TITLE : Cursed – The Hunter Inside
AUTHOR : Casey.M.Millette
GENRE : YA, Fantasy
FBRC RATING : 2 Stars
A war rages between kings and clans for centuries, their nations split and their kingdoms fallen. Caught in the midst of poverty and bedlam, twenty-year-old Aldor faces a choice. Should he leave home and start his life anew, or stay and protect what little he has?
Aldor has only made one friend in his life and has never seen a legendary creature before. As soon as he steps beyond his door, he finds himself an outlaw, hunted by creatures of pure fantasy.
Forced into joining a team of misfits in a race to recover a sacred, lost stone, Aldor finds unexpected friendships and adventure. But just as things start to look promising, disaster strikes, wielding the unexpected and the terrifying!
Aldor’s life will never be the same as he struggles with true feelings of fear, loss, love, and suffering for the very first time.
FBRC REVIEW :
DISCLAIMER : I received an ARC of this book from The Parliament Press in exchange for an honest review. The book was provided for participating in the Mabon celebrations. Thank you Parliament press for providing me with an arc of this book.
The synopsis for the book was really interesting and it was the reason I wanted to check this book out. I also found out that the author is a 16 yr old girl who started writing the book from when she was 12yrs old. I believe for someone so young to come up with the idea is really impressive, and I am marveled by her imagination as well. The number of magical creatures and places and horrors she managed to bring to life in the book is really fascinating. I was however not so excited by the story itself.
I was excited by the synopsis, but the story itself didn’t do a good job of executing it. The book was OK in my opinion. The plot itself was lacking a proper direction, the world sounded interesting enough, the characters were a bit bland and felt their personalities shifting around at times. The events in the book were very much rushed at times, and at times new elements were introduced without proper introduction or groundwork. The book is set in medieval times, but at times the guy’s conversations were modern. The dialogues also felt a bit stilted and awkward. I believe the book had potential but it wasn’t used well. The storyline is a cliched trope, but if executed well would have made for a better story. The plot needed to be more clear and the characters needed more development in my opinion.
I liked the idea of a young guy who lives in the shadows of someone greater who sets out into proving themselves, finds the group of misfits who join him on the quest for the exclusive, dangerous task. This story is essentially that with our central character being Aldor. The story is centered around Aldor who is the son of a warrior by name of Rowan. Aldor was raised by a nurse who smuggled him into Dagon and raised him as her own son. Aldor has never met his father and he was always bombarded with heroic tales from Rowan’s adventures. Aldor always felt less than what he was expected to be as Rowan’s son. He wants to go on a journey and find himself and his purpose. Various unfortunate events lead him into exile from him home.
Aldor then gets welcomed into another kingdom from where he is designated various tasks. The fact that at times Aldor is a young 19yr old shy, timid, not-a-people person suddenly becomes this leader figure without much prior training makes it hard to believe that he is tasked with the responsibility of the fate of a foreign kingdom. The shift in his personalities and the way his interactions made me feel confused a lot.
Keira is the princess of the Kingdom that welcomed Aldor. The insta-love between the characters was the other aspect that I felt was unnecessary. Kiera’s character was impulsive, irresponsible and immature. I believe the author’s intention was to portray her as strong and brave yet the situations didn’t make her seem strong or brave.
The warriors or other characters were also full of inconsistencies. Gregory was whiny, annoying and simply indecisive in my opinion. He chose to be part of the mission, yet all he does is complain. He is not a strong character to be part of the mission. Laurence the navigator is the one with all the information about things, and I felt he was a good character with a lot more potential to bring more to the story.
Dale and Jasper were the brothers who joined the mission at Aldor’s request. Dale was a huntsman and Jasper had skills with a knife. The brothers were also good characters but didn’t have much to offer to the story in terms of character development.
A lot of the details from the past of these characters were glossed over and offered at odd times, which made it difficult to have a connection with them. The friendship between the characters also was quick and not so believable and something you could connect to. I believe that if the storylines for these characters and certain events in their life were foreshadowed before springing on us we could have had a better understanding of the story.
The plot was vague and with just the mission at the forefront, it was a race filled with full of adventure and events. The world the author built was good, a lot of imagination and potential to be more. The book could have been split into two parts with the adventures to be set apart on their own. Each could have been a mission of its own with the number of details and characters that were introduced later. The stakes were high majority of the time, the adventure and risk factor was also very high. I feel like if the individual events were fleshed out more with a lot more character groundwork, this book would have been a masterpiece.
Overall the book is OK, but needs an overhaul in terms of plot, defined characters, less insta-love, and more organic interactions between the characters will make the story more real and easy to connect with.
If you are a younger audience and have no aversion to gore, violence, and death then this book will lead you to the most action-packed ride of your life. The world and the creatures described in the books were definitely unique and fantastic. If you favor a plot and great characters then this book might not be for you. The main focus I will say for this project is the various adventures the team embarks on and how they deal with the circumstances. The world is very complex and will be fascinating for readers who love that.