Review: Tiger’s Curse by Colleen Houck

October 4, 2015 Review 48

Review: Tiger’s Curse by Colleen Houck
Tiger's Curse by Colleen Houck
(Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository)

Publisher: Splinter
Source: Purchased
Pages: 402
Release Date: January 11th 2011
Series: The Tiger Saga #1
Genres: Action & Adventure, Fantasy & Magic, General, Love & Romance, Young Adult
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.

Tiger’s Curse is the exciting first volume in an epic fantasy-romance that will leave you breathless and yearning for more.

I wanted to love The Tiger Saga so much. I own every single book in the series but I think I’ll be stopping at TIGER’S CURSE. This book was so disappointing, it had a great premise but all of that was ruined in the execution.

One of my main problems (I had a lot of them) was with the main character Kelsey. She felt like every other YA protagonist out there who gets picked as the chosen one to go on a magical quest. Bland. Overused. Predictable.

I never connected with her, probably because I wouldn’t travel the world alone with a strange older man and dangerous animal that could kill you, nor do I have the desire to. She’s definitely not personable, and she doesn’t really have any traits besides that she trusts people too easily and can be extremely annoying.

“The charitable thing to do would be to make myself as homely looking as possible, which would probably make it much easier on him, but I didn’t want his parting memories of me to be that I was a frumpy mess dressed in tomboy clothes. I do have some feminine pride after all. I still want him to squirm. At least a little.”

Still, she is tolerable until she falls head over heels in love with tiger boy number one (there’s two, did you expect this not to have a love triangle?) which starts an endless cycle of back and forth where she pushes him away and is a total shrew to him, only to kiss him and encourage him two pages later.

“But it won’t work out.” I finished. There, it was out.
Ren looked confused. “Why not?”
“Because I’m too attracted to you.”
“I don’t understand what you are saying. How can your being attracted to me be a problem? I would think that’s a good thing.”
“For normal people… it is,” I stated.
“So I’m not normal?”
“No. Let me explain it this way. It’s like this… a starving man would gladly eat a radish, right? In fact, a radish would be a feast if that’s all he had. But if he had a buffet in front of him, the radish would never be chosen.”
Ren paused for a moment. “I don’t get it. What are you saying?”
“I’m saying…I’m the radish.”
“And what am I? The buffet?”
I tried to explain it further. “No…you’re the man. Now…I don’t really want to be the radish. I mean, who does? But I’m grounded enough to know what I am, and I am not a buffet. I mean, you could be having chocolate éclairs for heaven’s sake.”
“But not radishes.”

what the heck

Tiger boy one and two are definitely no prize either, their behavior is creepy and a little obsessive, and the romance is fairly close to insta-love. Prepare for cheesy eye-rolling scenes and terrible sexual innuendos that will make you cringe.

I do have to give props for the research the author probably put into the novel, but it was kind of overkill.  These sections are unbearably tedious and long yet still manage to not be descriptive or informational. I would have rather had time dedicated to fleshing out characters and actually developing the romance.

And how can someone smell like a waterfall and a warm summer day? Fish and sweat?

Not for me.
Rating Report
Overall: 1.2

48 Responses to “Review: Tiger’s Curse by Colleen Houck”

  1. Bec

    I have no idea how I managed to complete this series, because I think it only went more downhill as it went on. I can’t remember, but I think book two was probably the peak? The Indian mythology was the only interesting thing about it because everything else seemed to be romance and too much description.

    • Alise

      Yeah, I remember talking to you about that. I initially thought the Indian mythology was interesting but then it got a little overwhelming and by that point I had lost interest.

  2. Clodagh

    My friends who’ve read it LOVED IT so I thought I might too. I gave up a couple of chapters in. One of these friends is Indian and she said the Hindi didn’t make sense, that no-one speaks like that. You’d think the writer or editor would check something like that. Maybe the movie will be better but I doubt I’ll be seeing it considering I didn’t even finish the book.
    Clodagh recently posted…New blog theme

    • Alise

      I’ve also read that in other reviews, that some of the cultural things were off. There’s a movie coming? Seriously? *sighs*

  3. Vane J.

    I made the decision of not reading this book long ago. The cover and the promise of Indian mythology were so damn compelling, but I had already read too many negative reviews complaining on exactly the same things you did, and it’s not as if I enjoy reading books I’m sure I will hate, so… nope. Will you read Houck’s new book? The one about Egypt? I won’t read that one either. I’ve heard it’s too ignorant on the culture.
    Vane J. recently posted…Review: The Uninvited

    • Alise

      Reawakened I think it’s called? Nope, I’ve heard it has the same issues and basic plot this one has, and like you, I’ve also heard it’s off with the cultural aspects.

