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Curse The Dark (Retrievers, Book 2) Paperback – July 1, 2005

26 customer reviews
Book 2 of 6 in the Retrievers Series

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Editorial Reviews


"Do you believe in magic? You will when Gilman's done with you." -- Edgar Award-winning author Dana Stabenow

"Gilman's spin on modern 'techo magic' is fantastic; sharply defined and endlessly entertaining . . . I couldn't put this one down." -- Lynn Flewelling, bestselling author of The Bone Doll's Twin

"What's a girl to do now that Buffy's been canceled? Read Laura Anne Gilman, of course!" -- Rosemary Edghill, author of Met by Moonlight

About the Author

Laura Anne Gilman is the author of the Cosa Nostradamus books for Luna (the “Retrievers” and “Paranormal Scene Investigations” series), a YA trilogy for HarperCollins, and numerous works of short fiction. She also writes paranormal romances for Nocturne as Anna Leonard, and her e-book novella Dreamcatcher was released in August 2008.  A former executive editor at NAL, Laura Anne is an amateur chef, oenophile, and cat-servant.  She lives in New York City, where she also runs d.y.m.k. productions. 

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 346 pages
  • Publisher: Luna; Original edition (July 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0373802277
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373802272
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,949,560 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

65 of 68 people found the following review helpful By R. Kyle VINE VOICE on July 29, 2005
Format: Paperback
Last year, "Staying Dead" got a 5-star rating. I thought it was an excellent fantasy novel with an interesting romance angle thrown in. In her second book, Laura Ann Gilman isn't making either the fantasy or the romance angles work that well for me.

The concept: Wren is a Retriever. Basically, she goes and steals back items that are taken by others. Sergei is her manager/partner. He's in his 40's, about 20 years older than she. They're in love, though neither is actively acknowledging it til this novel.

"Curse the Dark" sends the two of them after stolen Catholic Church relics. We get a better explanation than the initial one about the 'CosaNostradamus' the organization that controls mages and the 'Silence' the organization that makes sure the 'Cosa' is on the up-and-up.

"Curse the Dark" crosses a few more barriers than "Staying Dead" by introducing a mystery line--just what are the relics, what do they mean, and why are they protected so strongly against mages? And, finally, who but a mage could steal them? Gilman's good at setting up mystery, but her explanations are somewhat muddy.

"Curse" answers a few of the questions I had from "Staying Dead" but doesn't leave me looking forward to the sequel or as excited about new-author Gilman as I previously was.

I'm not sure I will read #3 next year. Will definitely have to sit down and make sure I can get through the first chapter or two before I commit to it. Feels as though Gilman is trying to please too many audiences at once and not doing very well at any of it.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By keiko on October 30, 2005
Format: Paperback
I just happened to find this book at my local book store and what a great read. I could'nt find the first book of this series,but Laura blended both books so well together that I felt that I diddn't miss anything. Sergie and Wren are so great together that it was a joy just to see their reactions together. Also enjoyed how the electric current worked so well with the magic. Will have to someday pick up Staying Dead,but eagerly awaiting the next Retriever Novel. I highly recommend this series if you enjoy Jim Butcher,and Laurell K.Hamilton. Enjoyed it Laura,hurry up and finish the next book.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By moria2 on September 24, 2006
Format: Paperback
Curse the Dark is the second of the Retriever novels. The is the review of the trade paperback. Wren and Sergei are trying to figure out their personnel and professional lives. Since their last job, work has been falling off. Wren esp. needs some cash, so they jump at a chance to go to Italy and investigate the disappearance of an artifact for the mysterious Silence organization. The trip to Italy is short, a bit of a shame. However, the artifact and the guardians of the artifact are engaging. The political wrangling within the Silence is interesting as well. In chapter 15, the book starts to unravel or at least I started to loose interest. Here are two reasons:

1) On page 271, the author has a character say something that is completely against everything the character has done in the first book and the first 270 pages of this book for a little cheep complex. I but the book down and didn't pick it back up for a week. It completely turned me off to the story. I always feel a little betrayed when authors do this. Like we won't notice!
2)*****Possible Spoiler****The author also wastes a character that I hadn't formed an attachment to yet. So, the death, which is treated as pivotal, didn't mean much because I hadn't become involved with them.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Deborah Wiley VINE VOICE on July 3, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Wren Valere's jobs as a Retriever have begun to disappear due to the Council's subtle but effective whisper campaign against her. As a lonejack, Wren is used to working on her own and flying under the Council's radar. She has been very successful at stealing artifacts back due to her use of both conventional and magical means, but this is not a career that welcomes attention. The only thing keeping her financially afloat at this time is the retainer from the Silence, and now the Silence wants her to do a Retrieval of an ancient but deadly manuscript. Meanwhile, the unrest between the various magical factions is reaching a boiling point and Wren is stuck in the middle. Wren and her partner, Sergei Didier, discover just how unprepared they are for this latest Retrieval as they will have to risk everything if they hope to succeed.

CURSE THE DARK is the second book in the Retrievers series. The first book, STAYING DEAD, sets up the relationship between Wren and Sergei and introduces the need for their agreement with the Silence. However, CURSE THE DARK can be read as a stand alone as Laura Anne Gilman provides readers with enough of the back history to follow along. In fact, I enjoyed CURSE THE DARK better than the first book as I thought the pace was a bit smoother.

The situation in CURSE THE DARK gets complicated quickly. There is a main plot involving the actual Retrieval but there are numerous undercurrents occurring simultaneously. There is a romance developing between Wren and Sergei and both are trying to adapt to the changes in their relationship. Meanwhile, the conflicts within the magical community are exploding and these tensions are beginning to have a direct impact on Wren. Laura Anne Gilman does an excellent job at maintaining the individual threads.
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