Friday, April 22, 2016

REVIEW: An Average Curse

An Average Curse
Author: Rue
Publication Date: 6/20/16
**Disclaimer: A copy of this book was received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**

Flynn has lived on an island, magically hidden from the rest of the world, for her entire life. As the ninth daughter of a ninth daughter, she fulfills a prophesy for her people. She is to be the one who restores the Book of Shadow and Light, which has been torn in half by a curse. The two portions of the book need to be reunited to bring balance back to the world.  There is only one problem:  Flynn lives in a world of Magick, but has yet to manifest any powers. She might be a Watcher, one who is born into the world of Magick but has no powers. She fears she may disappoint her people and be unable to lift the curse. Her friend, Hazel, does have abilities and is willing to do anything to help her friend get through her induction ceremony and fulfill her destiny. But, helping Flynn defeat the evil Shadow Coven might just kill them both.

For me, this book started out slow and confusing. There is little background given for the world and culture. The world-building is just too sparse, in my opinion, for readers to understand and really become immersed in the story-telling. I could understand that the sacred book was important, but I wasn't engaged enough in the world to really know why I should care. The main character, Flynn, seemed very weak and wishy-washy at the beginning of the book. She was more worried about her possible lack of Magick than she was actively working to try and solve the problem. But, as with all young people, they become stronger through did Flynn! And friends are sometimes the best help, as the book shows with the characters Hazel, and their fellow classmate, Po.

After a few chapters, the plot picked up steam and I found myself liking the major characters more and enjoying the story. The ceremonies and stories of Flynn's people reminded me of Native American lore and traditions. An author's note at the beginning of the book states that the Maori language and mythology was used as a basis for some of the story.

My honest response to this book would be:  a bit weak in the beginning with a major rally in the middle, but a rushed ending.  Because of the very enjoyable middle section of the book when the plot really got cookin', I'm going to give this book 6.5/10 stars. I definitely enjoyed the book enough to read the second installment in the series. I do think that rather than being directed toward YA/teens, this book might be a better middle-grade book for ages 10-13.  Most middle grade kids, especially if they like Harry Potter or other tales that involve Magic, would enjoy this book. I'm a kid at heart -- I liked it too.  After a bit of world-confusion at the beginning, I was on Team Flynn-Hazel-Po and cheering them on wholeheartedly.

Rue is also the author of the 3-book series, The Lake Effect.

My rating: 6.5/10
Ages 10+

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