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.
**A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.**
Fun, fun, fun. This was my first thought when finishing Cecy Robson’s debut novel, SEALED WITH A CURSE. After having just recently finished the novella for the series, THE WEIRD GIRLS, I knew I was in for a wild ride and Robson did not disappoint.
One of the best things about Sealed with a Curse is its central cast of characters – the Wird sisters. I love these girls. There’s Celia, the oldest and the main character of this story, who can shift into a tiger in addition to having a couple of other very cool powers. She is independent, strong, and fiercely protective of her sisters. But Celia has spent her entire life taking care of others; she is scary to humans who can sense her beast beneath the surface and this has left her intensely lonely. Then there is Taran, the wild child of the bunch who can fry you with her fingertips. She’s a smart ass and provides a lot of laughs throughout the story. For all her bravado I think there’s someone a little more vulnerable inside and I can’t wait to see that storyline develop. Shayna is a kickass knife thrower/swordswoman/archer who can bend wood and metal to her demands. Finally, there’s Emme, the sweet innocent, who can heal with a touch and move things with her mind.
These super close, protective sisters really make this story come alive. Their individual voices are well-defined and distinct. The only sister that feels like the “middle child” is Shayna and I think Robson successfully makes her stand out by the end of the story. Some of the best scenes in the book are the interactions the girls have with each other. Robson hits the right notes in terms of creating a wonderful chemistry between the sisters that draws you into their lives and leaves you wanting to be adopted by the clan.
However, they do have a tragic past, one that is a bit shrouded in mystery as to how they got their powers. It’s explained as a backfired curse and it’s fun to see how other supernaturals in the Tahoe area try to figure out exactly what they are and what these ladies can do. I also love the fact that the Wird sisters are completely irreverent when it comes to the social mores of the supernatural world. When speaking to the right hand man of a master vampire, Taran could care less how dangerous he is which makes this line priceless:
Everyone stood except for Hank. As Misha’s bodyguard, he didn’t appreciate my taking charge. Taran slapped his arm. “We all want to go home alive – well, you dead freaks know what I mean – so back off and quit acting like a bitch.”
Robson also drops hilarious lines like this:
I opened my robe and stared at the girls, mortified and convinced the universe hated me. If he had to see my breasts, why couldn’t it have been the perkier of the two?
I also loved the fact that the Wird sisters are Latina. I’ve gone on record lamenting the lack of diversity in the world of UF/PNR and loved that the Weird Girls series injects some much needed diversity into the genres. The ladies aren’t afraid of expressing their Latina heritage and I applaud that. Robson also includes some side characters that further add diversity to the cast and was a refreshing change to what can typically be a heterogeneous supernatural world.
The world-building was also very original. And complex. While the prequel/novella focused on witches, Sealed with a Curse introduces us to the world of weres and vampires. There is too much to even begin to explain but some of the things I found interesting were the power dependencies of a master vampire on his/her family, the magic source of Lake Tahoe, a hotbed of supernatural beings, the power of gold which is dangerous to all supes, and The Den, a school for werewolves, the protectors of the earth. There are a lot of rules here and it can become overwhelming. The sisters themselves know very little about the supernatural world so we learn right along with them.
The story is also action-packed. If this were made into a film there would be a lot, and I mean a lot, of CGI required to get it right. There are some really fierce fight scenes, perhaps a little too many. I love the action but some of the best moments for me were the interactions between the sisters and the scenes of budding romance between them and their potential mates. Right when things calm down and we’re sitting back enjoying a nice moment between characters, action ensues, someone has to race off or the sisters are thrown into a fight. One or two action scenes less would have been a better balance for me.
Finally, as a side note, Gemini is one of the coolest werewolves ever. I’ll let you discover why his name is Gemini. I feel like there could be a spinoff series on him alone.
I can honestly say this is some of the best fun I’ve had with a new UF in a long time. There is some darkness, some lightness, action and romance, magic and mayhem. I said this in my review of The Weird Girls and I’ll say it again: Robson writes with a sense of exuberance. You can feel the energy and glee in her writing and it’s refreshing. She loves these sisters and I think you will too.
P.S. Check out a recent post Cecy Robson did for SWR on world-building!