Marlow's Curse is packed with emotions, angst and action; it moves with a graceless urgency that often jostles the reader into reality. The pages are riddled with mistakes, and the characters are cursed with dull and soft dialogues. The spirit of Sybylla St. Michael is lacking; for a witch of such great powers, she is quite lifeless and ordinary. Charles Dalton Marlow is even worse, jumping off the pages as corny and one-dimensional. Their relationship is dry, mostly because their exchanges are clich‚d. Their time together (and apart) involves a lot of suffering, and Sybylla is very chafing in her martyr-like role. Coupled with Marlow's self-deprecating attitude, they make for a much-tormented duo.
Jones' writing suffers with Marlow's Curse; her words are empty and hollow, leaving the reader to wonder: to where did the fire, the energy, the spunk and edginess of a novelist of this caliber escape? The reading is rough and unpolished. The role of the Scar, the demonic villain, is too dominating; his presence and his chase for vengeance overshadow the developing bond between the main characters. Though the appearance of secondary characters (Temperance Larkin and Asher Marriott) from her previous work temporarily breathes life in to the pages, their time is brief. For a better example of Jones' skills, the prequel Shades of Gray will be a more satisfying read; Marlow's Curse simply falls a little short of being a literary jewel in Jones' crown of achievement.
The sequel to Shades of Gray, but it may be read as a stand-alone story.
Legend has it that if a St. Michael witch is not willing no man can take her without suffering the consequences. Sybylla is the last St. Michael witch. She knows that when a St. Michael witch falls in love, her lover becomes her weakness and the witch becomes his downfall. Sybylla will not allow her fate to destroy a man. But some men are hard to resist.
Marlow is not just any man. He is a vampire, cursed centuries ago to wander aimlessly through life believing he does not deserve more. When he meets Sybylla two lonely worlds collide. Marlow isn't going to let a myth get in the way of deep, enduring passion.
But the demon Scar pursues Sybylla for vengeance and he will stop at nothing to make her pay.