Sunday, September 25, 2011

Tiger’s Voyage Book Review

Author: Colleen Houck. Release date: November 2011. Publisher:  Splinter. ISBN: 9781402784057.

Annotation:  Kelsey’s adventure, and romance, with her two tiger princes continues in a nautical journey to the mysterious Seventh Pagoda.
Personal thoughts:  I was a bit hard on the second installment in this series, but was pleasantly surprised to find that I enjoyed this third novel quite a bit. I still find some elements of the story to be a bit on the melodramatic or cheesy side, but I think that, overall, the author does a good job of mixing romance with adventure. I really grew to like Kelsey more in this novel, and think that Houck has done a good job of developing the characters. I am really looking forward to the next novel.
Plot summary: After Ren’s memory loss following his rescue in Tiger’s Quest, Kelsey must work to make the prince fall in love with her all over again if she is going to keep her growing feelings for his brother, Kishan, at bay. Matters are complicated when Mr. Kadam unravels the next portion of their journey: retrieving Durga’s mystical pearl necklace located in the mysterious Seventh Pagoda. In order the reach the Pagoda, the group must travel by sea, seeking instruction from the five dragons who know how to reach the necklace. The journey will become increasingly more risky, but not quite as dangerous as the growing tension between Kelsey and Ren as she becomes closer to Kishan.
Review: As is often the case with series, some installments are better than others. This third book in Houck’s best-selling Tiger’s Curse series is, in many ways, the most enjoyable yet. The characters have already been firmly established and Houck has done an excellent job of acquainting the reader with the setting and ins and outs of the often complicated journey of Kelsey, Ren and Kishan. Although the next phase of the quest to break the centuries long curse is even more elaborate than in the previous two novels, it is also more original and entertaining. The love-triangle between Kelsey and the two princes is really at the forefront of the storyline, and Houck does a good job of creating a growing sense of tension throughout the novel. Coping with Ren’s memory loss was an excellent way to keep the romance between Ren and Kelsey interesting. Houck also introduces other characters that compete with Kelsey for Ren’s affections and vice versa, adding another layer to the thickening plot. Overall, this third installment in the series greatly improves upon the second, and leaves the reader with a cliffhanger that will surely keep anticipation for the fourth novel running high.  
Genre: Adventure/Romance
Reading level: Grade 7+
Similar titles: First and second installments in Tiger’s Curse series by Colleen Houck.  
Themes:  Romance, relationships, magic, India, curses, China, diving, yachts.
Awards/Reviews:  Third installment in best-selling series.  
Series Information: Third installment in Tiger’s Curse series. Other novels in series: Tiger’s Curse (2011) and Tiger’s Quest (2011).  
Discussion questions:
- How does this novel compare to the first two in the series? Did it meet your expectations? Why or why not?
- How did you feel about Ren’s memory loss and aversion to Kelsey? Do you think that is realistic? Why or why not?
- Why do you think Kelsey is torn between Ren and Kishan?
- Which of the dragons was your favorite? Why?
- This novel ends with a cliffhanger. Describe what a cliffhanger is and why it is often used in series novels.

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