Colleen Houck! What have you done to me? Your tigers have put me under some kind of reading spell! I can’t even consider reading anything else right now, Ren and Kishan are the only things on my mind. (Yes, both of them – major team-switching going on over here, ugh!)
Ahem. So yeah, this review is going to be tooootally objective and not fangirlish at all. Right? Might be some spoilers in here too, so be warned:
Tiger’s Quest picks up right where Tiger’s Curse left off. I was grateful for this direct continuation because I didn’t want to miss a second of the story that had me so entranced the first 400 pages.
As Kelsey settles into her new home and school routine, the Indian jungle and Kishkinda suddenly feel very far away. Kelsey’s heartache over leaving Ren becomes your own as you read through the first 1/3rd of the novel, which is rather lacking in adventure and mostly: lacking in Ren. I missed the white tiger and yes, I do want a stuffed white tiger too, now that you mention it!
Basically Kelsey tries to move on with her life as she starts college. You could say she gave it “the old college try” *puts on sunglasses YEAAAHHHH*, and you have to give her credit for that.
No going into a near coma like Bella did when Edward left (I guess it helped that in this case, Kelsey was the ‘leaver’ not the ‘leftee’?): she goes to school, studies hard to keep her mind of things, starts a wushu-class to learn to defend herself and even dates a couple of guys. But they aren’t Indian princes who can change into tigers so who are we kidding here – they don’t stand a chance.
When the lost prince returns at long last, we get a couple of super cute chapters where Ren chivalrously tries to win over Kelsey’s stubborn heart by competing with one of the guys Kelsey started dating.
This turns into several more extremely gooey chapters in which Kelsey and Ren finally give in to their luuuuuuvfest. At this point though (about halfway through the book), I start feeling like I could use some adventure, some action. They’re adorable and all, but the book is called Tiger’s QUEST and I’m ready for my quest now, please.
Colleen Houck seemed to have read my mind because next chapter: boom, action! Ren gets captured by the evil wizard Lokesh (nooooooo) and Kishan and Kelsey are forced to return to India without him, where they have to complete the next quest in order to save her lover and his brother.
With the help of their trusted mentor Mr. Kadam, they journey to Tibet to locate a spirit gate to another world. I loved the idea of the Grove of Dreams and for some reason the scene in the House of Gourds really stayed with me too. I wanted some adventure? Boy, did I get some.
Meanwhile, weeks, months pass. Ren is still captured and being tortured at an unknown location, and meanwhile his scoundrel of a brother is hitting on his girl! At first I was like “Nuh-uh, this ain’t going down like this” but … Facing mythological and magical obstacles far larger than anything Ren and Kelsey ever faced in Kishkinda and even spending more time together than our star couple ever did, Kishan and Kelsey start growing closer and closer … And I hate to admit it, because I am (was?) 100% Team Ren, but … I started liking, respecting and appreciating Kishan more too.
The end of Tiger’s Quest was … heartbreaking. I actually made sad faces at the pages whilst flipping the pages. I feel very confused right now: I don’t even know which team I am on anymore?
Colleen Houck planted this seed of doubt into the story and I feel the only directing Kelsey’s infamous “love plant” can grow in now, is not the one I wanted or expected. After the last chapter though, I think this might just be the best friggin’ love triangle I’ve ever read. It might not go the way I thought it would (I really don’t see how it CAN anymore), but it might just turn out even better. Are you confused? Don’t know what I’m talking about? Well join the club! I’m so confused about this ending, aaaargh!
Poor Kelsey. She’s going on my list of fictional characters I wish I could hug.
General rating: *****
Love traingle rating: ****
Confusion rating: ********************************************