Sunday, September 29, 2013

Review: Cursed by S. J. Harper

Cursed by S. J. Harper
Series: Fallen Siren, Book 1
Publisher: Roc
Genre: Urban Fantasy Cursed Cover
Release Date: October 1, 2013
ISBN: 9780425263297
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

Emma Monroe is cursed – literally. Centuries ago, she was stripped of her wings and bound to Earth for her failure in rescuing Persephone from Hades. Any man she falls in love with is doomed to die at the hands of the goddess Demeter. Now Emma’s an agent for the FBI, hiding her true nature as a siren while working toward redemption by finding missing persons. Her latest case involves a missing artist who may be more than she seems, but that isn’t what’s throwing Emma for a loop.

Emma’s new partner, Zack Armstrong, is an agent with supernatural secrets of his own. Zack’s a werewolf whose past has him searching for salvation as well. The pull between he and Emma is undeniably strong…not to mention dangerous. When their case takes an unexpected turn, both Zack and Emma are left vulnerable by their growing connection. And to save the victims and each other, both werewolf and siren might have to sacrifice the unimaginable.

Cursed cursed is a paranormal adventure worthy of the name. With Cursed, S. J. Harper has delivered a dynamite beginning to the Fallen Siren series.

Zack and Emma have the kind of chemistry that can’t be beat. Though Cursed is written entirely from Emma’s point of view, she and Zack are equally strong leads and I can’t wait to delve deeper into their characters in future books. Their easy working relationship contrasts perfectly with the troubles of their burgeoning romantic relationship. Regarding the latter, S. J. Harper throws some surprising curveballs in their path, one of which literally had my jaw dropping.

Relationships aside, the world building of Cursed should delight any Urban Fantasy fan. The twist on the sirens of Greek mythology, combined with the intriguing glimpses into this world’s vampire and werewolf mythos, have me begging for more Fallen Siren novels. Though I won’t spoil what I learned (that would ruin much of the fun of the novel), suffice it to say that S. J. Harper does a fantastic job of introducing a marvelous world without going overboard and slowing down the story.

An intriguing mystery and a host of fascinating secondary characters round out Cursed, making the book impossible to put down. I admit, I have a love/hate relationship with the ending of this story. There’s a punch-you-in-the-gut cliffhanger for anyone attached to Emma and Zack, but it’s organic to the story and ensures that I’ll definitely be picking up the next Fallen Siren book.

Cursed is a wickedly sirenic story that will have you reading late into the night. Authors Samantha Sommersby and Jeanne C. Stein (the writing team that is S. J. Harper) have created something wonderful with the Fallen Siren series and I can’t wait to see where they take readers next!