I grabbed R.G. Porter‘s novel, Innok’s Curse, off of the KDP free list, and I’m fairly sure this is the version I have. The cover is the same. I’m just thrown a little by Goodreads’ inclusion of this title: Curse of Innok. The synopsis makes it fairly obvious that it’s the same story.
I suppose the author may have published it twice, or one may be an updated version of the other. I don’t know. So confused over this (and just OCD enough to want to be sure I reviewed the right novel) I even messaged Porter to ask which one she wanted reviews posted under. In retrospect this may not have been appropriate, but I can’t take it back. Oh well. I haven’t heard anything back anyway. Lacking any further guidance on the issue I am going with Innok’s Curse.
Desctiption from Goodreads:
A man cursed by a demon.
A woman who’s memories are more than just her own.
An enemy sworn to destroy all their dreams.
A destiny that none of them expected.
Cursed to live by day as a dragon and by night as a man, Gabriel believes he will forever be alone after the murder of his beloved Danielle. That is, until the night he meets Alayia and everything changes.
Together, they must figure out the truth of the curse that Innok has placed on Gabriel as well as those from his visions. Their quest will bring them deep into the heart of the evil, but with her abilities and the spirit of the dragon within, they might just unlock the truth of the past
and break the curse. If they can keep the demon from winning too fast
I like the premise of this book. I suppose that ought to be obvious. I wouldn’t have downloaded it or chosen to read it if I hadn’t. The idea of a man cursed to live as both a consciousless beast and a man carrying the burden of both his own and its guilt is an interesting one. The incorporation of earth magic, reincarnation and boundless love and friendship only sweetens the pot really. Unfortunately I didn’t feel the book lived up to its potential. The whole thing just felt too rushed.
Characters were introduced only to die in the next scene and while it was obvious that the reader was meant to feel something at this loss, I didn’t. I hadn’t had enough time to come to care. Other characters acted abhorrently, but other than the a mention by the narrator that the main character was surprised at their callousness there was no suggestion that this was out of the ordinary so it held no emotional impart for the reader.
There was no way to anchor yourself in time. The year 1025 was mentioned at one point and Gabriel was known to have slept for 50 years. The story seemed to begin when he is waking. However, there was no way to know how much time passes there-after. He could have been living as the dragon for three weeks or two thousand years. I never could figure it out. This also made it hard to reconcile the language used. The narration had a distinctly modern feel, which only further muddled my attempts to settle on an era.
Solutions seemed to magically appear at times. As an example, after learning about Gabriel’s curse Alayia pulls a book out of her backpack that just happens to have had the spell she needs to break it inside…from her backpack, not the local library, or the university or even back at home, but from the one small bag she happened to be carrying with her. This despite there being no indication that she had any previous magic training and every suggestion that she came from a family that would disapprove of such a thing anyway. Why did she have a book of spells with her?
Worst of all, I have no idea why any of the events happened. Having finished the book I still don’t know why Elroy was after Danielle in the first place. Did he think he was in love with her? Did he have some nefarious plan that required her and her magic? Did he have something against Gabriel and she was just a handy way to torture him. I don’t know. The whole substructure of the plot was missing and felt hollow as a result.
This isn’t to suggest that the book wasn’t without merit. It did contain Talon, who happens to be one of the most colourful characters I’ve come across in a while. Granted, I have no idea why he was so wonderfully dedicated to Alayia having JUST met her, but he was and I loved him for that. I really hope the next book ends with him in the lap of luxury. He deserves it. The idea that Danielle and Gabriel’s love was so strong that it could transcend time was moving and the message that it is important to accept all of yourself (even the parts you fear or don’t understand) is a good one. Such acceptance is an important first step toward…oh, enlightenment, self-improvement, acceptance into Heaven [choose your transcendental equivalent].
There is a lot of potential here. The storyline itself is a good one and other readers may love the book. Everyone is different after all. I, however, didn’t and I cringe just typing that because I hate to say it about anyone’s baby. But in this case it is unfortunately true. This one just wasn’t for me.