Sad to finish it,
This review is from: The Curse Keepers (Curse Keepers Series) (Paperback)
There's a wall between our world and the world of vengeful spirits. Spirits that have been trapped there for over 400 years, including a couple of wind Gods. They where trapped because of a mistake in a curse laid down by Manteo, one of the Croatoan's and Ananias Dare one of the Lost Colony. Now, that wall is about to come crashing down.
Ellie Lancaster has lived her whole life on Roanoke Island, the site of the mysterious Lost Colony or Roanoke, the Virginia settlement who vanished without a trace in around 1590. Only the descendants of the two men who banished the spirits of an enemy tribe from the material realm know what really happened to the colony. Ellie is one of these descendants, the descendant of Ananias Dare, and a Curse Keeper. Ellie's father took great pains to teach her every aspect of the curse and the responsibilities of it's guardians. He taught her that if the two Curse Keepers meet and touch, the curse will be lifted, and the Native American spirits will be released to seek their revenge. On her. But after Ellie's mother's murder, she forgets all but the base facts.
Ellie's never really believed in the curse, she's always thought it was just folklore. She works as a waitress to make enough money to keep her fathers bed and breakfast afloat and help take care of his nursing needs. But when the darkly handsome but downright infuriating and rude Collin Dailey and realizes everything is true, because when she lays eyes on him, all the air is sucked from the room, and when they touch hands...she can see the gate opening. The curse is real, and Ellie has to learn all of the information she never wanted to know, fight off evil spirits, and avoid the man from Collin's past who's determined to have Ellie. Ellie and Collin must battle their loathing and passion for each other to complete the ceremony to close the gates before the 7 days are up and the gates are left permanently open.
History geek that I am, the Lost Colony has always been a point of interest to me. Probably because it's never been solved, and is therefore fascinating, but also because it's a semi-mystery and I hate mysteries...they need to be solved! There's nothing I love better than these kinds of books, with the history and the romance and the action and the quest. I was eager to get stuck in, and 4 hours later...I was not disappointed.
The mythology surrounding what happened to the Lost Colony, the curse, the role of the curse keepers and all the Native American Gods was totally fascinating. While a lot of it was true, and given in great detail, the parts that weren't true and where pure fabrication, where so totally unique, I instantly fell in love with the book and was hooked.
Right from the first page I was sucked in to Ellie's world, I could picture everything clearly, and the world building was superb. The prose was atmospheric and there where no long rambling parts. Everything was well written and concise. The Curse Keepers is fast paced and has a fantastic flow from chapter to chapter and plot point to plot point.
Ellie I thought, I was a very well written character. She has depth. She's strong, even though she tries to deny what's happening eventually she accepts it, comes in to her own and is ready to kick ass. She's not a perfect protagonist and I love imperfections in characters. She works two jobs, one for free, and has a lot of pain in her past and has to deal with alot. I can sense there's more about Ellie's mother's murder that may have to do with a relation to Collin, the Author has expertly left bread crumbs to future books in the series, subtly and without breaking the flow of the book, or drawing focus off the main point of this first book. Likewise Collin clearly has another side, there's more going on, and he's still a bit of a mystery waiting to be unraveled in a future book.
The romance between the two wasn't the kind of insta-love I hate so much. It was gradual. They hated each other, barely tolerated each other but the banter and flirting was there. The attraction slowly became apparent, and the relationship was slowly built up in to something incredibly adorable. Until Collin had to ruin it. *sigh*
The thing with Curse Keepers is that it's a book in it's own right. It may or may not be a series. There are questions left to be answered, I won't lie to you and the book does end abruptly leaving you wanting more, to know what's going to happen, how Ellie and Collin will reconcile. But Curse Keepers has done what so few books I've reviewed lately have done. It's set the ground work for a series, set the scene, but only as a secondary point to the main plot of the book. The main plot isn't taken away from, we're left with bread crumbs and an explosive ending to set up the scene and the world for the next book. I've read so many books lately that are the first in the series and focus on setting the scene for the series, and that's all the first book is about, it's kind of boring and nothing of note really happens. Not Curse Keepers. Denise Grover Swank is a true master of her craft.
Curse Keepers is fast paced, full of action and has so many plot twists that leave you gasping and wanting more. The ending is a brutal cliffhanger, and I will be in suspense until I get the (hopefully) next book in the series. There's history, mystery, romance, magic and intrigue. There's never a dull moment and the characters jump off the page, and the romance is full of sparks. There's secrets and betrayal and quite honestly...what more could you want from a book?!