Reading level: Adult
Mass market paperback: 368 pages
Genre: Urban fantasy
Publisher: Signet Eclipse
Release date: December 31, 2012
Series: Weird Girls #1
Source: Won on My world…in books and pages
Reviewed by: Jenn
Celia Wird and her three sisters are just like other 20-something girls—with one tiny exception: they’re products of a backfired curse that has given each of them unique powers that make them, well, weird…
The Wird sisters are content to avoid the local vampires, werebeasts, and witches of the Lake Tahoe region—until one of them blows up a vampire in self-defense. Everyone knows vampires aren’t aggressive, and killing one is punishable by death. But soon more bloodlust-fueled attacks occur, and the community wonders: are the vampires of Tahoe cursed with a plague?
Celia reluctantly agrees to help Misha, the handsome leader of an infected vampire family. But Aric, the head of the werewolf pack determined to destroy Misha’s family to keep the region safe, warns Celia to stay out of the fight. Caught between two hot alphas, Celia must find a way to please everyone, save everyone, and oh yeah, not lose her heart to the wrong guy—or die a miserable death. Because now that the evil behind the plague knows who Celia is, it’s coming for her and her sisters. This Wird girl has never had it so tough.
I was super excited when I won this book over on My world…in books and pages. We hosted Cecy Robson for our “When I’m not writing” feature back in December and I was about to purchase my own copy of SEALED WITH A CURSE when I got lucky on Melissa’s blog. (It’s a great blog, by the way, and you should definitely check it out, especially if you’re a Nook user since Melissa posts lots of Nook deals.) I’ve actually read it a couple times since then but it was never when I had time to post a review. But it’s such a fun book that I had to share it with you!
SEALED WITH A CURSE is Robson’s debut and she proves herself to be a great new voice in urban fantasy. Her main characters — the Wird sisters — are fantastic and she’s created an amazing world for them to live in. SEALED WITH A CURSE is told from Celia’s perspective. She’s the eldest of the four and can change into a tigress (or any other animal she happens to brush up against if she’s not prepared) — but she’s not a shapeshifter. Her other sisters also have some interesting powers: Taran is a magic user who wield it as fire and lightning — but she’s not a witch. Shayna can turn pieces of wood into deadly sharp weapons and can manipulate alloys. Emme, the youngest, is telekinetic and can heal herself and others. They’re a great group of girls and I love how they each have their own distinctive personalities, strengths, and weaknesses. We get the most insight into Celia since she’s the narrator but Robson does a great job of giving each sister their moments to shine.
Like all great characters, they have a bit of a tragic past. Their parents were murdered and it was horrible but we don’t know much more than that. I’m really curious to find out what went on All they have is each other and they’ve made a nice life for themselves in Tahoe. It all falls apart, though, when vampires suffering from extreme bloodlust pop up, ruining the relatively anonymous existence the Wird sisters have been leading. Now, they’re thrown head-first into the supernatural waters without a full understanding of how the different types of supernaturals interact and behave. Mostly, Celia and her sisters are dealing with vampires and werewolves, though, so there’s not too much for readers to be surprised about on this front. The vampires are generally attractive, manipulative, and powerful and the werewolves aren’t too different, though they are sworn to defend the earth from supernatural threats, which is a neat twist on the typical mythology. I really enjoyed Robson’s treatment of bloodlust and how it manifests and affects vampires. I thought this was a really strong and well-executed storyline.
There’s a lot of romance in this novel so this may not be the novel for you if you’re looking for something that’s all mystery and fights (i.e. non-sexy action) then SEALED WITH A CURSE is probably not the book for you. Celia is reluctantly involved in a love triangle with Aric, the Leader of the werewolves, and Misha, a Master vampire whom Celia first meets when he accuses her of murdering one of his family. Celia seems to be a lot more interested in Aric but there’s something about her that has really captured Misha’s interest. Celia’s not used to getting this much male attention so there’s a lot of blushing but she’s no shrinking violet. The other Wird girls, however, are much more comfortable engaging with men on a romantic level and Shayna, Taran, and Emme all end up involved with some werewolves they meet at a club. It’s a bit convenient that the sisters go out to a club and meet a bunch of guys who all close friends and extremely powerful werewolves but it serves the story and I’m willing to go with it for now. It felt a bit too convenient for me but I like all of the characters and am curious to see if they’ll be able to sustain the relationships that have been established in SEALED WITH A CURSE.
All in all, SEALED WITH A CURSE is an excellent debut for Robson and it’s got me quite excited for A CURSED EMBRACE. There’s also an e-prequel novella if you can’t wait for the second book to come out.