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FERAL CURSE

Review

FERAL CURSE

The second installment in the New York Times bestselling Feral series, FERAL CURSE brings readers an engaging piece with a fast tempo that combines characters from the Tantalize series with new characters introduced in FERAL NIGHTS. Now fully fleshed out identities, these once-secondary players dive even deeper into the immersive urban fantasy that is the world of shifters. FERAL CURSE also features dynamic new characters like Kayla, the strong female lead coping with loss and struggling to accept herself as a werecat.

In the small fictional town of Pine Ridge, Texas, 18-year-old Kayla Morgan grapples with the fact that her boyfriend, Benjamin Bloom, suddenly died the night she told him she was a werecat. In his rush of emotion, Ben casts a spell on the antique carousel he was standing on when he died. The carousel is disassembled and sent to antique shops across the United States, and when werepeople come into contact with the pieces, they're transproted to Pine Ridge.

Fans of Smith will enjoy this book, relishing in its emotions and world building, and the ending will leave readers looking forward the next installment with great anticipation.

Enter Yoshi --- a swaggering, flirtatious and brave werecat --- his quick-witted human friend Aimee, her werelion boyfriend Clyde and a host of other werepeople strangely affected by the carousel’s magic spell. Kayla, Yoshi, Aimee and Clyde must work together to reassemble the carousel before other werepeople are pulled into this mess, and before it’s too late to make the magical spell (or curse) fade away.

The dialogue clips along like a perfectly paced run, bringing vigorous energy to the reader, and the narrative richly details the world of shifters. It treats normally dodgy topics like religion and politics with ease and grace (but is still evocative and profound). Overall, the language establishes a fine balance between youthfulness and maturity, and is well-suited to the young adult audience. The world of the shifters strikes a perfect balance of seeming both “normal” and innately unique, making THE FERAL CURSE a believable story. The humor is sharp and not overbearing, and what is especially laudable is that Smith avoids falling into the trap of creating an overblown comic relief character (found in the young yeti Junior).

Although FERAL CURSE is a solid piece of work, there were a few minor hiccups. First, the occasional overabundance of romantic and sexual situations sometimes got in the way. Second, the emphasis on characters' physical appearance seemed to appeal too much to stereotypical cultural standards. While the discussion of beauty is relatable, readers (particularly female) might find these naturally incredibly sexy characters to be a bit unrealistic.

All in all, though, it is a great book. Fans of Smith will enjoy this book, relishing in its emotions and world building, and the ending will leave readers looking forward the next installment with great anticipation. I am certainly an admirer of her work, and I believe that others who read this series will feel the same. 

Reviewed by Corinne Fox on February 11, 2014

FERAL CURSE
by Cynthia Leitich Smith

  • Publication Date: February 11, 2014
  • Genres: Paranormal
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick
  • ISBN-10: 076365910X
  • ISBN-13: 9780763659103