Title: Eternal Curse: Giovanni’s Angel
Author: Toi Thomas
Genre: Adult, fantasy, paranormal
Publisher: Tate Publishing & Enterprises
Publication Date: February 18, 2014
Synopsis from Goodreads: ‘You have plenty of time to change your mind. You have not yet seen the monster I can be.’
Giovanni has been waiting his whole life to meet someone like Mira, someone from the outside world who might be able to help him. He wonders if there really is help for him as he continues to hold tightly onto dark secrets and even darker memories. Giovanni wants to be hopeful and he wants to accept Mira’s help, but first he has to look himself in the mirror and face what he truly is-and that is a reality no one is quite ready to accept.
Searching for new purpose and meaning in her life, Mira meets Giovanni online and an exciting (and in some ways scary) friendship is developed. Mira decides one day to meet Giovanni in person, at his secluded country home, in order to aid him on his journey of selfdiscovery. What these two are able to discover will not only test their strength and will, but it will stretch the limits of their minds and catapult them into a world where earth, Heaven, and Hell collide.
Eternal Curse is the story of a man who may just be the answer to a spiritual war swiftly heading his way-but for now, he just wants to be a man.
When I first started Eternal Curse, I wasn’t sure exactly where the story was going. At the beginning, it seemed like I had gotten a contemporary, but as the story began to unfold, the paranormal elements started to filter in. It was an “aha! There they are!” moment for sure! The base story line was highly intriguing – I wanted to find out where Giovanni came from, and if Mira would be able to help him figure it out. Plus, I really wanted the two of them to get together in the end. There were some parts, mostly stylistic, that didn’t sit well with me, but overall I enjoyed this short novel and read it within the span of a few hours.
As usual, let’s get the negative out of the way. I was never able to fully mesh with the writing style. Most of the time it seemed a bit simplistic, and a bit dry. More like I was reading a textbook rather than a narration, if that makes sense. And the “show, don’t tell” principle could have been applied a bit more – I couldn’t feel any of the emotion from the characters, because it was always “Giovanni felt this” or “Mira felt that”. Also, the characters tended to go on monologues, which isn’t a problem, but they were set off as box quotes like how I used to cite something for an essay. It just reinforced that sterile feeling of disconnectedness.
As for the story, like I said I really did enjoy that part. It was a bit rushed at the end, but overall I thought it was well paced and the mystery kept me reading so I’d figure out what was going on. And thank God for Mira, who didn’t fall into that trap of accepting everything without a second glance. She actually confronted Giovanni and made him fess up, which was a welcome change of pace from usual tropes.
While I usually don’t read adult fiction, I didn’t find this one to be awful at all. Eternal Curse was fascinating, and the mythology was well incorporated into the story. I’d recommend it if you’re looking for a different sort of paranormal, more Biblical and spiritual battles rather than angels and demons. And for a debut novel, it’s pretty well done!
My Final Rating: