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Salem's Curse (The Soul-Shifter Chronicles Book 1) by [Bristow, Sydney]
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Salem's Curse (The Soul-Shifter Chronicles Book 1) Kindle Edition

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Kindle Edition, 18 Feb 2017
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Length: 202 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Language: English
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Product description

Product Description

There's no instruction guide to saving the world, so...apologies in advance if I make a mess of it!

An ancient mage plans to unleash an army of vamps, demons, werewolves, and shifters onto an unsuspecting Chicago, and I'm the last protector of humanity, a witch who goes into panic-attack mode just talking with a stranger.

My name is Celestina Sykes, and I have two potential allies, my aunt, who may have murdered my mom, and a guy I sorta have a thing for, only he may be working for the other side. All told, I've got two days to stop the apocalypse, so wish me luck...and multiply that by infinity because I'm gonna need it.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1578 KB
  • Print Length: 202 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #243,840 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program) 3.7 out of 5 stars 8 reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Good 11 June 2017
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Good story. Nice start to a the series. Looking forward to the next book

- - Gifted copy through NetGalley - -
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good start and looking forward to more! 19 March 2017
By PenKay - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
This is my first book by Ms. Bristow and I picked it up because it sounded interesting, and it truly was interesting. The main character, Celestina, hadn’t had a very happy up-bringing and was a little messed up which made the book more unique that other books I’ve read recently. I liked how Celestina overcame many of those obstacles and became the person she did. I also found the other characters both intriguing and fascinating. I also enjoyed the premise/plot and hope to see more in the next book, with the great writing also holding my attention throughout. I have to admit I found this book a little darker than I expected. Not that I don’t like dark, but Celestina’s past was way darker than expected. I’m surprised at how she wasn’t more messed up than she was. I also was still a little confused at what had really happened with the grandmother in regards to Celestina’s mother at the end of the book; I really can’t say much as I don’t want to spoil the book. However, overall, I really did like it and am looking forward to more in the series. If you like NA/YA urban fantasy, you will like this book! Highly recommend! Thanks to NetGalley and City Owl Press for the e-book which I reviewed voluntarily. This exact review will be posted on both Amazon and Goodreads.
5.0 out of 5 stars Salem’s Curse is filled with so much action that it will keep you on the edge of you seat....wanting more 22 May 2017
By Nancy Allen (The Avid Reader) - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
Celestina Sykes has live with her Granny ever since she lost her mother. Celestina’s mother’s twin sister murdered her mother or she thinks. Celestina has lived a very rough life with no friends. Her Granny has kept her too busy to make friends even if she could have or if anyone had wanted to be her friend she never had the time with her karate classes and her magical training. Celestina has also taking a lot of abuse from her granny both mental and physical.

Celestina trust no one but when she learns what her granny is up too and who she is. She turns to Aunt as the only person that can give her the answers she needs and hopefully she can help her save the world. All the paranormal creatures want to take over the humans. They want to turn the tables on the humans. They want to be in control now instead of the humans. Celestina wants to stop the humans from being hurt as well as becoming extinct.

Celestina meets this guy at one of the meetings that the vampires, werewolves, witches and other paranormal creatures have to discuss their plans for taking over the humans. Justin is a demon but as with all demons he is a hottie and Celestina takes a liking to him right away. But can she trust him? Can she trust her Aunt? Did her Aunt kill her mother? What happened on that awful night so long ago?

I have enjoyed following along with Celestina on her journey trying to figure out who killed her mother and who her granny really is. I liked how the magic worked in Celestina’s family. Salem’s Curse is filled with so much action that it will keep you on the edge of you seat trying to figure out what is going to happen next. The ending is one I never saw coming. I would love to more about Justin and what happened to him. Where is he? What is his story? Will Justin and Celestina have a relationship in the future? Can Justin explain what he did? I can’t wait to read more about Celestina and Justine and all the other characters.
3.0 out of 5 stars A whirlwind of a story 20 May 2017
By Carrie Williams - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
This book kind of took me all over the place. Soon after starting the book I began to wonder – is this book a spinoff? Did I miss another book that set up this series? I don’t think I was missing anything (after some investigation online), but it was still a little confusing to dive in with not much explanation. Once I got the hang of what was going on, though, the story did start to take shape.

Celestina is a girl who is missing a week’s worth of her memories. During that week, apparently a lot of stuff happened that is vital to who she is/has become. She was raised in an abusive household, first with a drunk mother, then with a physically abusive grandmother. Turns out, however, that her grandmother might not have been that bad (?) and that her mother was worse than she remembers (?). Still a little confused on those parts. Oh, and she’s got magical powers, and there are vampires, and demons, and … werewolves, I think?

