I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review 3.5 Stars Cursed starts with a high-adrenaline action scene and just continues racing ahead. There really isn't much of a dull moment or a lull in this action-packed YA paranormal novel. This is another novel that is difficult to review without spoilers so I'll keep it brief. Jazz is a teenage guardian--basically a hunter after the evil version of her kind. Being brought up in this atmosphere, she is very professional and focused for a teenager. She reminded me more of someone in their twenties... at least she carried herself that way. Sure she had her whiny moments, but who doesn't. She's a kick-ass heroine, a leader, and a major fighter. Her romantic feelings seem to confuse her, almost like they don't belong in her high-stakes life. Best-friend and romantic interest Khan is a great sidekick. He always has Jazz's back--or at least tries to. She's a bit of a spitfire and has a bad tendency to take off on her own, leaving her backup breathing her dust. We are also introduced to Cal partway through which screams love triangle between the three characters. I enjoyed the action scenes and the intriguing underworld created by Ms. Prevost. This is a fast-paced read as Jazz is thrown into action scene after action scene to stop the curse that could turn her into that which she hunts. The incubus/succubus angle (minus sex) is a bit odd. They suck human essence to survive. Jazz's sect only takes what they need leaving humans alive and well, while the other sect kills. The two sects area bit confusing. I'm sure more will come to light as this is the first in a series.
The Guardian Chronicles, 1
Half-succubus Jazz Watkins spends her nights knee deep in Chicago drug dens hunting Suecai—an evil kind of incubi and succubae who devour the souls of humans. But when a leader of the Suecai curses her, Jazz has to track him down. Either she kills him before the curse burns through her, or she’ll become a full-fledged, out of control, soul-sucking monster.
She’s got a handful of weeks, absolutely no leads, and only her sexy best guy-friend, Khan, covering her back. But will the growing attraction she feels for Khan get in the way of her mission to save her own life?
14+ for sexuality and adult situations
When he walked out of the bathroom, the nerves I’d thought I’d turned to steel started to quiver. What if he refused me? Khan was just as stubborn as I was. How could I possibly ask this of him? How could I get him to understand?
I took a deep breath and looked at him. “Khan, we need to talk.”
“Uh oh, that’s never what a guy wants to hear from his girl.”
My stomach fluttered, but I refused to give into the distraction. “I have a plan…in case we don’t find and kill the Gunshi. But I need your help to pull it off.”
He didn’t look taken aback, just more determined than anything. “Jazz, it’s too soon for you to give up now. We’ve got some really good leads, and we can do this!”
I shook my head. “I’m not giving up, Khan. I never give up…you know that.” I smiled at him and was rewarded with one in return. “But…being a leader means having to think outside of myself…you and my dad taught me that. We have to prepare for all possibilities—even this.”
His dark eyes flashed and, for a second, I thought I was in for a long and hard fight. Then understanding washed over his features and he nodded. “As long as you promise this doesn’t mean you’ve given up.”
“Not even close—and giving in doesn’t even sound like me.”
He snorted. “That’s for sure.”
I rolled my eyes. “Okay, I think we can do this, but if not…I have a forgetting tonic to erase my memories. That way, in the very least, the vermin can’t use my knowledge against everyone I love.”
Khan jerked. “Where in the hell did you…?” Then he groaned. “Claudine.”
I couldn’t help but smile. “She always has been good at knowing what I need.”
His face was hard. “Okay, so I’ll make sure to wipe away your memories. I’ll erase everything that makes you, you—everything I’ve grown to know and care about. We done?”
I paused. “Not quite.”
He flinched. “I figured something more was coming when you said, ‘In the least’.”
I almost didn’t have the guts to continue. “Think about it, Khan. You can’t just leave me there, a newbie Suecai with the urge to feed. What if I came across my mom one day? Or your dad?
“You might not be able to do it immediately—there’s no telling how strong I’ll be at first or how protected—but eventually you’ll have to take me out!” I shuddered at the thought. “What else can we do?”
The rage flew through his features even more quickly than when I’d told him I couldn’t be his Valentine in the sixth grade.
“Anything, Jazz,” Khan whispered. “We fight. We search. We keep pounding the pavement until we find that bastard. We do anything and everything.”
Words escaped me. A boulder set squarely on my chest and wouldn’t budge. I should’ve known this wouldn’t be easy—hadn’t I spent my entire life traipsing around Chicago with Khan? I shouldn’t have expected anything else.
Khan seemed to take my silence as an opportunity to change my mind. “You could learn control, Jazz, and become a full-fledged Dorgai.” There it was, that secret hope I held deep in my heart that was too scary to speak out loud.
