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Review: The Curse Breakers by Denise Grover Swank

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The Curse Breakers (The Curse Keepers #2)
    by: Denise Grover Swank

Publication Date:
Publisher: 47 North
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Age Group: New Adult
Source: e-ARC provided by NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Page Count: 406 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N
My Rating: 4.5/5 stars

For more than four hundred years, the Curse Keepers guarded the barrier between the human and spirit realms. All that changed the day Ellie Lancaster met Collin Dailey. Prophecy demanded they defend the world from evil-even as it ignited a passion that threatened to consume them both.

Now Ellie faces a frightening new life, abandoned by the man she loves and tormented by malevolent spirits unleashing their vengeance upon the earth. Her only shot at protecting humanity-and herself-from the demon scourge is to claim the mark of the god Ahone as her own. Finding it means trusting Dr. David Preston, a handsome professor of Native American studies whose skepticism is surpassed only by his attraction to Ellie. Together they must finish what the Curse Keepers began, defying the forces of darkness to face hell on earth-and unlock the truth of Ellie's destiny.

After having read and loved the first book in the Curse Keepers series, I was so happy to get a copy of this second book for review. It's been awhile since I've read the first, so I was afraid that I would be fuzzy on the details of the first book, but Denise has done a wonderful job of filling you in as to the events that happened at the end of the first book and she has done so where it didn't feel repetitive or like information overload.
Pacing: It was so easy jumping back into Ellie's world, so I am really glad I didn't spend the first part of the book trying to recall what happened previously. I feel Denise did a great job with this second novel. She wastes no time in picking back up where we left off and I was so heartbroken for Ellie and everything she's gone through.
Storyline: When we first meet Ellie again, she is a mess. Betrayed, heartbroken, angry, and hurt- she is struggling to deal with the aftermath of what happened at the end of the previous novel. She has gained the attention of Tom Helmsworth, police officer and old high school classmate, and he is not only concerned about her, but is far too curious about the events that are transpiring in Manteo. He isn't stupid and knows Ellie has a connection to everything that's going on, but doesn't have proof. Tom, while not a bad guy, just doesn't understand that there are supernatural forces at work and Ellie cannot divulge that kind of information to him. Not only is Tom nosing around, but she also has angry spirits that are after her now that the Curse has been broken and the gates of hell opened. Seeking out Collin Dailey for help is the last thing Ellie wants and will hold out as long as she is able to. I just felt so much for Ellie in this book. After having lost someone very dear to her, she is trying to get by the best she can, but she also is in great danger. She has one god who wants her for his own selfish purposes and won't give up until he has her. While the other has also claimed her, he is not going out of his way to help her- instead she must make the journey on her own. Time is running out for Ellie and she has to make her decision quickly... before it's too late. She seeks the help of Dr. David Preston, a professor of Native American studies. After casting her off as a crazy person, their paths meet again in Manteo and he can't deny the overwhelming urge to find out more. However, David ends up being a true ally to Ellie and ultimately someone she can trust and depend on. This second novel has a bit of everything: mystery, romance, suspense, and action. And of course- more Native American lore, which I really loved reading about!
Characters: As I said earlier, Ellie is a mess right now. Yet, she is still as determined as ever. Not once did she just say the hell with it and want to give up. She is in danger on multiple fronts and has to protect herself. One of the things I loved about Ellie before was her compassion for others. She will risk her own life to protect others and that is what makes her such a likeable heroine. She is sassy and snarky, and after being betrayed by the one person she needed most, she is determined to stay strong. She has moments of weakness where Collin is concerned, as she can't deny the connection they share, but she still manages to call him out on everything that's happened. You go girl!
Collin. Insert really angry face here. I want to know what his deal is. As much as I want to hate him for everything, I just can't. And my heart is torn. What he and Ellie have is electric and they share a connection that no one will ever be able to touch. Yet, Collin's selfishness and his refusal to confide in Ellie are what separate the two even further. Ellie doesn't trust him and without trust, there's just no way the two can be together. Collin will confuse you and then surprise you with his actions and I was left feeling really undecided about how I felt about his character.
I am not a fan of love triangles, but I have to say I really liked David's character. I'm unsure of the direction Denise will take their relationship in the third book, but he is exactly what Ellie needed NOW. She needs someone to care for her and treat her as an equal in all things and that is David. He's also really sexy and British, which is always a plus too!
Final Thoughts: The Curse Breakers was an excellent second novel and I cannot recommend this series enough, especially if you are an urban fantasy New Adult lover! The odds are against Ellie and the fight is on to ensure Okeus does not succeed in his maniacal plans for her. I have a feeling the next book will be an edge of your seat type of read, as Ellie continues her battle against the ancient spirits that have been unleashed and want to steal her life force.

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  1. I gotta check this out! I am all for New Adult that is not contemporary! This sounds like a good series with a well done triangle! Great review!

  2. I haven't seen/heard of this one! But I do like the sound/look of it and of the story-line. Though not a fan of the love triangle, I am with Teresa, if done well, I can totally handle it! :D Great review!

  3. Oh goodness, Jessica! I'm going to have to pick up this series! The characters sound amazing and I love Native American lore!! And that David is sexy AND British...I'm sold! ;) Excellent review!

  4. Hmm, I haven't heard of this and I haven't really read much urban fantasy either, but it does sound appealing. Might have to check it out.


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