Sunday, October 25, 2015

Review: The Griffin's Secret by Cate Masters

The Griffin's Secret 
by Cate Masters
Pub. Date:  May 12, 2015
Publisher:  Lyrical Press
Pages:  93
Format:  eARC
Source:  Author

My Rating:  
Sultry Scale:

In this contemporary re-telling of Grimm’s classic fairy tale The Griffin, two people must risk everything to free themselves from the invisible prisons that keep them from love…

Jackson Grant had it all—the girl he loved, his Harley, and his guitar. Until a tragic accident stole it all away. Now, more than scars and a tattoo remain. Jackson has a secret. Cursed by his dead girlfriend’s mother, he can never fall in love again or his beloved will die. With his heart on lockdown, he keeps to himself—until a roadie gig with Malcontent, the world’s most popular band, entwines his fate with sweet, wounded Layla’s…

Music is what Layla lives for. She has no choice. She’s bound by magic to serve Malcontent, cursed to propel them to stardom with her musical powers. Then Jackson appears and gives her hope that he’s the hero who will save her. A reluctant hero, yet one she can’t resist. But freedom will come at price—and who will pay…?

This is a short story re-telling of Grimm's Fairytale, The Griffin. Let me start off by saying that story is well-written and the pacing was fine. I have never heard The Griffin fairytale, so I have nothing to compare this to. However, I was feeling a little lost as I was reading. I did not know why things were happening or what Jackson's curse was. So after I got about halfway through the story, I found myself going back to read the synopsis. I did not read it prior to reading the story... sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. Sometimes I skip it because I like to be surprised by the book. However, this is the case where you absolutely NEED to read the synopsis. It's actually part of the story. If you don't read it, you will not know how Jackson got cursed (other than simple references to the curse until he tells the whole story to someone in the second half of the book).

So once I did the preliminaries (albeit late), I was more tuned into the story and understood what was going on. Since I didn't know the original Griffin fairytale, this was just a short story for me about a pair of curses, sacrifice and love. The griffin is Jackson (obviously), a bike-riding musician who can't risk falling in love. He joins the band Malcontent as a roadie, and is instantly captivated by Layla. Layla isn't part of the band, but is forced to travel along with them on tour by her own curse. I liked both Layla and Jackson well enough, but I didn't have a great connection with either character. This has more to do with the length of the book than the writing - there just was not room enough to provide the details that would draw you in to connect with anyone in particular.

Regardless, I liked the story and it was a nice way to spend my lunch break. I think maybe I should have looked up The Griffin tale before I read it, just so I had some background info. I would have enjoyed it more with the background, and also if it was longer and more detailed. I like really developed characters, knowing who they are and what their role is in the story. The secondary characters we meet in the beginning - I wasn't sure what purpose they had, so I would have like to see their roles expounded upon. Same with some of the band members and roadies who were under Mal's spell - I would have liked some info on how that was accomplished. But otherwise, it was not bad.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

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