  4. Mari - Escape In A Book

    I read Tiger’s Curse back in 2011, and I did enjoy it, but I put away the second installment because everything about it annoyed me to no end. It is Twilight in a different wraping. When I read your review I wonder how on earth I could have enjoyed this one, but I did back then. I noted some pet peeves though, so I didn’t buy it all line, hook and sinker(in my defense ;)):
    “Kelsey, our heroin, states time and time again how handsome her crush is(a bit like Bella in Twilight).

    Kelsey putting herself down during the last 100 pages or so – very annoying.

    A few bits of unnecessary information which I wonder why is in the novel at all.”
    Mari – Escape In A Book recently posted…Debut of the year? Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

    • Alise

      “It is Twilight in a different wrapping.” This. And YES, Kelsey’s attitude, one minute she was like I’m too plain and undeserving to be with him and then she’s like Oh I better look good so he can see what he is missing. UGH.

  5. Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews

    I’ve always had my doubts about getting into this series…which is probably why my copy of the the first book here is lying unread on my bookshelf. Like you, I really do want to like it, but I have a feeling I won’t. No, scratch that. I HAD a feeling I wouldn’t but now with reading your review here and those TRULY cringe-worthy excerpts, I’m now entirely sure that me and this book would NOT get along O.O In fact, I wish I could ‘obliviate’ my memories right now, so I can’t imagine what you’re going through *hug* Thanks for sharing your thoughts though^^ ♥
    Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews recently posted…Stacking the Shelves *49*

    • Alise

      I thought I would like this one so it’s even more disappointing. Aha, can’t blame you. *hug* Thanks, it was a tough one. Sure :D

  6. Lola

    I hate that feeling when you’re excited for a book and it just falls flat. That’s a shame the main character is so cliché and predictable and then there’s a love triangle too, ugh. I can see why you won’t continue the series. The idea of the tigers does sound cool though. Seems like this book would’ve worked better if there was some build-up to the romance.
    Lola recently posted…Spook-Tacular Event

    • Alise

      It really is a shame, especially since I have all the books *sobs* The tiger aspect was the initial draw for me, but even that took sort of an odd turn, like the main character just immediately had a “special connection” to this tiger and felt like she could trust it. Idek.

    • Alise

      Yep :( I have learned to read the first book before I go out and buy the whole series *awkward laughter* No worries, thanks :)

  7. Laura @ Ink Stains and Books

    Oh boy, I read this book and was hoping to love it so much too, but then I just noped out of the whole thing. It was too telling and I agree with you Kelsey was just annoying and too cookie cutter for my taste.
    And Ren, don’t get me started on Ren and his obsessive behavior. It had so much potential, but it fell short on so many aspects.
    Laura @ Ink Stains and Books recently posted…ARC REVIEW: A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston

    • Alise

      It’s good to find someone who felt the same! Yeah, she was just pretty bland and unremarkable. Ren AND his brother, whatever Tiger Boy Number Two’s name was. I couldn’t agree more.

  8. Romi

    Aah, Alise? You sent me into a hysterical coughing fit when I read that quote and then saw your reaction. I had to go and get water. It was really quite awful, how much I laughed. And- completely true- I find it unfair that the girl is saying such things because some people love radishes. I WOULD BE PICKING THE RADISH. Although… by the sounds of it, if she were the radish representation, I wouldn’t want to be picking her, because she doesn’t seem all that nice. Also, tiger boys? I’m not sure I should even go there.
    That quote, though. I wasn’t sure if she was saying he was the radish and “hey, I have all these other hotter guys to choose from, radish” or what. It was really confusing. Basically, that quote will live with me forever.

    Sorry this wasn’t quite as ace as it could’ve been. RADISH.
    Romi recently posted…Mini reviews (15)

    • Alise

      Ahaha, now you have ME laughing! That’s so true, though. I’d also probably pick the radish, especially if the radish was the opposite of whatever Tiger Boy Number One was. You really shouldn’t, it’s even weirder than it sounds.

