Thursday 17 October 2013

Book Review - Cursed

Author: Lizzy Ford
Series: Voodoo Nights #1
Genres: Paranormal, Fantasy | Young Adult
Release Date: 6th March 2014
Publishers: Evatopia Press
No. Pages: 246
Source: Review Copy - Evatopia Press
Buy From: Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes and Noble | Waterstones
The Red Man is coming...

Five years after her sister disappeared, seventeen-year-old Adrienne finds the strength to return to her father’s home in New Orleans. But soon after she arrives, the mark of a curse appears on her, leaving her worried. Will she be the next victim of a four-hundred-year old family curse - the next to be claimed by a serial killer roaming the back alleys of the city?

The day before his senior year begins, Jayden is given a skeleton key passed down through his family for generations - a gruesome reminder of how his ancestors betrayed their own people and sold them into slavery. He doesn't believe in the curse the key allegedly bears and puts it away with the intention of forgetting about its message. Until he meets Adrienne, a girl he’s compelled to for more reasons than her beauty.

He’s not the only one who notices her. A man in a skeleton mask and a voodoo gang member are also drawn to Adrienne. One is determined to protect her. The other intends to mislead her. Haunted by the mythical Red Man, all are connected to the ancient curse.

Can they overcome their misgivings about one another and prevent the dark prophecy looming over them? Or will they be lured away from each other by evil’s siren song?

When I decided to download Cursed off NetGalley, I thought I might have another 'great aspect, deflated story', as I did with the last pretty cover download I had, but boy was I wrong. Cursed was about so much more than Voodoo, destiny and fate drawing people together, and granted, while the first 100-120 pages was a physical struggle, the end result was absolutely fabulous, and I was was really really impressed. There were some parts I was disappointed on, ranging from characters to plot to the world, and yes, these things did great on me and they did frustrate me to the point of wanting to put this book down forever, but I stuck this book out, and believe me when I say, you get past the first third, it's definitely a good book.

I would first like to quickly mentioned how insanely gorgeous that cover is. I absolutely adore the various tones of blacks, greys and reds against the pale blonde lady, and I just find the design beautiful. It is really well relatable to the story and our characters, so top marks to the cover designers at Voodoo Nights HQ. Now, to the inside. As I have already mentioned earlier, the first 100 pages were quite a drag, and I can only say that I was happy Ford had decided to write in the third person, or this book would have been left alone to rot. I really struggled to get past how, well, genuinely whiney and stroppy our main protagonist was and it got to a point where I was only managing 40-50 pages a night instead of 100, just because it was so difficult to not want to climb into the story, shake her and tell her to grow a backbone. Yet, once we'd gotten past those pages, all of the characters really started to improve, and which a great plot and storyline, I would only expect them too. I really enjoyed reading about how all of our characters were intertwined and related to one another, and I especially liked the contrast between 'houses', as it reminded a lot of another book series I really enjoyed, and overall, I was impressed. However, unlike my other reading endeavours I haven't got a preference for one of our MANY male characters, and so if Ford introducing a love triangle, or a much more obvious love triangle, I may not be impressed.

I believe that there is a fine line between giving a reader enough history of a religion or a belief, such as voodoo, and bombarding them with a short brief history lesson rather than a story, I think Ford reached a balance between the two very well. I felt like I was learning enough about these beliefs while it complemented the plot, and it never felt like it was heavy reading when I was being educated. Ford also had a knack for plot twists, and you wouldn't think you could fit that many into 246 pages but think again, because every time I thought I had something figured out, or saw something coming, I was wowed once more. There were so many twists and turns in this book, I wondered if I'd ever have an answers by the end, and if not, whether I would even want to continue with the series, but that my friends, is another story. I was hugely impressed with the storyline and how all the characters connected with one another, but that wasn't what took this book from good to great.

This book had much more than just voodoo priestess' and 'seeing the future', it covered a whole manner of subjects that most other books just don't cover, for example, the racism in this book. Now hear me out, I'm not saying this book is racist, as it most definitely isn't, but it covers the aspect so well, from both sides of the colour spectrum, and not once was I repulsed by the wording, nor offended and that's because Ford managed to wrap it up within the story so well, alongside that of a poorer families too. I was glad to find that she covered this too, as it helped reiterate the fact that some teenagers can't avoid to improve on their education because of their financial background, and it showed me, as a reader, that racism is still something that is out there, behind doors and in peoples beliefs, and I couldn't help but be impressed by these features.

Cursed was a fantastic read. The world was really good, if not maybe a little too described, the love aspect throughout, the voodoo education and the general ambiance of mystery and murder woven within was great. I was actually that enticed when reading the last 50 pages, I forgot to drink my tea, and it takes a good book to make me forget a cup of tea. I really really hope that they bring this wonderful book out in paperback so I can add it to my collection, and maybe even continue with the series. It's gripping, enticing, and you won't trust anyone easily ever again.


  1. Voodoo is such an interesting subject for a YA novel--it sounds like you get a really good sense of the practices and it sounds like the story is pretty engrossing! This wasn't high on my radar before, but your review definitely has me interested. :)

    PS--Cute blog name!

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

    1. For a free download, I really do think you get a lot of story and plot, it's only really the build up that lets this book down. You should definitely try it!

      And thank you :)


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