One for readers at the older end of the YA spectrum, The Thousand Year Curse is clearly the work of a gifted young writer. The plot and the basic premise have already been spelled out by other reviewers but what struck me most about the book was the deft and surprisingly mature touch of the author.
Whereas other writers might have been swift and heavy-handed with their hints that all is not as it seems with Ryder's life and background, Taylor Lavati builds the interest by keeping a tight focus on human feelings. She makes Ryder someone who feels alien for very human reasons - not as a result of harbouring something obviously supernatural. It makes her very believable and someone for whom the reader can feel. The light narrative touch is excellent. There are some subtle suggestions that something peculiar is going on but these are developed only gradually as the plot progresses.
Structurally, I think there is some room for improvement - I felt that this first book needs more of a sense of denouement in order for it to work as a novel in its own right, so it ends with the key questions unanswered. However, many YA readers will doubtless welcome this; I'm confident that lovers of teen romance and magical fantasy will be delighted to know that there is much more to come.
It's also arguable that Ryder lacks a certain forcefulness of character - that the plot only really ever moves on when one or both of her suitors are on the scene - but given that this is only the first part of her story and that exceptionally strange things are happening to her, it seems to me only natural that she is still finding her feet. We do not yet see her transformed into some wonderfully empowered and self-assured young woman, but there are strong signs that this transformation will come in time.
For me, the best aspect of this novel was the author's portrayal of the feelings of her characters. The dialogue was spot-on, as were Ryder's reactions to the events that unfolded around her, so in human terms, I felt the story always remained credible and compelling. That's an impressive achievement and one that augurs well for the sequel.
© Taylor Lavati 2017
What Readers Have to Say...
"An absolutely heart wrenching read that shows us that at times no matter how much we hope, darkness will find its way to win. "
-Blogger's From Down Under for A Reliant Love
"So this book is the ultimate love story. I like how two ordinary people who is so different and still so alike in so many ways can overcome everything together."
-Angelica Berglund for For The Love of Hockey
"I never thought I would read a "zombie book", much less love one. The Last Legacy really surprised me. Even with the whole people-eating-people thing, it was a fantastic book"
-Melannie S for The Last Legacy
"I could not wait to start book two. If this book was as good as book one, then I knew I wouldn't be disappointed. It wasn't as good as book one...it was better. "
-Keely Retchloff for Finding Sam
"The powers, the love, the excitement, the drama kept me so enthralled. If you are looking for a GREAT series about true love and mythology, look no further... I wish I could rate 10 stars! Definitely recommend this whole series to all my book loving friends!"
-The Book Blog for A Curse Books Trilogy
"For the Love of Ash" by Taylor Lavati was a rare 5-star read for me. I honestly find many typical romances rather dull and predictable. This was not the case at all here; there was nothing average about the romance, overall storyline, and the long list of supporting characters."
-Summer's Book Blog for For The Love of Ash
"Wingless isn't what I would normally pick up and read, but thought I'd try it out and I am so glad I did. The characters and "worlds" she creates are done so well that you can actually picture them and feel like you are there right along with the characters."
-JLH for Wingless
For The Love of Hockey | January 2016
The Price of Love | 2017