Castle of the Cursed

Castle of the Cursed
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Release Date
July 30, 2024
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After a mysterious attack claims the lives of her parents, all Estela has left is her determination to solve the case. Suffering from survivor’s guilt so intense that she might be losing her grip on reality, she accepts an invitation to live overseas with an estranged aunt at their ancestral Spanish castle, la Sombra.

Beneath its gothic façade, la Sombra harbors a trove of family secrets, and Estela begins to suspect her parents’ deaths may be linked to their past. Her investigation takes a supernatural turn when she crosses paths with a silver-eyed boy only she can see. Estela worries Sebastián is a hallucination, but he claims he’s been trapped in the castle. They grudgingly team up to find answers and as their investigation ignites, so does a romance, mistrust twined with every caress.

As the mysteries pile up, it feels to Estela like everyone in the tiny town of Oscuro is lying and that whoever was behind the attack has followed her to Spain. The deeper she ventures into la Sombra’s secrets, the more certain she becomes that the suspect she’s chasing has already found her . . . and they’re closer than she ever realized.

Editor review

1 review
Castle Of The Cursed
(Updated: May 16, 2024)
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What worked: Intriguing paranormal world-building where a girl finds she plays a part in a tragic past. This novel introduces readers to Estela who after a horrific accident ends up in Spain with an aunt she knows nothing about. The gothic atmosphere grows with evocative hints of her true heritage. There's a cold aunt who is insistent on Estela taking a black seed instead of the meds from back in the States. A huge creepy castle with many secrets. And a shadowy personage who demands to be released from a spell. The problem is only Estela can see him.

Add to all this is the grief Estela carries from losing the only family she knew.

Lots is going on in this novel. A mystery behind the tragic death of her parents and others on a subway where only Estela survives. Why does her aunt have the blood supply of the small town? Mysterious locked rooms inside the castle. And the shadowy personage Sebastian, who she finds out is a vampire from a multi-dimensional universe.

The sinister purpose behind the castle is slowly revealed which includes Estela's part. A part she can accept or deny with deadly results.

At times the pacing slows with the telling of the castle's history and the other realm. The chemistry between Sebastian felt forced and too sudden. One minute he wants to kill Estela and the next she longs for him. Felipe, her Spanish tutor, had a stalker quality to him. Also, the reclusive uncle came out of nowhere. I felt this took away from an otherwise engaging unique paranormal tale.

Secrets, blood, and betrayals meet Estela where she needs to solve not only the mystery behind her parent's death but find hope in her future.
Good Points
1. Intriguing paranormal world-building
2. Diversity
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