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Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Thousand Year Curse by Taylor Lavati

Hi there!
Welcome back to another day, another reading adventure…here at Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

Today, we’re cracking the spine (not literally, perish the thought! ^_^) on a title from the YA Lit genre that’s sure to garner some attention. It’s the first YA release from a young writer who loves to explore the romance of life in her writing from a teenage point of view.  In this story, it seems we’re taking a leaf from her own life adventure, college; more precisely, the Greek system, and the mythology behind it all.  So if you’re ready to get your heart racing, put it all on the line and hunt down the creator of a curse that’s upon you that you never knew existed, grab your toga, it’s time to party!  Today’s book of choice is…

The Curse Books, Book One:
The Thousand Year Curse

From the back cover…
Being a teenager isn’t all fun and games for seventeen year old Ryder Mason.  After being thrown down the social hierarchy, Ryder has one goal for her senior year – survive.

Within the first month of school, Ryder goes from bullied teen to a cursed half goddess with two boyfriends.  AS if that wasn’t enough, she travels into the Underworld to confront Hades about the curse and her missing mother.

Ryder delves head first into a Godly world as her knight’s fight to seek her approval, her best friend’s loyalties are tested and people’s true intentions are shown in the first Curse Books novel.

Oh me, oh my.  Where to begin! *le sigh*

Okay, so the story has a lot of doom and gloom, understandably so seeing how Ryder’s life has played out thus far.  I mean she has a good Dad, a great friend (mostly) in Junior (don’t be fooled by the name because he won’t match the image you’re conjuring), and more recently here, two hot guys vying for her attention and causing hormonal races she didn’t know she was even running in.  (FYI on those hormones, the book is rated for a Young Adult audience HOWEVER there are several more than steamy scenes so I’d put it to at least OLDER teens…maybe even adults.)  Sounds good, right?  Yeah…you haven’t heard the OTHER half of this story.  She also has been having weird unexplained dreams, experiencing power surges of the non-electrical variety, blacking out from supposed panic attacks A LOT more than usual, hating on a Mom she never had a chance to know and oh…she just found she’s part god and under a curse thanks to that favorite chap of Greek mythology, Hades.  Yep.  Life’s a walk in the park, right?  Told ya so.

Chalk this new trilogy, well book one of it anyone, up on the tally board for the Greeks.  Yes sir, it’s another trip to the Underworld, but not exactly like I’ve seen it before.  The classics are there, but we get to explore additional areas and meet the man, or rather “god” himself, in an interesting twist.  Good stuff.  Anywho, the majority of the story takes place above ground as Ryder, or more precisely Eurydice, is placed in a tug of war that’s lasted oh for the last several HUNDRED years with varying outcomes based on time, place, and whether or not she met BOTH gents (gods).  Note to readers, when she’s met both (like here), her days were numbered more than usual.  Good thing she’s only met Ollie…oh wait, she met him FIRST.  *-* How could I forget.  (*said with raised eyebrows*)  Hey, you wouldn’t forget these guys either, though I can’t really pin down which one I’d root for when Ryder finally decides.  I mean, Ollie’s got the whole beyond gorgeous, musically inclined gentleman act down pat, but he also has QUITE the temper.  Ari on the other hand seems more kindly and loving but that’s once you get behind his bad boy-esque exterior and I can’t help but feel he’s only sharing info that works in his favor.  Hmm…something to ponder AND enjoy along the way.  Moving forward…

The story is good, in fact I’d even cross that line into the “great” field at times, and the characters certainly make an impression (gotta love her meeting with the “H” man and the fellas, whew!), but the grammar and proper word usage can drive you up a wall.  It’s something that happens to the best of them (authors, I mean) but sometimes it simply plagues a work.  From her acknowledgements, I do believe the author is editing her work herself; not necessarily a bad choice but one has to be EXTRA careful when editing your own words…heck, even in BLOG posts I run into trouble once in a while.  If you’ve ever taken that reading “test” of sorts that has a complete paragraph filled with words made up of letters that are garbley-goo…only the first and last of each remain intact, you know that the brain can do AMAZING things when reading something, including make sense of what would otherwise not make sense…or at least be a hiccup.  The same applies here. 

It doesn’t change the story, but it does distract.  There were several times I had to stop and reread a sentence or paragraph to realign what was being said because either the train of thought was interrupted or the incorrect-yet-spelled-correctly word was used.  If spell check is the primary source of her editing tools, I would certainly reconsider…at the very least, use the type that checks grammar AND spelling.  Better still, if self-editing is her path of choice seeing how she is a student currently and the traditional publishing methods are perhaps still a smidge out of reach, at the very least, READ IT OUT LOUD.  I’ve caught many of my own errors doing just that; hey, no one is perfect!  The sooner we all accept that, the sooner the world can become the kinder place we dream of.

Book 2
In conclusion, an “A” for effort and creativity, but  my ratings take a small dive when factoring in the grammar.  Sorry.  Blame my 8thgrade English teachers.  It’s just something that REALLY irks me.  In small doses, no biggie; the more, the not-so-merry.  That being said, I will admit I am HOOKED and ready to go on Ryder’s next adventure, whenever that might be available.  The author brings everything introduced full circle and yet still leaves you craving more.  Good call on her part indeed.

Review copy received courtesy of author Taylor Lavati.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title as well as her future works, be sure to stop by her official site, friend her on Facebook or catch her on Twitter.  This book is the first in a planned trilogy and is available now, so be on the look out for it on a bookstore shelf or online retailer of your choice.

Until next time…happy reading!


Melanie said...

Oh goodness, grammar can be a killer!

Glad to hear you enjoyed the story, though. From the little I know of it, Greek mythology seems fascinating.

Taylor Lavati said...

Thank you for your kind words towards my novel! I appreciate you taking the time to read it and write this up. You're the best! Looking forward to sending number two.

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