Hello everyone! I am two weeks into my internship and as a result, I am so behind on reviews (my drafts are staring at me as I write this). As a result, I’m trying to be a little more selective about which books I review and spend time on. While I plan on reviewing any new-ish books, there is no need for me to spew thoughts on ones that I’m super late to. However, I still have a lot of feelings (what’s new?) so I decided to start mini reviews, grouping together books that don’t quite need an entire post each.
First up – the Cursebreakers series! I have heard about these books for a while as they’re often discussed tangentially to Sarah J. Maas’ ACOTAR series, which holds a very special place in my heart. I finished all three books in like…no time. And while you may think that means I loved them, think again lol. They’re fun and easy and gave me what I needed in the moment aka escapism in the face of tremendous anxiety. When this happens, I can blaze through any book, even if I’m not a big fan (is this my one talent???). But does this series live up to the hype? Sadly, I don’t really think so…but let’s break it down book by book.
Disclaimer: I have tried very hard to not spoil any of the books, however, I do mention which POVs are included in each book. This is not a spoiler in my opinion, but it is surprising so proceed at your own discretion.
Book One: A Curse so Dark and Lonely
Overall rating: 3.5/5
Content warnings: Violence, torture, sexual assault, loss of a family member, robbery, cancer treatment (most of these apply to books #2 and #3)
A solid start to the series, in my opinion! I loved Harper in this book, especially since I have not read a book with a main character who has cerebral palsy. I’m always here for representation, and this book definitely knocked it out of the park in that aspect. It is a Beauty and the Beast retelling, so I was expecting a lot of what happened, yet there was enough to make it stand out. Grey was easily my favorite character (more on that very soon), and I enjoyed all the relationships that were explored. The romance was rushed but I have come to expect that with these books, and the ending was solid enough to push me to read the next.
Book Two: A Heart so Fierce and Broken
Overall rating: 4/5
Wow. What a turn the series takes. I was very curious as to the direction it would go in after the first book, but I did not expect a complete change in POV. We get practically no Harper and Rhen in this book, and whatever we do see from other characters’ perspectives is not great. This one was probably my favorite, just because it focuses on Grey. I loved getting inside his head and I enjoyed his relationship development and growth. That being said, I won’t deny that I think the 180 degree change did not benefit the series in the long run. A little bit more Harper and Rhen so as to not alienate them so completely might have been a better choice, but this book as a “standalone” was solid. Lots of twists and turns (albeit the ending was fairly predictable), romance, and good character development. Again – great ending to push me to read book three.
Book Three: A Vow so Bold and Deadly
Overall rating: 3/5
Alright. This is where things sadly start to fall apart. I want to give the author credit, because the way she set things up in books one and two lent itself to make book three a real challenge to write. There are so many characters with different motivations, and their relationships/loyalties/politics when it comes to one another is very complex. I was skeptical as to how she was going to redeem certain characters and bring things together…it seems my skepticism was not misplaced. I appreciated what she was trying to do here, but it just didn’t work. The first half was incredibly slow/boring, characters lost their spark, things were forced/didn’t make sense, the ending felt like a lot was still unresolved, and it just felt off. It may have been better if we did get Rhen and Harper’s POV in book two but in the absence of all of that, I just couldn’t buy into the decisions they were making and how things turned out. Are we sure there isn’t a book 4??? Because this did not feel like a wrap…
And there you have it! I told you all this would be “mini” so I really tried to keep things to the point. I’m still confused as to how I felt about this series as a whole. There are definitely other fantasy series I would recommend first, such as ACOTAR or even Jennifer L. Armentrout’s From Blood and Ash because this one just fizzles out. There are some good characters in here and they were honestly the only reason I kept going, but overall, not super great. If you’ve read these books, I would love to hear what you think, so let me know in the comments below!