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Steven James’ Curse

As Daniel Byers prepares to attend a basketball camp before his senior year of high school, the terrifying blurs that’ve plagued him for the last nine months return.

Dark images begin to haunt him—creatures crawling from the deepest pits of his nightmares, glimmers of chilling memories from his early childhood. But before he can unearth the meaning behind his mysterious hallucinations, Daniel must team up with two other extraordinary teens to save a young woman who has been abducted by a scientist obsessed with enacting his own warped form of justice.

This atmospheric mystery picks up where Fury left off and takes readers into the uncharted regions where reality and madness intertwine.


What I liked:

The mystery. Mr. James can craft some interesting, yet slightly creepy mysteries that can really keep you invested.

Daniel. He is a bit too perfect at times, but I like watching his mind work.

Unreliable narrator. It never gets old. The fact that Daniel can’t trust his mind makes him a fascinating hero.

What I didn’t like:

James introduces three new teenagers. While I had nothing against them, it just felt like too much.

Once again, I felt like James was trying to teach me a lesson in every other chapter whether it was through a mini-story or an explanation. I just found myself skimming. Not only did it really not fit the narration to me, I felt like I could tell you how the author was going to vote in the upcoming election. It’s one thing if the character thinks a certain way, but the way James hones in on things randomly makes me think the author thinks a certain way. And to be honest, it’s presented in a kind of high handed way as well.

Lastly, the teenagers rarely felt like teenagers. They acted and talked like adults. I mean, these kids thought deeply and would have only have random inserted moments of teenage thoughts and activity. I say this as a person who reads a ton of YA and lives with a teenager. I don’t care how smart the kid is, at the end of the day, lets be honest, teens are consumed with themselves.

Overall, this was kind of a chore to get through. I kept reading because the mystery was interesting, and I am a fan of James, but I wasn’t crazy about this book.

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