Thursday, March 28, 2013

Review: Sealed With A Curse by Cecy Robson

Sealed With A Curse
(Weird Girls #1)
Cecy Robson
Release: December 31, 2012
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Celia Wird and her three sisters are just like other twenty-something girls—with one tiny exception: They're the products of a curse that backfired and gave each of them unique powers that make them, well, a little weird…

The Wird sisters are content to avoid the local vampires, werebeasts, and witches of the Lake Tahoe region—until one of them blows up a vampire in self-defense. Everyone knows vampires aren't aggressive, and killing one is punishable by death. But soon more bloodlust-fueled attacks occur, and the community wonders if the vampires of Tahoe are plague-ridden.

Celia reluctantly agrees to help Misha, the handsome leader of an infected vampire family. But Aric, the head of the werewolf pack determined to destroy Misha's family to keep the area safe, warns Celia to stay out of the fight. Caught between two hot alphas, Celia must find a way to please everyone, save everyone, and—oh, yeah—not lose her heart to the wrong guy or die a miserable death. Because now that the evil behind the plague knows who Celia is, he's coming for her and her sisters.

This Wird girl has never had it so tough.

Sealed With A Curse is a light urban fantasy about a set of sisters with unusual paranormal abilities. While the characters are all likable and the skeleton of the plot is great, there are some bumps along the way here that made it hard for me to thoroughly enjoy this one.

The main character is Celia, the eldest sister, and her abilities include shapeshifting into a tigress and morphing down into the floor and reappearing in another location (think The Secret World of Alex Mack). While these are both cool abilities, we find out later in the book that she also morphs against her own will into any other animal that she touches. Why? This is one of my biggest problem with this otherwise affable book. If I had to describe my complaints in one word it would be this: convenience. I felt like abilities were popping out of thin air among the sisters, as though a situation would arise and the author would change or augment someone's abilities in order to meet the situation. And one power had nothing to do with another.

Shayna's ability to create new items from wood or metal confused me. She could hold a toothpick and turn it into a freaking wooden ax out of nowhere. Emme had the power to heal people, but later in the story she puts a force field around people and carries them through the air. And I honestly don't even think I understood what Taryn's powers were. I just had a hard time suspending my disbelief and getting fully into the story because I was so focused on all these weird abilities. And this is coming from someone who reads about vampires, werewolves, witches, and mystical creatures on a daily basis!

The reason these details tripped me up so much is because I really wanted to like the book. Celia is a good character and she's smart and protective of her family. I wanted to like her story! The thing about superpowers and paranormal abilities is that everyone can't have everything they need in a story. There needs to be conflict in order to create a sense of drama and excitement - the understanding that even though these characters are amazingly powerful, they still can't fix everything every time. That doesn't work if characters can do everything.

I did enjoy the battle scenes in the book, despite being continually baffled by the sisters' abilities. The scenes were fast paced and well written and I greatly appreciate both of those things in a good fight scene. I would definitely say that the action was better than the romance, which is typical of urban fantasy, but I like my urban fantasy to have a little more romance in it

I liked the men in Sealed With A Curse, Misha the vampire and Aric the werewolf. They were each delicious and fun in their own way and I kept going back and forth as to who I was rooting for. I think Aric won out in the end, because we got to see him in more romantic situations with Celia, and he is a sexy, growly werewolf after all. The romance is light, however, the next book still focuses on Celia so I'm sure we will continue to see romance and a relationship of some sort develop.

The sisters certainly have their own personalities in this series, but often their traits are told through dialogue instead of shown through actions. Some of the dialogue was even a little awkward and the humor sometimes too silly. My hope for book two is that the characterization of the whole cast of characters gets stronger and more in-depth, and that each sister gets fleshed out a little better.

I know it probably sounds like I hated this book, but I did enjoy the overall feel of it and gave it three stars. I will most likely read the second one, if only to see where the romance goes and to also find out if everyone gets more developed. I just won't be running out to the book store on release day.

Recommended for fans of: light urban fantasy, family issues, vampires and werewolves, and every supernatural ability under the sun.

  3 / 5 stars

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