“Khan, that’s impossible. There’s no way I can learn control if I’m forced into feeding too fast. The only way we halfers manage it is by taking an entire year to ease into the process. All of Dad’s advisors are agreed that I’ll become an uncontrollable Suecai.”
“I can’t believe that, Jazz. It can’t happen. Not to you.”
I couldn’t focus. My need to be rational kept battling the little girl within me reaching for a solution, any solution.
I didn’t notice Khan moving until it was too late.
Before I could say something to break the bubble, Khan stood over me, his face inches from mine. His eyes were warm and I could feel the heat of his breath, minty from his recent trip to the bathroom. My heart stopped. And then he was kissing me, slow and deep at first, and then with a heat and passion I’d only guessed he possessed.
Cursed was a really good read giving the reader a slightly different take on the subject of Succubi & Incubi. As the synopsis tells us, Jazz Watkins is a half succubus and a warrior for her kind. She and her team go out at night, hunting the Suecai. The Suecai are the evil kind of their species and they take pleasure in sucking the souls out of unsuspecting humans, it is in the taking of the complete soul and killing the human that they become evil. When hunting one night, Jazz has a second attempt at catching the leader of the Suecai but finds herself the one who is captured and then cursed. The curse will turn her into one of which she hunts so with the time she has left, she heads of to find the leader and kill him. Her best friend Kahn has her back as always and joins her on the quest and with time running out, it’s now or never for the attraction that simmers between them. One thing is for sure…Jazz will never be the same again. I really enjoyed Cursed and thought it was great introduction to the series. Straight off we get two sides in the evil Suecai and the Dorcai that hunt them. As I mentioned earlier, this is a slightly different take on Succubi and Incubi – normally they gain energy by indulging in sexual activity but in this case they don’t.. although it does involve a kiss. Also, they drain the soul or chi in this and it is like a drug when first turning to Suecai so think more like soul/chi vampires where one side will devour you but the other will only take the necessary sip. Jazz has the potential to be an awesome kick ass character and in this you can see the warrior that she was starting to evolve into something else, we do see her at her best but also at her worst and throughout the story we will see what she is made of. The love connection comes by way of Khan, her best friend and member of her team who always has her back. I thought their chemistry and progression from friends to more was very natural and believable, they had some very sweet moments and I liked that Jazz’s predicament leant an urgency to the situation by making them both realise what they felt for each other and that time was of the essence. There was what seemed to be the beginnings of a love triangle and to be fair, I did feel the connection there too although Khan will always be my choice. The storyline was good and I liked everything about it, the way Jazz was cursed was a great way to bring about the action because not only does it make her wanted by the Suecai but wanted by her own people for what she may become. She has a foot in both worlds now and must traverse both in order to come to grips with what has been done to her. I liked the use of magic in this and that it introduced another type of person into the mix, after all it was a wizard who performed the curse on Jazz and that is where she might find answers. The answers that she does find are a bit of a shock but she uses that for her benefit and a sort of plan B to her situation. The ultimate goal is always to find the Leader and kill him so they plan for that but again, plans don’t always follow the way they were laid and Jazz has some hard times ahead. The story was paced very well and full of everything a book of this genre should have – action, chases, fighting, enemies, plots, a race against time, magic and a nice dose of romance that makes this book a very enjoyable read and I will be looking out for the sequel.
This is one kick ass main character. The story has it all, drama, action, romance, magic. I especially like that Jazz has the inner strength to carry on regardless of whether she's fighting, running, held prisoner or being romanced. She is fearless and focused. I bought this for the young women in my life. Jazz is an excellent role model in addition to being a strong, personally centered character. I highly recommend this book. It will make a great Christmas present for anyone, but especially any young women in your life.
This book is an amazing journey with a strong female as the main character. Definitely a great read! Cannot wait for the book to come out on paperback and also for the next installments. Thank you Trakena for a wonderful book and expansion of the imagination!!
I love strong female heroines (think Buffy or Katniss) and Jasmine is an awesomely tough, likeable addition to my lineup. She's a team leader, trained to fight the Suecai who drain humans of their life force. I love the action scenes and the way everyone, even her best-friend (seriously hot and sexy best friend) Khan who's (in her words) "not the boss of me, literally" knows to take her seriously. She's also dealing with the emotional fallout from a mom who's suffered from a Suecai attack, so it's easy to understand her fire for revenge. I don't want to give even one plot point away, but when she and Khan are on the run, I loved the heat between them. This book has plenty of sizzle (and a great triangle), but these characters are so busy running for their lives, fighting (literally) for what they want, and using their physical strength that they don't have a lot of time for mooning around. Even when Jasmine is focusing inward, mental and emotional struggles are described in a clear, concrete way that makes them vivid and immediate. This a a great book for anyone who wants a thrilling story, compelling characters, and a "what-next' read!