I really, really enjoyed this book. The editing is far from perfect in some spots, but the adventure is really, REALLY fun. I mean, it gets Indiana Jones-y. At times it’s also quite creepy in a very fun way. The Indian backdrop is amazing the culture, food, and temples so richly described that this is a fabulous get-away book. Really feels like a vacation. Kelsey is a bit silly (she exclaims way too much, at least at the beginning) and you want to slap her upside the head for refusing Ren so much, but she makes up for it with her last goodbye to him, which shows surprising wisdom…. surprising because she’s acted like such a GIRL about it the whole time. Ren’s pretty dreamy. Though he gets a little ridiculous too, when Kelsey’s being pouty.
What I love about this, though, is that Kelsey doesn’t just fall into Ren’s arms—even if they are muscular and attached to a very, very pretty face. She wants to be chosen… not just the only option. And again, I really loved the adventure aspect of this book. It was more fun than any YA book I’d read in a long time—no angsty dystopia or mooning, but well-paced action through a well-researched (really well-researched!) exotic setting. Fantastic. I have never wanted to go to India more, and that’s something great fiction should do, entice you outside of your comfort zone. Brava.
Really looking forward to where Houck is going with this. I don’t know that I would have had the courage (or the foolhardiness, depending on how you look at it) to go the indie route, but it’s obviously paid off for her! I’d like to read more about her story, and I can’t wait to read Tiger’s Quest. Especially if it has more Kishan in it… what? I love an underdog. Er… cat.