      She was saying she was the radish and why would he want a radish? I think. Maybe. Baha, I’m glad someone else will have this burned into their brain.


  9. Melliane

    Ah yes it’s something really complicated when you can’t connect with the main character like that… I hope your next book is better.

  10. Meg Mahaley

    Concisely put, Alise, and also answered a question I have had since trying to find a way to creatively shelve and re-shelve these books — all nonreturnable — in the book store where I used to work: Why are these beautiful books not selling? So … just not that good. But hey, maybe Ren is actually the radish? Thanks for saving the rest of us the heartache.

  11. Cait @ Paper Fury

    Omg I am reading this right now and EXACTLY YES TO ALL YOUR FEELINGS. *walks into a brick wall* Whyyyy is this book so cheesy?!! And the dialogue is, so far (I’m like 60% through) SO stilted and unnatural. And I still don’t know why Kelsey is a special snowflake anyway. I was growling at the part where she asked the butler/dude to tell her a story about a “damsel” in Indian folklore. A DAMSEL. She specifically asked for that and then swooned as he told her about this girl who was pathetic and got rescued by a prince. WOMAN. YOU SHAME FEMINISTS ALL OVER THE UNIVERSE.
    But I like tigers so this is saddening me. :((((
    Cait @ Paper Fury recently posted…Please Let Me Eat A Raw Octopi Instead of Being Exposed To These Heinous Bookish Annoyances

    • Alise

      *pats Cait’s shoulder* I feel you, I feel you. RIGHT? She’s a white American girl and SHE’S chosen to break an Indian curse? There were so many things like that which made me mad. I like tigers too, I tried to separate them in my mind saying that Tiger Boys One and Two weren’t really tigers but people, haha. If you review this, let me know! :)

  12. Anissa

    Oh my god this sounds so awful, I actually had to re-read that quote about radishes. DAFUQ indeed hahaha. I considered purchasing this book a few months back but thankfully never did and never will. I hate instalove, although I do love a well done love triangle! xD
    Anissa recently posted…Review: End of Days by Susan Ee

    • Alise

      Right? I had to reread it a few times myself, and then share it with my friends and family haha. My dad was like “Are you serious?” Nothing good about in the romance in this one for me, at all. I also like a good love triangle though!

  13. Olivia

    Ouchie… this one doesn’t sound like a good read. I have heard things about this author’s latest book, Reawakened, but nothing about this series lately. I have heard of it before, but I don’t think I will be embarking on it. I am a character driven reader and if I don’t like the character than usually the whole book falls apart for me. It sounds like this series would be one of those cases.
    Olivia recently posted…The Silver Linings Playbook (Review)

    • Alise

      I’ve heard mixed things about Reawakened, some say it’s better, some say it’s Tiger’s Curse all over again. I probably won’t be checking it out either. Yeeeeeep.

    • Alise

      The summary definitely drew me in as well (obviously, since I bought all four books *sobs*) but yeah, disappointing. Sure! :)

  14. Mallory @ The Leaning Tower of Tomes

    I’ve read the first two books in the series. And they’re so bad they’re good, imo. They’re pretty ridiculous and I hate Kelsey and the love triangle is stupid and all everything is so illogical. In book 2 things get REEEEALLY insane. I almost couldn’t deal. These books enraged me but at the same time I couldn’t stop reading them. I totally understand and agree with everything you’ve said. But I kind of want to finish the series just to see how all the craziness plays out and get a good laugh. ;)
    Mallory @ The Leaning Tower of Tomes recently posted…Mini-Reviews — The Wicked + the Divine, Vol. 1: The Faust Act and Saga, Volumes 2, 3, and 4

    • Alise

      Aha, I know what you mean, I have series like that where I’ve gone through the same thing. Hey, if you’re enjoying them I say go for it! :)

  15. Kelly

    I’ve never read the trilogy, and after the I had the dubious (really, really dubious) pleasure of listening to the audiobook of Reawakened, I don’t think I’ll be picking up anything else by Colleen Houck.
    Kelly recently posted…Audiobook Review: Reawakened

    • Alise

      I can’t blame you, I don’t think I will be either. Especially since hearing of the similarities between the two.

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