Cursed (Book 2)
by Wendy Owens
Some people are born into love, some people are born into war, when Gabe discovered he was a Guardian Angel, his life was suddenly thrust into both. If this hidden war wasn’t enough to deal with, Gabe learns he is fated to be the great protector who will one day deliver the last prophet to either safety or death. All of these revelations didn’t matter for Gabe, he only cared that his new life included Sophie.
Sophie and Gabe grew closer over the summer. She is now a fixture in his life that keeps him moving forward. Evil doesn’t stop stalking him just because he found happiness. This time darkness finds it’s way into Rampart manor and Gabe will have to decide if he is willing to risk everything to try and stop it.
Gabe’s stomach twisted, each knot tighter and more agonizing than the last. He wiped his sweat-soaked hands on the legs of his jeans and searched the nearby crowd for a familiar face. He imagined that if he could just catch a glimpse of Sophie, everything would be all right. Unfortunately, Sophie was nowhere to be found. Gabe felt hopeless.
The roar of the crowd began to grow. He heard them harmoniously stomping their feet in a rhythm that cried out for battle. Gabe glanced across the arena to several cages that were shielded by large cloaks. Whatever was inside was clearly becoming agitated by the noise of the crowd. The captive creatures began beating against the bars. Random secret shrieks and growls came from their general area.
“Rampart Manor!” Gabe heard Uri’s magically amplified voice shout over the thunderous group. “Let’s be honest, we all know the reason why we’re gathered here today. Yes, yes, of course we want to support our dear friend, Gabe. But, let’s get real for a minute. Day in and day out we learn and train and grow as Guardians. We do as we’re told and follow the rules. We all work hard. Now it’s our turn to watch some demons tremble in fear! It’s our turn to watch the hunters become the hunted. Who’s ready to see some fighting? Better yet, who wants to see what our great protector is made of?”
The crowd erupted into a frenzy at Uri’s words.
The past summer had been full of blood, sweat, and tears for Gabe, but it was also an experience he wouldn’t trade for anything. He had grown close to Sophie and all of his new friends. Uri had even become what Gabe would call his best friend; something he hadn’t had in his previous life. As appreciative as he had grown of Uri’s humor, right now, in this arena, was one of those moments he wished Uri was able to contain himself.
Gabe had felt somewhat confident about his tests when he awoke that morning. He had spent every free moment studying and practicing for this all summer,though it didn’t take long before he realized what Uri had done. After the tenth or so person wished him luck and expressed how much they were looking forward to seeing him in action, he knew Uri had decided to make this day into a big event for the entire manor, even though Gabe wasn’t comfortable being a spectacle.
Gabe’s confidence quickly disintegrated into rage, conjuring visions in his head of strangling his dear friend Uri for inviting a crowd to watch his tests. It was hard enough for him to concentrate alone in complete silence knowing what was at stake. He wasn’t sure how he would be able to do anything with a hundred of his future classmates looking on. Gabe knew that failing today wouldn’t only let down everyone who helped him, but could also have his mentor, Michael, questioning if he had made a mistake in choosing Gabe.
“Get over here, Gabe,” Uri motioned to his friend to join him in the circle. He reluctantly walked to his side. Uri grabbed his hand and raised it high into the air in a triumphant motion. “Are you ready to kick some demon tail, my friend?”
Gabe glanced over his shoulder at the rattling cages and could only feign a smile for a short moment. As he looked back to the crowd, he saw Michael standing off to the side with an expressionless face, his arms crossed, watching intensely as the scene unfolded. For a moment, he thought Michael may step in and stop the side show antics. When Michael just continued to watch, Gabe knew he was on his own.
“So everyone knows the rules …” Uri shouted. “Oh yeah, that’s right, there are no rules! Gabe can showcase anything and everything he has learned to stay alive!”
“I think you’re exaggerating a bit, don’t you?” Gabe mumbled under his breath to Uri. He was sure Michael wouldn’t let him die in these tests. At least, he thought he was sure. Gabe quickly looked at Michael again for some reassurance. He still displayed no change in expression or stance.
“Don’t worry,” Uri continued. “We’ll all be safe. There’s a protection spell on the arena so the demons won’t be able to escape. Just you and them!” Uri patted Gabe on the back heavily. Then he turned and scurried out of the arena. Uri’s words made Gabe even more anxious as he stumbled forward.
Gabe turned slowly, his hands feeling like two large boulders hanging from his sides. He watched in horror as Uri and two other men pulled the draping from the three cages.
We received a copy of this book in exchange for our honest reviews.
Wow! At times I felt like I was on a twisty crazy roller coaster. That’s a good thing.
I actually like this one better than the first book. I like this one better because it has a faster pace. The things I enjoy about this book;-I like how it picks up after a period of time after the first book, and mentions how his relationships with Uri and Sophie had grown. I liked how Gabe questioned his relationship with Michael. I also like the way it describes the scene and what characters are thinking and going through.
There is one thing that I found frustrating about the book. Gabe seems so insecure. He always seems to be questioning himself. That seems frustrating to me. I think I’d like to have seen him more confident than he was in book 1, so show more growth in him. I keep yelling at my kindle to Gabe to “grow a pair.” lol. 🙂
There was only one thing I did not like. There were a couple times where something was happening and I turn the page, to find it’s hours or more later and did not really see what happened, as it happened.
The end of the book was good. It pleased me to see the growth that Gabe had accomplished. I look forward to reading book three.
I really enjoyed the beginning of this book. Packed full of action, some intrigue, a little suspense, a touch of angst and drama. Then a whole lot of overly complicated stuff goes down for seemingly good reasons that end up completely invalidated by the things at the end of the book.
Cursed seemed better paced than Sacred Bloodlines, and I was so curious as to where the plot was going but it was a bit frustrating as all the action after the beginning takes place off page (that’s like off screen, but it’s a book ya dig?), people are getting thrust into the story who don’t seem to have any part of anything and get discarded(at least in this book), important seeming plots just don’t really go anywhere. It all ends up feeling like a clip show, interesting sure, but ultimately just filler. Until we get to the end when things start hitting the fan.
Ok, now we’re getting to the good stuff I say to myself as we hit the last part of the book, which reads more like an epilogue for reasons which you will find out for yourself! The heavy stuff gets laid out on the table which nicely sets the stage for the next book.
Overall Cursed had its moments especially near the beginning and could have been better but the ending hints to a more promising continuation of the series. I’m still hooked!
Wendy Owens was raised in the small college town of Oxford, Ohio. After attending Miami University, Wendy went on to a career in the visual arts. After several years of creating and selling her own artwork, she gave her first love, writing, a try.
Since 2011, she has published a young adult paranormal series, The Guardians, which will contain five books total, as well as a novella.
Wendy now happily spends her days writing—her loving dachshund, Piper, curled up at her feet. When she’s not writing, she can be found spending time with her tech geek husband and their three amazing kids, exploring the city she can be found spending time with her tech geek husband and their three amazing kids, exploring the city she loves to call home: Cincinnati, OH.