is one diamond in the rough that definitely deserves a chance at being polished and proudly displayed!

–Lisa Hansen

Currently have 10 Comments

  1. Pixie says:

    Great review lisa. I will have to add this book to my list.

  2. Elizabeth Finlay says:

    True: the prologue grabs the reader, then the first two chapters are like druging through, but that’s only because we know that something special about the tiger. We know (somewhat) what to anticipate. SO….it makes waiting and reaching that point even harder; however, in some respects, I feel the need that the background information was given and established the characters and where they are coming from, etc.

    Retitling the book would be like being forced to change one’s name. The title should stay, or at least, that is what I have to say. I think the title is – in essence – what the story is really about. Yes: it could use some refining/editing/etc. – not saying it’s perfect – but I think some are being a bit too critical. Remember, she was rejected by just about everyone and anyone…

    But: to each his own.

  3. admin says:

    A title change may sound drastic however, it is very common for editors to change titles to improve the marketability of the book to the targeted audience thus improving the author’s chances at success.

    If Little, Brown had published best selling author, Stephenie Meyer’s original work as it was when she was signed, the world would have only known one novel called Forever Dawn.

  4. camille ricks says:

    where is the audio version of this book? I love to read but don’t have time and so I have to read through audio books. I am waiting–not so patiently.

  5. Joe Kepes says:

    I found this book in the Y/A section at my library and recommended it to my friends. The book is great and I agree fully with what Lisa said about how the first two chapters could have been a little bit better

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