The last thing teenager Kelsey Hayes thought she'd be doing over the summer was meeting Ren, a mysterious white tiger and cursed Indian prince! When she learns she alone can break the Tiger's curse, Kelsey's life is turned upside-down. The unlikely duo journeys halfway around the world to piece together an Indian prophecy, find a way to free the man trapped by a centuries-old spell, and discover the path to their true destiny.
Houck's debut YA fantasy, which she self-published in 2009, is richly imagined, but pacing and technique lag behind her inventiveness. Eighteen-year-old Kelsey Hayes gets a temporary summer job working at a one-ring circus that features a white Bengal tiger named Dhiren. Kelsey and Ren, as she calls the tiger, form an immediate bond, and when a mysterious businessman purchases Ren, Kelsey is asked to escort him to his new home on an Indian reserve (despite her complete lack of experience). Given extensive foreshadowing, it's no surprise that Ren turns into a man once back in his native land, inspiring Kelsey to break the ancient curse that forces Ren to shape-shift. The attractive premise is let down by wooden dialogue, excessive detail, and wobbly mechanics; Kelsey's plainspoken narration more often befits a preteen than a high school graduate ("Poor thing. All alone with no girl tiger and no tiger cubs"). Houck doesn't quite realize her potential in this outing. Two companion books, Tiger's Quest and Tiger's Voyage, are due later in 2011. Ages 12 up.
Customer ReviewsSee All
This was amazing!!!
I was skeptical when I first saw the book on the shelf, despite the fantastic cover picture, but as soon as I started reading I was hooked. Cathleen has written a vivid fantasy that really pulled me in. I'd been sick and tired of the worn out plots and trashy romance that's been floating around lately, but this? Ren has stolen my heart and I know he'll steal yours. :) Tigers happen to be irrisistable. I can't wait until Tigers Curse comes out in June!
I was bored and at a bookstore and I was just looking around (cover is awesome) and i saw a cover with a tiger picked it up bought it and read it and LOVED IT! Kelsey is relatable because she doesn't think she is pretty or strong....we all can feel that way.
The next twilight
This novel, while seemingly well researched, is trying too hard to be the next Twilight. And really, it comes up short. Like Twilight, it features a young female narrator (Kelsey) who doesn't think she deserves the affection of the cursed prince (Ren). Who really, his only fault is loving her too much. Also, his brother fills the role of Jacob, who makes the narrator feel comfortable, but they don't have that magical love connection that she has with the main man.
Kelsey lacks self confidence and is nothing short of annoying because of it. She is hard to relate to in many ways. I really think that a heroine needs to be relatable but strong.
The entire novel is just convenient. Whenever Kelsey is in trouble all she has to do is reach into her backpack and find just the right tool to help her out.
This novel is really imaginative in many ways. As a reader, we are transferred to different worlds (magical and not) and can almost get lost in the adventure. This book is almost there, but just falls short.