The Curse by Jennifer Brassel

The Curse by Jennifer Brassel(Cover picture courtesy of Goodreads.)

His search for her has been timeless, eternal, and ultimately thwarted. Until now…

Seth Almose has spent countless lives trying to break the curse that robs him of his soul mate. Each time the cycle begins anew, he meets it with hope, and each time he is left with heartbreak. But as the cycle dawns again, with yet another incarnation, Seth can’t help himself. She is extraordinary; is she the one?

Julia Morrow has reason to be wary of men. After restarting her life to escape an increasingly dangerous stalker, she has no reason to believe Seth and his stories of reincarnation and curses. But his face haunts her dreams, and her canvasses. He claims that it is a matter of life and death — her death. Can she find it in herself to trust again, or will the cycle turn once again, leaving them both broken and alone?

[Full disclosure: I received a free ebook copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.]

I really debated requesting The Curse on NetGalley but in the end my curiosity got the better of me.  Despite the cliché-filled blurb I thought I’d give this one a chance and approach it with an open mind.  After all, I did the same thing to Echo Prophecy by Lindsey Fairleigh and it turned out to be a great book.  The Curse isn’t a great book, though.  Don’t get me wrong—it’s far from a bad book.  It’s simply an average novel with nothing really to distinguish it from similar reincarnation curse stories.

The characters were very well developed.  I really felt for Julia having to move and change her name after being stalked for months before the story started.  Her behaviour is obviously affected by this incident but with the help of Seth she does seem to recover at a natural pace.  She’s strong and brave but at the same time isn’t an unrealistically kick-butt protagonist.  Seth was surprising for a male lead in that he isn’t the type of guy to rush out immediately when his beloved is kidnapped.  No, he called the police, something that normal human beings would do in that circumstance.  That was probably the biggest surprise of the whole novel but in hindsight it fits with his character.

Other than some surprises with the characters, there weren’t really all that many plot surprises.  The Curse followed a pretty typical reincarnation story arc where girl starts having dreams, meets boy, they get together after some initial misunderstandings and circumstances or evil forces try to pull them apart.  I wish Jennifer Brassel had put more of a spin on the old story arc but she really didn’t.  Her story is well-paced and the world-building is relatively good but it’s really just the same old thing I’ve read before.

I would have liked far more backstory not only for the villains of the story but also for Seth and Julia’s past lives.  We get flashes of it so we know the basic sketch of the story but I personally would have liked more details.  That’s probably just me so I can’t really fault the author for that, though.  The only real criticism I have about the backstory is that we didn’t really know very much about the villains and their motivations.  I wish the villains had more complex motives than they were presented as having because it would have made the climax far more exciting.  Oh well.

So like I said this isn’t a great book but it’s not a bad book either.  It’s somewhere in between and if you generally like this kind of stuff I’d recommend The Curse.  It’s just that it’s not all that unique.

I give this book 3/5 stars.

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