Sunday, July 10, 2011

Tiger's Curse

Tiger's Curse  by Colleen Houck reads a bit like a list of things NOT to do in a debut novel, including almost all "telling" rather than "showing", excessive use of weak, generic adverbs (and redundant description, in general), awkward plot transitions, contradictory conclusions, and much, MUCH, extraneous narrative, sometimes poorly disguised as introspection by the main character.

I wanted to enjoy this book, I did. I mean, look at that gorgeous cover! And tigers! Tigers are COOL, cursed tigers, even better. India? Great! I'd like to know more about India, and it isn't an overdone setting. Reading about it like I'm surveying a shelf of BROCHURES on India? Not so much.

In the end, I couldn't overlook the inexperienced writing enough to enjoy such a good premise--namely a normal girl recruited by an Indian gentleman, a many-armed goddess, and a tiger prince to help lift a centuries-old curse.

So, could Tiger's Curse have been a great book? YES. Was it? No, I'm sorry to say it was not. It get's a Bypass.

P.S. I must admit, I did rather like the character Phet. He made me giggle.

*Disclaimer A. After reading much of the book and wondering how an editor would knowingly let an author put out a book with so much still to be done, I scanned the back flap copy and Acknowledgments pages hoping to find an answer, and I kind of did.

Originally a self-published eBook*, Tiger's Curse enjoyed success and was then picked up by a publishing company, who then--in my opinion did the author a disservice by not encouraging her and guiding her in polishing the novel, thereby reaching its potential, before hitting the mainstream market. A friend of mine, formerly an editor at a publishing house, explained a common practice for these self-pubb'd eBook pick-ups is to edit solely for typographical errors, possibly due to First Print rights already having been taken, a concept I understand in theory, but still feel is negligent and morally shady. Obviously, this is speculation on our parts, but such a reason would go a long way in making me understand, if not necessarily agree with it.

**Disclaimer B: I don't feel self-published authors are in any way inferior to traditionally published authors. Just the opposite actually. If you want to see some fantastic, enviably talented self-, indie-,e-published authors, boy have I got a list for you.

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