Hello Everyone! I am going to do a review on a book series that I just finished reading called The MacKinnon Curse series by J.A. Templeton. I discovered this series through the first book on my kindle. The First book was a free kindle book that I decided to try. I don't usually read the free books for kindles or nooks because even though I'm sure there are a ton of other great free books out there, I usually have a hard time getting into the free books. I find that sometimes they aren't as well written as regular priced books and that bothers me. Although, this series is a proof that free/cheap books that are great do exist! Anyways, there are three books in the series and a short novella that is a prequel as well. The first book is The Deepest Cut, the second is The Haunted, followed by the final book called The Departed. As I said before, the first book is free, and the 2nd and 3rd books are $2.99 each. The prequel, called The Beginning: The MacKinnon Curse is also free. So basically these books are very affordable and I encourage anyone with a kindle or nook to check them out. The first book is also on barnes and nobles website in paperback for $8.99. I am going to be doing a short review on each of the book in this post so this might be a long one. I am going to try to keep the spoilers in the reviews to a minimum so that anyone who has not read this can still read my reviews, but I will warn you that there may be a few spoilers anyways. Theses are very quick and short reads and I read all four books within the same week as starting them. I hope you all enjoy this post and sorry for such a long intro! I will post the summary of the first book but I will not for the other three due to some spoilers.
Book one: The Deepest Cut-
Sixteen-year-old Riley Williams has been able to see ghosts since the car crash that took her mother’s life and shattered her family. Guilt-ridden over the belief that she’s somehow responsible for her mom’s death, Riley is desperate to see her mother’s elusive spirit to gain her forgiveness.
When her father moves the family to Scotland so they can all start over, Riley believes her life couldn’t get worse––that is until the ghost of nineteen-year-old Ian MacKinnon catches her purposely cutting herself. An uneasy truce quickly turns into friendship, and soon Riley’s falling hard for Ian.
Riley believes her gift could help Ian end the curse that has kept him tied to the land for centuries, but that would mean letting him go forever and she’s not sure she is strong enough to do that. As if her life wasn’t complicated enough, the spirit of the woman who killed Ian returns and she’ll stop at nothing to keep Riley from helping Ian find eternal peace.
So as you can see from the description, this book is about a girl named Riley who can see ghosts. Ever since her mother died in a car crash while Riley was in the car with her she has obtained the ability to see ghosts. After she moves to Scotland with her dad and brother, she meets a ghost named Ian MacKinnon. Ian lived in the castle next to Riley's house 200 years ago and he is cursed to the land. Riley also meets a ghost named Laria and is being haunted by her for being close to Ian. Back in their time, Laria killed Ian because she was in love with him and he was in love with someone else. So as Riley and Ian get closer and start to fall in love, Laria starts threatening Riley and trying to kill her.
This book had a lot of different aspects that I liked. It was well written and the characters had good development. There wasn't a character in this book that I didn't like, even the evil ghost Laria. I think that Riley and Laria both were very well developed characters and through out the series I enjoyed some of the minor characters just as well. I thought that this book was a little creepy/scary and I usually tend to stay away from ghost books because I get scared easily (LOL) but this one was just way too good to stop reading because of the creepiness. Also as you can tell from the description, Riley is really depressed from her mothers death and she also cuts herself (also where the title is from as well). However, even though this is how she meets Ian, I don't really think the aspect of cutting in this book was important or even necessary. It was kind of just thrown into the story randomly with not much purpose. There were only a few times in this book where it was mentioned and I just didn't find it to do anything for the book considering that it is a serious topic in general. Laria uses this again Riley sometimes and eventually her new friends find out, but I just didn't think it was necessary in the book considering how nonchalant it is in the book. This book kept me on edge while reading it and I couldn't put it down because I just kept wanting to know what was going to happen.
Book two: The Haunting
This book picks up right away from where the first book left off. At the end of last book Riley meets a guy named Kade MacKinnon, who now lives in the castle next to her house where Ian grew up. Kade and his family are decedents of Ians family. Kade reminds Riley so much of Ian that she falls hard and fast in love with him which I found kind of annoying. There are a lot more friendships and romance growing in this book than the first one and I really enjoyed that. Laria is still in the book haunting Riley, and we learn so more about the ghosts and there is even some possession going on as well. This book kind of lacked a little bit of action, and I didn't like the ending as much. It just kind of stopped and ended with nothing really happening. I was a little disappointed that Ian wasn't in this book much, since he was such main character in the last. It kind of seemed that Riley forgot about him a little bit since she is with Kade now. There isn't much else to say about this book without giving away anymore spoilers!
Book three: The Departed.
This is the final book and I thought it was a great conclusion to the series. Riley gets more involved with her friends and her relationship with her bother grows a lot. She seeks help from them, along with Kade about her ghost problems. However, now that her friends and family are involved, thing are going to start to get nasty and complicated. Laria is being more ruthless, and we learn a lot more about her and the witch coven she was apart of. Thus being said, a lot more ghosts are involved in the haunting. This book is definitely the creepiest of the three but that makes it so much better. Still, Ian isn't in this book a lot and Riley calls for help from her mom and other ghosts a lot but not Ian. We finally figure out why Riley is connected to Ian and Kade so much in this book and it is nice to make that discovery. We get to see a more emotional side to all of the characters in this book as well, especially from Riley's brother, Shane, and from Laria as well. I absolutely loved everything about this series and this was a perfect conclusion.
Short Novella: The Beginning- The Mackinnion Curse.
This is a short novella told from Ian's point of view of the time when he was living. I really enjoyed reading this because we get to see what Ian's life was like before and after he died. In this story we learn a lot about Ian and Laria and what their relationship was like while living. Laria was a servant in Ian's household and she was also in love with Ian, but Ian didn't love her back. There was more about Ian's family, and his brother Duncan who plays a bigger role in this book. I really enjoyed seeing how Ian was when he was living and also how Laria was. We also get to see the character Margot who was the girl Ian was suppose to marry. In the pervious books, Margot was in them briefly and we learned a little bit about her but this story really ties it all together. This book shows all of the events leading up to both Ian and Larias death, but I wish there was more story to them being ghosts and what happened afterwards besides Laria cursing him to the land he lived in. It ends when Ian first met Riley which I though was appropriate. I didn't enjoy reading this as much as the other books in the series because a lot of it was stuff we already knew from the previous books but just a little more in depth. Overall it was still a great edition to the series.
This concludes my review on the MicKinnon Curse Series, and I hope you all enjoyed reading it. This was such a long post and I'm sorry if it was a little boring with all of the reviews! I hope you all give this series a try and thank you for reading!