Verdict: CURSE THE DAY succeeds as the opening act of a new book series that is meant to define good and evil—and the gray area that separates them.
The classic battle rages between good and evil as angels and humans conspire to bring down a murderous creature borne out of the human race’s apathy and indifference.
As the first book of The Unveiling series, CURSE THE DAY introduces an ensemble of characters that later play a bigger role in a brewing battle between good and evil. Eliot is a police officer with a strong sense of conviction and virtue who seeks to catch a killing machine that is beyond his comprehension. Journalist, Eva eventually finds herself working with Eliot as they seek to unravel the mystery of a series of recent deaths. And there is Azrael, who kills every black-hearted human being in his path in the hopes of cleansing the world of their kind, leaving only the good ones behind.
As timeless and universal as the subject matter of morality is, what makes CURSE THE DAY work is its dialogue. The debates and discourse among the characters are engaging, producing thought-provoking lines like, “Greed was the gateway to corruption; corruption created a lust for power; power required murder to survive. It was a never-ending conquest,” and “You are all carriers for the plague of apathy and indifference.” The descriptions are also masterfully done, especially the chapters set in Oceana Naval Air Base, which look like scenes taken straight out of a movie.
Each character is given a distinct voice and personality that it does not become hard to follow the story despite the presence of so many names. However, it also becomes the novel’s waterloo, as the introduction of many characters required too many back stories to be narrated in long and winding paragraphs of exposition. While they are entertaining, author Zachary Koala Hardison could have found a better way to get his readers to learn more about the characters.
The brewing romance between Eliot and Eva also seems a bit forced, as Eva is reduced from a strong female figure to a fumbling damsel in distress in her scenes with Eliot. But the central character is still the complex and angst-ridden Azrael, serving as the driving force of the novel and leaving readers to wonder whether he is a villain or simply an anti-hero. The novel’s resolution leaves much to be desired, as the story is still far from over. But this is the perfect set up for the next book.
CURSE THE DAY succeeds as the opening act of a new book series that is meant to define good and evil—and the gray area that separates them.