Where Hell Cat lives.

Review: The Cursed, Alyssa Day

Alyssa Day, The CursedTitle: The Cursed
Author: Alyssa Day
Type: paperback
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Publication Date: 05/07/13
Category: Paranormal Romance
Buy: Amazon | Nook | Kobo | ARe | Sony



The duck picked that moment to take another run at her. Rio turned and ran, or at least that was what she told her body to do. Her feet were stuck in the muck, though, she managed one step before she fell flat in the crap again.

The actual, literal, crap.

“I’m going to kill you,” she told Luke. “I’m going to kill you slowly, and I’m going to enjoy this. And then I’m going to stand in the middle of a car wash for an hour.”

I love Alyssa Day’s work. Truly. I love the worlds, the magic she incorporates into everyday moments. And The Cursed is definitely a series I can love as it grows. This is the first, an opening, and it’s a great world. Bordertown as a space is a Richard’s burrito (ten points to anyone who gets that), of location and dimension. It’s a neutral zone, of sorts, where the fantastic can live outside their own dimension/world. Edged along High Line park in NYC, it’s separate but not. I imagine it in a nice little sepia view. A modern day OK Corral. No idea why since it doesn’t fit at all to the modern and mechanical. It’s just got that lawless, gritty feel. And I love the Black Swan fountain, the opulent space of different realms. And here’s what I love the most, honestly: the interwoven pop culture references. Most specifically a Doctor Who call out that I want to snuggle and name George, so I can love it forever. Being in Bordertown doesn’t mean you’re isolated from the mundane, non-magical world. Day is known for that and I love when she surprises me with little comments.

 Rio was fed up with being talked about as if she weren’t in the room. She stood, pulling the girl with her.

“I’m right here, gentleman. You can talk to me, instead of about me.”

I’m a fan of strong women who have a thread of vulnerability, like Rio. Rio is young woman, twenty-four at the start, that doesn’t know her past and is trying to handle her life as it happens while bike messengering around Bordertown. She has no problems with demons, Fae, trolls, or wizards. Yet she’s not necessarily a Mary Sue of epic proportions. She understands her limitations as a telepath and physical restrictions by not being a toll, wizard, or demon. She’s got three different factions of magic after her before she turns 25, completely overwhelmed, but nothing tops looking for a kidnapped little girl. An action she witnessed and won’t give up on. But what I liked best about all of traits is the quote above. She refuses to be talk about and not to. That idea  is throughout the book when high-handed people get it in their mind to not discuss actions with her. Something about the idea resonates. Totally love that about her. And her confusion over Luke Oliver’s lack of communication and finesse is an idea most people can understand, but as a woman, I understand the point really well. We all know hot and cold, grade school reactions by grown men with crushes, right?

Luke groaned. “I am not running for sheriff, I do not want to be sheriff, and I don’t think there’s anybody around big enough or tough enough to make me do it.”

Luke Oliver, aka Lucian Olivieri, is a wizard avoiding a specific town job that everyone keeps asking him to do. Given the nature of Bordertown, I don’t blame him. Luke tries to be a loner, to be a little less than what he is, yet Rio and Alice don’t respect the curmudgeon attitude. I like that he tries to control his life. And when Rio drags him into a situation involving the little girl, tangling up with her problems among his own ever-riding demons, he still doesn’t say no because that’s not who he is. Life is hard, life is painful, but he does a good job as a PI. Can’t be hard knowing  a possible path all your life, but he does a good of balancing knowledge with acceptance, so long as Rio is safe. Just don’t get his way then or you might be missing various toys or body parts.

Her laughter had a touch of hysteria to it, that Luke didn’t like at all, but he didn’t know how to fix it, so he stomped over to his office door, looked down the street both ways to make sure the coast was clear of innocent bystanders and innocent grandmotherly sedans, and then he blasted the hell out of the black stretch limo that was parked in front of his office.

As a couple, they match up really well. Neither one is stronger, better, than the other; he’s not the alphahole and she’s not the female equivalent. He has some overbearing tendencies, but given the danger surrounding her, I’m not surprised. They circle, they draw apart, but they’re also not 10 books in before they acknowledge the truth. Both are direct and I like that. A lot. It means there’s truth to what they say to each other and other characters. Not to mention themselves.

And I would love a Kit of my own. I have this image of her as some anime meets mythological creature and she’s kinda of awesome. She’s not a pet. It’s like an animal companion. Her anger display through magic made me die laughing, especially when Alice was in agreement. Alice’s constant appearances and who she chooses is amazing. I have this image of her as Black Alice from Birds of Prey, but older and more cynical about life.

There’s just so much to love about the characters in this series. I can’t wait for more. I won’t talk about the ending but I felt like other than the kinda hokey ending, book and author definitely earned the grade given.

Grade: A


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This entry was posted on May 22, 2013 by in Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, S.S. Romance and tagged , , , , .

About Hell Cat

Avid reader. Opinionated. Fan of many books and hot hockey players. Likes to look at the world around and commentate. Hell Cat because she's hell on wheels with some pretty sharp claws.


All books mentioned in reviews were bought and provided by reviewer unless noted in review. No affiliation to any organization or publisher.

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