I haven’t been reading a lot of urban fantasy lately. Almost all the UF I had been reading had the heroine down-trodden with no “happily-ever-after” in sight. There were a few exceptions but UF just wasn’t fun for me anymore… until NOW!!!
I had such a blast reading Sealed with a Curse. It took me back to all the UF books I read when I first started reading. I picked up a little bit of Rachel Morgan’s “unique-ness”, saw some Anita Blake and her hot master vamp Jean-Claude and alpha were-wolf Richard (although our wolf has a clue), and the fight scenes definitely reminded me of Mercedes Thompson. But Ms. Robson wrote a unique new world that ended up being a one day barrel through read for me. That never happens for me when I read UF!!
Setting / World Building
Set in Dollar Point, CA, on Lake Tahoe (I love when you can actually look up book settings on a map), four sisters have learned to survive on their own without their parents. They are all in their twenties now working as nurses and living together under one big roof. All the sisters have been “cursed” with unique supernatural abilities. Celia, the oldest sister, is definitely the mother-figure of the group as she’s the one who takes control and leads everyone when “situations” arise. She mostly ends up doing that because she has no one else in her life to boss around as most guys are frightened of her. Let’s just say her unique ability tends to scare the boys away.
Story / Tempo
Right from the start, the girls are in a “situation”. The second oldest sister, Taran, has killed a vampire and all the sisters are going to vampire court to answer to charges of murder. I absolutely love that this book starts off with maniacal “vamp court”. I do love my vamps so maybe that’s what sold me right off the bat. Ms. Robson uses it as a way to introduce each of the girl’s abilities. It also gives us insight into each of their personalities. World building is off the blocks running already – LOVE! And it wasn’t hard to keep up, either.
The pace did slow down just a tiny bit in the middle but I think it was for the good of the book. It was a point in the story for Celia’s introspection. I don’t think many people will even notice it. And the big mystery of the story is really cool and well done. Although I hate to admit it – I totally guessed it in the beginning. Just not to the extent of the big reveal. The big reveal, I thought, was a pretty good reward despite guessing who the big baddie(s) was behind the plague on the vampires.
The part of the story I enjoyed the most was the dynamics between the sisters. I want more and more of the sisters! Each is so different in personality but none of them is annoying (at least to me). I think if I had to pick one I wanted to be, it would be Shayna. She’s just so sneaky with her toothpicks (just go read the book!), although I don’t think I can go around calling everyone, “dude”. I can see so much potential in the series: individual stories about each sister, stories from the vampire world, stories about the weres…
Speaking of weres, there was mention of a werewolf alpha, Aric, in the synopsis. Oh, my….. I do love my alphas! Aric is definitely a new book boyfriend of mine!! He’s hot, protective, but he’s not perfect. I like a man with a flaw or two (case in point, my number one boyfriend, Rehvenge, but I digress…). Our other leading man, Misha, reminds me a little of Mircea Basarab (from Karen Chance’s Cassie Palmer series) and Eric Northman, thrown in a blender 50/50. Cocky, smart, and definitely a Northern European god in the looks department.
Overall, I think Sealed with a Curse has the perfect mix of urban fantasy: 33% Mystery/world building – 33% Kick butt fight scenes – 33% Romance. This is definitely a lighter, fun read. Don’t go looking for a deeper meaning to life or the mysteries of the universe explained. This is a let-your-mind-go and escape to where ordinary girls can get “cursed” with extraordinary powers and just have fun, damn it. I bet someday the girls won’t think it’s a curse…. discuss amongst yourselves.
The next book in the series, A Cursed Embrace (Weird Girls #2) is expected to be published July 2nd, 2013. Crap, that’s too long….