Published by Escape Artist Enterprises on May 13, 2020
Series: Descendants of the Curse #1
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy & Magic
Jessie Mason is a normal junior in high school with a boyfriend, a lead part in the school musical, and straight A’s.
But on her seventeenth birthday, her parents reveal her true lineage—that she descends from the first ever immortal human race—the Community that drank from the Fountain of Youth millennia ago and unleashed mortality into the world. As the daughter of two original immortals who drank, her genes determine her path and Jessie learns she, too, will live forever. But there is a cost.
The Fountain of Youth must replenish its life-giving stores and to do so, it turns those who benefit from the waters into killers, demanding lives as payment for the eternal life it grants.
Paired with Tyler, another (cute) immortal descendant of the cursed waters, Jessie learns to hear and tame the water’s bloodthirsty voice, channeling her murderous impulses toward the Community’s more…productive use of her killer instincts.
As she leans into her new identity and grapples for control, she can’t help but feel drawn to Tyler, who may be the only person capable of understanding the sacrifices demanded of her. But someone else knows about her and is threatening to reveal her secrets, or worse…
Can Jessie keep those she loves safe by embracing the directives of the beast within? Or will the water’s call get the better of her, destroying not only who she is, but hurting everyone she cares about?
Descendants of the Curse: Jessie’s Awakening is the first book in the young adult fantasy series by C.S. Kendall. The Descendants of the Curse series is a spin off series to Kendall’s original series, The Killing Cure. I have not read The Killing Cure yet, but I found that I did not need to in order to enjoy this book. Descendants of the Curse: Jessie’s Awakening is the story of Jessie as she turns 17 and learns of her families role with the fountain of youth. I thought the origin story of how life was when the fountain was discovered was fascinating. It was part magical society and part pandora’s box/garden of eden. Life was basically a Utopia until someone broke the forbidden rule of drinking the fountain’s waters. It was an interesting setup that I have not seen explored in young adult fantasy yet. (let me know in the comments below if you have any other fountain of youth book recs for me!)
Jessie is our main character in this tale. I liked Jessie. She is just an ordinary girl who loved participating in school plays until her parents turn her life upside and dumped her true role- as a descendant of an original immortal who drank from the Fountain of Youth. In order to maintain her immortality the fountain demands a payment in the form of lives. To make things more complicated, there are also a group of descendants of the families that did not drink from the fountain that are trying to restore balance by eliminating all of the immortals and their descendants. I thought the concept for the story was really great. And I loved Jessie and Tyler’s relationship. He really stepped by big time with everything that was going on
The plot was my favorite aspect of the story. I was annoyed at Jessie and her parents at times. Jessie is a full blown teenager- prone to extreme dramatics and she has a tendency to bury her head in the sand when she doesn’t want to deal with something. I get that this whole situation was a huge shock for her but I do wish she stepped up and took charge a little sooner. And don’t get me started on her parents. I have never been a fan of parents keeping their kids in the dark with some big family secret in fantasy novels. I think it always leaves the kids ill prepared to face the new scary adventure that is thrust on them, and I think that was exactly the case here. I wish her parents would have let her and her sisters in on the deal early on, which would have helped with her training and helped her to implement their “iron clad plan” that they have in place for the urges to kill that the fountain was going to impose upon them. You would think they would want their kids to have as much of a fighting chance, but no they decide the time to tell her is about 1 day before the urges start. It just never makes much sense to me to keep everyone in the dark until the last minute. But once I got past that pet peeve of mine, the story was really great. I can’t wait to continue on with the series. I am hoping for some good character growth in the second book, and I also want to read the original Killing Cure series because I think I will learn more about the Fountain of Youth in that series.
Bottom line: This was a solid start to a series. The premise is fresh and interesting. I did have a few annoyances with the main character and her parents, but overall I enjoyed the plot of Descendants of the Curse: Jessie’s Awakening and I am interested in finding out where the series will go next.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- 2020 New Release Challenge
- Flights of Fantasy Reading Challenge 2020