Actual Rating: 3.0
*Thank you to the author and the publishers for a free copy in exchange for an honest review.*
When I first read the blurb for this book, I was immediately intrigued; it reminded me a little of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer — not in its subject matter or genre but in the way the main character is reluctantly forced to come to terms with their past and their own identity. And if you know me, you know I love a good origin story.
CURE by Kali Metis follows Luna, who is currently working in a bakery and in a happy relationship. But her life is put on hold when she receives a sudden call — her brother has committed suicide and they need her to identify the body. The situation is further complicated when she reads instructions left by her brother for her to travel to Sweden and discover her heritage. Desperate for answers, Luna listens, only to find out the shocking truth: she comes from a famous family of shapeshifters, and the shaking that had been mistaken as Huntington’s Disease in her brother was actually the start of his transformation process. Now it’s Luna’s turn to make some big decisions.
I think my favorite part of this novel was probably the first half; the book did an amazing job of showing us Luna’s emotions as she was trying to come to terms with her history and how her future was going to be changed because of it. There was a bit of trepidation, determination, some regret, disbelief, nervousness…I was immediately pulled in and excited to find out exactly what Luna’s background was and how she would handle it.
The second half of the book wasn’t bad, but I do think there were way too many plot points and it started to feel like the original thread started to get lost. New issues were being introduced and I felt like there was so much packed in a short amount of space when it really could’ve been fleshed out — if not to an entire book sequel, then at least into a few more chapters. I would’ve loved for it to go more in-depth and focus on Luna’s character more in the second half rather than having so much happen. The moments where we saw her determination, protectiveness, or other emotional stress were undoubtedly my favorite parts.
The book was also interspersed with another timeline that worked as a sort of prequel for Luna’s ancestors, and although I was a little confused at first, these chapters really grew on me because the writing in them was absolutely poetic and beautiful. I do think that maybe the chapters were too short and were inserted too often; perhaps combining them would prevent the occasional breakage of rhythm that I experienced.
Overall, I really think there was a lot of potential in this story; the world-building is really intriguing and I really love how much thought was put into the backstory. There are some things I’d change to have it be pushed a step further, but this would be a great read for people who are into paranormal and supernatural stories.