Series: The Tiger Saga #4
Published by: Sterling on September 4, 2012
Genre: Adventure, Fantasy, Mythology, Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
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Honor. Sacrifice. Love.
Will the end of everything lead to a new beginning?
After surviving three dramatic action-packed adventures, Kelsey, Kishan, and Ren now face their final challenge to find the goddess Durga's Rope of Fire. But the tables are turned: the sorcerer Lokesh has kidnapped Kelsey. If she escapes his clutches and successfully breaks the tiger's curse, Kelsey will free her beloved princes. But in doing so, she must then also make the hardest choice of her life.
The path ahead is perilous for all, with even more dangerous beasts to battle and potentially fatal twists that no one could have ever predicted. Only one thing is certain: they cannot escape their true destiny...
Tiger's Destiny spins a deliciously suspenseful tale of enchanted creatures, love-torn hearts, and edge-of-your-seat action as Kelsey, Ren, and Kishan take on their final challenge to break the tiger's curse.
NOTE #1: If you loved all the books in the series until this point, you’ll probably love Tiger’s Destiny. But if the love triangle has aggravated you, made you rage, caused you to rip your hair out in frustration and thank the universe that you have better sense when it comes to romance, then my review is probably for you.
NOTE #2: This review was really difficult for me to write.
I don’t know what the deal was with me and this book. I was so excited to read Tiger’s Destiny, then I got it and started reading, and I either didn’t like the book or I was just suddenly not in the mood to read it. I at least expected to hate the romance but be awed and floored by the fantasy. Instead, I hated the romance and thought the fantasy was only okay. I found that I really had to push myself to get through this book. My patience was limited and I just wanted to see Kelsey defeat the damn bad guy and pick which man she wanted to be with.
Kelsey really bugged me. I felt like her “character development” was too obvious and was screaming at the reader, to the point where it didn’t feel like character development. For example, she’s trying to show Ren and Kishan that she’s not a little girl who needs protecting. But instead of just showing them that she’s fierce and tough and can take care of herself, she just flat out says, “I can take care of myself now! I don’t need you to rescue me!” This brought back memories of Tiger’s Curse feeling too scripted. Kelsey shouldn’t be shouting about how she doesn’t need to be taken care of — she should be showing it.
In my review of Tiger’s Curse, I remember saying that Kelsey “just said such obvious things and sometimes she didn’t seem very impulsive or full of emotion.” Unfortunately, this made a reappearance in Tiger’s Destiny. Here’s one example of a scene that I felt lacked normal human emotions/reactions:
Refreshed, I took the Scarf and Fanindra and returned to our little tent only to find the fabric ripped apart and our belongings strewn about. Ren and Kishan were missing along with all of our weapons. I turned in a slow circle and listened carefully to the dark forest. I heard nothing. Despairing, I headed back to the rock near the young tree and paced the ground.
“Well, we’ve got to save them. There’s no question about that,” I mumbled to Fanindra. “But how?”Tiger’s Destiny by Colleen Houck, Page 197-198
Where’s the emotion? Where’s the fear? Where’s the “HOLY SHIT REN AND KISHAN ARE GONE AND I’M ALONE IN THIS ZOMBIE/VAMPIRE-FILLED JUNGLE AND FOR ALL I KNOW THEIR CORPSES COULD BE ROTTING AWAY SOMEWHERE!!!” If I were Kelsey and my boyfriend disappeared in the middle of some crazy jungle place, I would be freaking the fuck out. Instead, Kelsey is just like, “They’ve been captured. Okay, it’s time to go save them.”
There were also a lot of events where I just thought, “Really? Did that just happen?” Most of them are probably spoilery, but there is one example that happens early on that doesn’t reveal anything. I’ll hide it just in case you’d rather not read it, but just know that you can read it safely without anything being given away! If it helps, the event happens on page 150 (out of 464 pages).View Spoiler » [
Kelsey sees a totally random woman in the forest and starts telling the woman her whole love story about how she can’t choose between Kishan and Ren. She pours out her heart and soul, and it turns out that was someone in disguise (via the Scarf) trying to force the truth out of her about whether she loved Ren or Kishan more. And I was just thinking: did a woman seriously just happen to walk through the jungle? Did Kelsey seriously just decide to tell her the whole ‘horrible’ love situation? And two seconds later we find out it was really Ren? Or Kishan? I don’t even freakin’ know, because Collen Houck doesn’t tell us, until like 300 pages later. The whole thing just felt so forced, staged, and unbelievable. And the whole thing of not telling us was clearly supposed to create some anticipation or something, but it felt so wrong. I actually reread the scene like three times to make sure I didn’t miss a part where Collen Houck tells us which guy pulled this trick.« Hide Spoiler]
Honestly, the only reason I’m giving this book 2.5 stars instead of 2, is because I can appreciate the research that went into this book and the creativity surrounding the fantasy and world building. The fantasy in this book didn’t draw me in as much as it did in Tiger’s Voyage, which was disappointing. Maybe I just wasn’t in the right frame of mind to appreciate it? I don’t know. But I can still acknowledge that there’s some insane creativity going on here and Colleen Houck really brings fantasy and mythology to life.