Somewhere along the way, while we run from drama-filled reunion to the next, we get introduced to a troubled demon who is (of course) a hottie, a vampire with hurt feelings, an estranged and possibly murderous aunt, and a spunky new friend. There’s some other characters, but at some point I had to focus on only the important parts, which was a little difficult.

The larger story is about stopping the end of the world, because isn’t it always? Some preconceived notions are thrown out the window and Celestina ends up being pretty awesome in her own right. Not sure it sends the right message that all her abuse was helpful, but that’s where we end up. Needless to say, there are tons of questions I still have, most revolving around the love interest that never got answered. Lots of questions still surround Celestina and her powers, too. As a start, I am definitely left wanting more information.
3.0 out of 5 stars More Twists Than a Series of Roundhouse Kicks 20 April 2017
By COCOMICHEY - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
**I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley and City Owl Press**

I recently forged back into e-reading with the addition of NetGalley. Years ago, when my husband gave me my Kindle, I went crazy over the vast catalog of self-published and traditionally published works available to download. A few months later, I missed the smell of physical books, and I frowned at the rise in prices on more mainstream titles. The e-reader changed to my hubby’s hands to download Star Wars novels. This new partnership, however, might have rekindled (pun intended) my fire, and Salem’s Curse was not a bad way to start off.
Celestina Sykes graduated high school valedictorian with a scholarship to a prestigious university. Her Granny made sure she excelled intellectually and physically. However, Celie is also a witch who is about to learn just how powerful she really is. Fed up with the secrets that have been kept from her concerning a week she can’t remember, she journeys out to search for truth from her aunt, the person who may have murdered her mother. Naive and unprepared for the world of supernaturals that boils beneath Chicago’s surface, Celestina soon finds herself in the middle of a war brewing. And her opponent is her ancestor, the original witch of Salem. While trying to figure out who to trust, Celie must use her martial arts skills, her powers, and her intuition to discern who the real enemy is. The fate of humanity may depend on it.
Confession: I love paranormal self-publications. Although I enjoy plenty of mainstream published fantasy and sci-fi novels, the unbridled imagination of independent e-books usually mirrors stories I’ve made up in my own head. Before I received the advanced reader copy of Sydney Bristow’s novel, I was struggling through one fantasy novel that just didn’t have that spark. After I began reading Salem’s Curse, my inner-fantasy-fangirl sighed with relief. Celestina Sykes reminded me of the kick-butt chicks I used to dream up. She had confidence, loved with abandon, and could tear down her opponents with a well-placed scissor kick. The obstacles she faces seem to have impossible odds, and she knows tragedy. Still, she keeps fighting, pushing through fear and doubt to come out the other side. These are the protagonists I adore.
This novel, Salem’s Curse, is not Bristow’s first. She has a trilogy following the Aunt that is merely a supporting character in this installment. Even though this novel is set in the same paranormal world (that I have not read), Salem’s Curse can stand perfectly on its own without knowledge of the previously published trilogy. The author also used a quite clever lead into the first of her original novels, which I won’t spoil.
Describing my thoughts about the plot and development is difficult without spoiling anything. To say this novel came with many twists and turns would be an understatement. Being that we see things through Celestina’s perspective, knowing who is trustworthy and who is trying to kill or betray her remains a mystery through much of the story. I do find some points to be somewhat full of tropes. I really couldn’t care less about a hunky guy with blue eyes, to be honest. This is to say I don’t mind romance, but I do mind reading about the same kind of mysterious, similarly-described man in half the fantasy I read.
Thankfully, the novel is short on romance and big on action. The lore felt at times choppy and a bit underdeveloped, but before I could lament over how the features of this supernatural world didn’t make sense, I was pulled into a battle scene. These scenes of actions and conflict are what carried me and kept my attention. At times, however, the flow was interrupted by Celestina detailing her every thought on the situation. Although I adore detail and description (I am a Tolkien fan, after all), I felt that some information just wasn’t necessary and instead impeded the story’s flow. For example, a popular restaurant/ arcade franchise is mentioned but also given a full paragraph of description, which interrupted the dialog between two characters.
Notes can also be made that there is some cursing, which doesn’t bother me but may be important to others. The language was not extensive and did not distract from the story. I also saw 3 typos, which can easily happen with a self-published work. In the end, I enjoyed Salem’s Curse, and the surprise ending made me curious to see what becomes of Celestina and her friends and family. Although I am not over-the-moon and hugging my Kindle to me, I would still recommend this fast-paced paranormal read to anyone who enjoys modern fantasy and women that kick butt.

If you found this review enjoyable, I also write book and game reviews on Fiction Addict. Thanks to the author and NetGalley for this ARC!

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