Wednesday, August 1, 2012

AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: Tiger's Curse by Colleen Houck

Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1)
Title:  Tiger's Curse
Author:  Colleen Houck
Narrator:  Annika Boras, Sanjiv Jahveri
Series:  Tiger Saga (#1)
Length:  15 hours, 45 minutes
Publisher:  Sterling Publishing
Date Published:  January 11, 2011
Format:  Audio
Source:  Bought
Buy It:  Amazon or B&N or Audible
Passion. Fate. Loyalty. 

Would you risk it all to change your destiny?

The last thing Kelsey Hayes thought she’d be doing this summer was trying to break a 300-year-old Indian curse. With a mysterious white tiger named Ren. Halfway around the world. But that’s exactly what happened. Face-to-face with dark forces, spellbinding magic, and mystical worlds where nothing is what it seems, Kelsey risks everything to piece together an ancient prophecy that could break the curse forever.
Fave Quote:

“I don't want you to see only a tiger when you look at me. I want you to see me. The man.”

This was a re-read for me, and I think I enjoyed it even more this time around!  This series is one of my absolute favorites, and when I was given the opportunity to read the ARC of Tiger's Destiny (my review)  I knew I was going to have to go back and revisit the entire series.  I'm so glad I did.

In Tiger's Curse Kelsey Hayes has just graduated from high school and she's gotten a temp job working at a circus for the summer before she goes off to college. When she meets the white tiger, Dhiren, who she lovingly nicknames Ren, she's immediately dawn to him. She finds herself spending all of her free time outside the tiger's cage, talking and reading books and poetry to him. She becomes saddened when she thinks about how lonely he must be pent up in a cage for most of his life, and she wishes he could be free. Little does she know the series of events she sets into motion with that wish. The next day a rich man from India, Mr. Kadam, comes to the circus and buys the beautiful white tiger that she's come to think of as "her tiger". He tells her that Ren will be taken to a preserve and released. When Mr. Kadam asks her to accompany Ren to India it doesn't take much persuasion for her to agree.  Along the way Mr. Kadam tells Kelsey the story of two Indian princes, brothers Dhiren and Kishan, who were betrayed by an evil man named Lokesh, and cursed to live their lives as tigers. Kelsey enjoys the story, but it isn't until Ren escapes from his cage, drags her into the jungle and turns into a gorgeous Indian man, that she realizes the story is true. Ren tells her that he is the man from the story and that he only gets 24 minutes a day as a man. And, he needs her help to break the curse. Of course, Kelsey agrees to do whatever it takes to help him, even help him track down Kishan, the brother he hasn't seen in 300 years. 

I love absolutely everything about this book.  First of all I have to comment on the cover!  It is absolutely amazing!!  Everything from the white tiger to the blue hue is full of significance.  It's beautiful!  On to the story... Colleen Houck has an amazing ability to describe every single element of  a story in great detail, but it never feels drawn out or overdone.  It's apparent that she did a ton of research when she created the worlds in which our characters travel.  Her story telling is superb!  All of the characters have very distinct and colorful personalities and are so richly written.  I love the Indian culture, mythology and mystery surrounding the curse.  There are so many little details that I didn't pick up the first time I read Tiger's Curse, and re-reading it made me see so many things differently.  Our villain, Lokesh, is one of the most evil villains I've ever been introduced to.  Not only is he the reason for the curse, but it's immediately clear that he has other plans, too.  He is a bad, bad man, and his dialogue gives me chills!  Mr. Kadam is one of my favorite characters.  He is like a grandfather to Kelsey, and his honor and devotion to the tigers is amazing.  He puts everything he has into helping them break the curse.  Kelsey comes to depend on him in so many ways.  The romance in this book has the ability to make you crazy!  Sometimes it's in a good way...sometimes it's not.  I love the chemistry between Ren and Kelsey!  Ren is the ultimate sweetheart, and he is a romantic at heart.  Kelsey, bless her stupid heart, she can't imagine that someone as wonderful as Ren would actually love her.  There were several times when I wanted to shake her and yell, "Wake up stupid girl!"  Kelsey is an easy character to love, though.  Her self sacrifice alone makes her worthy of my appreciation.  And let's not forget Kishan!  My first reaction to Kishan was very negative.  His back story leaves a lot to be desired.  But when you really get to know him you realize he has tortured himself for over 300 years because of his guilt.  He is very outgoing and flirtatious by nature, and he's easy to fall for.  Yes, a set of swoon-worthy brothers!!  Can't ask for more than that!   This is an absolutely wonderful series, and if you haven't already tried them I highly suggest you do!

Annika Boras is our major narrator for this audiobook, and she does a great job!  Not only does she do Kelsey with her American accent, she also does our Indian men and women and also even a side character that is Chinese!  Each and every character has their own unique voice and they are all done extremely well.  She also puts a lot of emotion into her reading.  This is a great audiobook!

5 * * * * *

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