The ending was totally and completely and 100% predictable, but I still enjoyed it to some extent. It’s fun to see things get all wrapped up and have a little happily ever after. There were some seriously major Twilight references, but I did my best to ignore them. But one down side is that it felt really rushed. When Kelsey finally made her choice between the two guys, I wanted to rejoice and savour the moment.. but it all ended very, very quickly. I don’t know what Colleen Houck has in store for us with the mysterious fifth book, but I seriously hope it expands upon the post-curse days.
The evil, murderous, love triangle: Ren vs. Kishan » Kelsey
I decided to dedicate an entire separate section to addressing the love triangle. If you’ve read my reviews of Tiger’s Quest and Tiger’s Voyage, you’ll know that the love triangle drives me absolutely bonkers. So be prepared for rage.
Holy mother of freakin’ tigers. THIS BLOODY LOVE TRIANGLE. UGHHH!! Still as annoying as ever, I’m afraid. And what’s worse, is that a million and one people and mythological creatures throughout Tiger’s Destiny tell Kelsey to just freaking choose a man, and to follow her heart. She knows she loves Ren more. Ren is the burning desire, the passion that cannot be calmed. Kishan is the nice guy who’s sweet, and safe, but without any spark. Obviously she should choose Ren. Even if you’re Team Kishan, you have to at least acknowledge the fact that Kelsey clearly loves Ren more. She admits it to like five different people and they all tell her what needs to be done.. but she just sits there whimpering about it for the entire bloody book.
I wanted to rage at Kelsey. I wanted to scream at her and throw rocks at her face. You don’t reject your feelings because you “Promised Kishan!” You don’t make up excuses or dumb reasons. You go with your heart. It’s not fair to Kishan if you stay with him out of sympathy. Kishan wouldn’t want that. He doesn’t want to be second best or the consolation prize and it’s not doing him any favours if she doesn’t actually love him the most. I thought Kelsey’s behaviour throughout the entire book was really unfair to Kishan and just painfully annoying. I’m a strong believer in romance. Follow your heart. Listen to it. So it bugs the living shits out of me when someone so obviously ignores it. If I had a piece of bread for every time Kelsey held both Ren and Kishan’s hands AT THE SAME TIME, I could feed the world even without a magical fruit. If my boyfriend was constantly holding another girl’s hand… Well, he wouldn’t. Because my boyfriend is amazing. I can’t even imagine a universe where he would be so thoughtless and carless of my feelings that he would do that. BECAUSE YOU JUST DON’T DO IT! I mean sure, it’s not like she’s having sex with both of them. She wasn’t kissing both of them (on the lips). But still, it means something. It’s emotionally cheating on your boyfriend, as far as I’m concerned.
Speaking of Kishan, I’m a weird convert. Up until the beginning of Tiger’s Destiny, I was all for Ren. I think it’s because I hold grudges, and initially Ren was the sweet one, and Kishan was the douche who stole his brother’s fiancée. But I think when I started Tiger’s Destiny, I realized that Kishan had changed, and I was finally willing to accept that. He was sweet, he was comfy, he was loving, he was accepting. And maybe it’s because Ren spent most of books 3 and 4 not being with Kelsey, but Ren had become an annoying, pouty guy. So I became Team Kishan… for me. I wanted Kelsey to be with Ren because she clearly loved the guy more. Fine, whatever. But Kishan was more my style. Kelsey can have her crazy, intense passionate love with Ren, and I’ll have my crazy, intense passionate love with Kishan. It’s settled!
If the love triangle didn’t bother you in any of the other books, then I suspect you’ll quite enjoy Tiger’s Destiny. Unfortunately, it was just too much for me to get through.
So, are you Team Kishan or Team Ren??