With the freedom of an entire race hanging in the balance, Evalle has two days to make good on a promise that she suddenly has no hope of fulfilling when demonic Svart Trolls invade Atlanta. She takes a leap of faith, seeking help from the one man who recently put Evalle in his crosshairs-Black Ops specialist Isak Nyght.
While trying to stop the bloody troll-led gang wars, Evalle unwittingly exposes a secret that endangers all she holds dear, and complicates her already tumultuous love life with the mysterious Skinwalker, Storm. But when Evalle discovers she’s the number-one target in the Medb coven’s ruthless plan to destroy all Beladors, the deadly Alterant is forced to make a game-changing decision with no time left on the clock.
I didn’t give this book as much attention as I should have. Not because I didn’t enjoy it, but because I was enjoying something else more (I’ll tell you about it later; I’m still trying to process). This is exactly why I don’t read two books at once, but smarty-pants over here thought she could manage it. After all, I’m not some little kid who can’t focus on more than one thing at a time. Hell, I’m a woman! We multitask. Alas, I’ve embarrassed my gender because I most certainly cannot read more than one book at a time. The reading experience inevitably suffers.
Anyhow… I enjoyed The Curse, the lastest installment in the Belador series. It was much better than Alterant, which felt a little bit… off. Can’t put my finger on what went wrong there, but it didn’t sit quite right. The Curse starts a few weeks after Alterant, and Storm has been missing for that entire time. Evalle has no clue where he is and, to make matters worse, trolls have been involving themselves in human gang wars. VIPER now needs to kill the trolls and keep the humans involved from realising that anything fishy is going on. This makes our favourite Alterant more than a little cranky. If only she knew that Storm was okay, maybe she wouldn’t be so keen on taking her frustrations out on the icky things that are causing chaos in Atlanta.
We last saw Storm being thrown against a wall (really super hard) by Mr Cranky-Pants himself, Sen. Storm very nearly died and Adrianna, a Sterling witch and all-round sex-bomb, has been helping Storm get better. Once Storm is back on his feet, he knows there’s going to be hell to pay. Not only has he been out of contact for nearly three weeks, but he’s spent those weeks stuck in a room with Adrianna. Storm knows Evalle well enough to know that she’s going to flip her lid when she finds out. Once Storm and Evalle sort things out, things go smoothly for about… oh, say, five minutes. The situation with the trolls is making VIPER agents’ lives difficult. These things are damn near impossible to kill, and there’s only one person who has the means to deal with these things effectively.
So, as if things aren’t complicated enough, Isak Nyght is thrown into the mix. He’s got all kinds of cool toys that can make a demon go ka-boom, and he’s not really the sharing type. But he’s got a bit of a soft spot for Evalle, and Tzader and Quinn aren’t above suggesting that Evalle play the helpless girl card to get what they need. Gagging all the way, Evalle does as she’s asked and contacts Isak. Naturally, things don’t go as planned and the shit hits the fan in spectacular fashion. For a little while Isak acts like a complete tool and, even though he eventually got over it, it put me even more firmly in Storm’s corner.
Lets talk about the inevitable dreaded love triangle. I have to give credit here to Love and SK. Love triangles are the bane of my existence, particularly within the Urban Fantasy genre. It just wastes the time of the (usually) strong heroine. She spends time thinking about who she should choose (because she likes them both equally) instead of kicking ass. Evalle doesn’t do that, thank the pope. She knows exactly who she wants, even though she’s not exactly sure how to tell him. And in spite of her relationship troubles, Evalle still manages to save the day. So a big thank you to SK and Love! I could not handle it if Evalle became one of those wimpish heroines whose biggest priority is which hunky piece of something is going to be her boyfriend.
And speaking of relationship woes, poor Tzader and Quinn. It’s hard to pick who has worse taste in women, Tzader the guy who’s in love with a woman who’s locked away in a castle that he’s barred from entering, or Quinn who is quite literally sleeping with the enemy. I’m leaning towards Quinn. I know Kazira’s mom is a crazy bitch who compels her to do stuff, but I can’t quite forgive her for taking advantage of Quinn last time. I’m still on the “you suck” bandwagon as far as Kazira goes.
The Curse was a definite step up from Alterant, even though I didn’t enjoy it as much as I had hoped. But that’s my own bloody fault. So if you’re thinking about giving this series a try, do not hesitate! It’s action-packed, fast paced, has an awesome heroine and just a hint of romance.
Before I go, I just want to share my favourite quote from this book. It epitomises why Storm is one of my book boyfriends. He’s so sweet and patient and attentive and yummy…
He swung her around in his arms and brought her close, nose to nose. “You are the most beautiful woman between earth and heaven to me in any form. I don’t care what you can turn into… as long as you end up in my arms.”
I melt every time I read that…