Review: The Curse Keepers (Curse Keepers, #1) by Denise Grover Swank



Summary: The wall between our world and that of vengeful spirits has protected humanity for more than 400 years. It’s about to come crashing down.
Ellie Lancaster has lived her whole life by the site of the mysterious Lost Colony of Roanoke, the Virginia settlement that vanished without a trace 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 those descendants—a Curse Keeper. Her father took pains to teach her what he knew of the curse and the responsibilities of its guardians. He taught her that if the two Curse Keepers ever meet, the curse will be lifted, the gate will open, and the raging Native American spirits will be unleashed to seek their revenge.
Despite her father’s seriousness, Ellie has always taken the legend for a harmless fairy tale. Until she meets the darkly handsome, but downright infuriating, Collin Dailey and realises everything she was told is true. For when they meet, it’s like the air is sucked from the room. Collin’s presence is electrifying… and it’s not just attraction Ellie feels, but the inexorable pull toward her destiny. The prophecy is real, and now Ellie and Collin must battle supernatural forces and their loathing—and passion—for each other to set things right.
The Curse Keepers are all that stand between the world and its destruction.

What Rhea thought: Let me begin by saying that the author has done her research exceptionally well. Linking real Native American legends beautifully into a book that had so much potential. The real letdowns in this book are the damned characters. 

Ellie Dare Lancaster has balls, sure, but she has her own share of Mary Sue tendencies. While having the right amount of guts to face her problems head-on, she also has her self-loathing moments a la Edward Cullen, enough to give me a whiplash. One moment she’s pretty sure she’s going to kick her frenemy Collin Dailey’s (we’ll get to him in a minute) ass, the next she’d struck by how hot he is and the ass kicking remains forgotten. She has issues, sure—who doesn’t—but she is so tolerant of Colin’s insulting jabs and his controlling tendencies that it makes me want to kick her ass.

Coming back to Collin Dailey. I have no idea how Ellie finds him hot. Sure he might be good-looking but personality makes up a big part of your appeal. Collin Dailey is an ASSHOLE, start to finish. He is secretive, selfish and apparently knows better than Ellie what is good for her. When Ellie does protest, it’s weak and he takes advantage of that.

The book starts with Collin walking into The New Moon (where have I heard that name before?), the diner Ellie is a waitress in. Marlene, her boss, actually forces her to go fuck him. Seriously? Did I mention Ellie is already dating? Oh and yeah, Ellie has difficulty breathing when he walks in. There are about 300 pages describing her asthmatic tendencies when she actually doesn’t even have asthma.

By a very favourable turn of events, Collin happens to grab her hand and an ancient curse is unlocked. The curse, which open the door between the earth and the spirit world and a few “spirits” escape. 

The story goes on about how Ellie can’t find her boyfriend’s dick—because he couldn’t “rise up” to the challenge—and she dumps him, she gets attracted to Collin, they search for a couple of cups and saucers—a pewter cup and a bowl, actually—runs into an evil pawn shop boss and whoa, falls in love, although there has been no declaration. Good. I hope it stays that way. 

You deserve better, Ellie. No really, you do.

The entire effort made for closing the gate is actually a waste when the end of the book reveals that Collin was actually working for the opening of the gate. He’s apparently sold his soul to the bad guy for…something. I’m not entirely sure yet.

The love scenes in the book are relatively tame, which is not necessarily a bad thing. However the words “cock” and “pussy” would be appreciated every once in a while. Just saying.

The chemistry is kind of good but my only point is that Ellie lets him off the hook too easily. Even in the end when he fudges up, she just drops the “f” bomb on him a few times and walks off. And the entire story is just Collin loathing her guts and then asking her whether she is an enchantress or an angel trying to save him soul when they make love. 

The book picks up in the last 60 pages but that’s the sad part. It’s the last 60 pages. *sigh*

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. This book has so much POTENTIAL. It’s amazing how hollow the characters made the book. The book ends with Ellie showing Collin the finger—you go, girl!—and telling him that she’s of to save the world. Um. Okay.

Final Verdict: The book could have been so much better. ★★ for the last 60 pages ONLY.

About the Author:

Denise is a single mom who lives in Lee’s Summit, Missouri raising five of her six kids. (The oldest has gone off to live on his own.) She loves to embarrass her children whether it be spontaneous dance parties in the kitchen or making her teens’ friends think she’s funny/cool. *gasp* (Even if it’s in her own mind.) On rare occasions, she is known to post stories about her crazy life on her family blog There’s Always Room for One More.She keeps her sanity by creating worlds to escape to and characters to hang out with. Find out more about her on her website.



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