Thursday, 2 January 2014

Cursed (Fallen Siren #1) by S.J. Harper






                       Isa's Review:

Before I started this book I told a friend, "I'm expecting Mulder and Scully, only he's a                           werewolf and she's a siren - so I know I'll be disappointed."
Am I glad to be WRONG.

The comparison is even brought up jokingly in the book itself, but it's not exactly true. Other than both couples being FBI agents and the actual plot taking precedence over the romance, there's little else in common. But Cursed was still amazing!

It's become so rare to find characters who act rationally and behave like adults, without petty drama clouding their decisions! All the characters were fully developed, I felt for them and there was never a moment I went, "That is so stupid!" - I know I'm repeating myself, but do you know how rare that is in UF?!

So, Emma (formerly known as Ligea) is a siren working for the FBI to atone for letting Persephone be taken by Hades - Demeter will only let her get her life back if she doesn't fail in her job of finding and saving women - the way she failed with Persephone. Not only that, she's denied love - any man she loves and who loves her back is doomed to die.

Enter Zack, her werewolf FBI partner, with whom she'd had a fling and now is back for good - and Emma can tell they're both falling for each other and that is obviously a problem.

But don't be fooled by this PR description, the plot was solidly UF - emphasis on the case: a missing artist, followed by several other missing women (and men). And Emma and Zach have to find them before it's too late.

I really, really!, enjoyed the mystery! I usually can tell who the villain is, but this one took so many twists and turns - I was extremely happy to be surprised!

Also I should mention I hate love triangles with a burning passion which will never be extinguished, so I was absolutely blown away when there's a hint of a love triangle in this book... and I cheered for it. I know, I know, but it's so well written and it makes so much sense - and the characters are so vividly written and they are so normal (despite being supernatural beings) and reasonable that when the love triangle shows up (and I don't know if I can even call it a love triangle, a triangle possibility, maybe?), I just went, "Yeah, that makes sense, and it would probably be for the best."

So - to all you love triangle haters (and I know there are a lot of us!), read this because it'll just amaze you how love triangles can be done right and not fill you to the brim with bile (as love triangles tend to do).

Only one quibble with this: Emma mentioning Nero being responsible for burning Rome. That guy had obviously ran backwards into a wall of crazy, but that's one thing historians have managed to disprove - probably the one thing he didn't do.

That aside, I highly recommend this to all UF readers, or any readers who enjoy a great book!
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                                 Susana's Review:

Did I like this?
Parts of it, yes. The idea of the story. The concept of having two supernaturals working as "regular" law officers was interesting.
The way the characters are portrayed in the synopsis, bound to caught the readers interest:

She's cursed. He's damned. Together they make one hell of a team.

The thing is, I didn't feel this intensity in the story.
The characters are somewhat bland. There's nothing wrong with them. But they're not that great.
It's not that I want big dramas and angst to fill plots, but as urban fantasy, this was kind of weak. Emma as a siren, and as someone as ancient as she is, I was expecting a little more... something.
Depth and intensity.

Then I just couldn't feel the romance between those Emma and Zach. Their attraction, yes. But romance not so much. This for me would have been the perfect excuse to "let things follow as they were, and avoid forgetting spells"(this will only make sense for those who have read this).

The setting is contemporary, and most of the characters, leading and secondary are paranormals.
Then maybe I'm just being naive, but with a siren and a werewolf as leading characters, I was not expecting that in the end the species that would end up getting more more attention would wear fangs...
I've read my share of paranormal romances featuring vampires, and honestly I'm kind of tired of them.
And I won't even mention the "what I'm guessing" will be a future love triangle.

The writing is fluid and to the point. Its adequate to the type of story.
In the end, although there's nothing wrong with it, this was a story that _for me_ ended up feeling a little lacking.


S.J. Harper's official site

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