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Curse the Dark (Retrievers, #2)
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Curse the Dark (Retrievers #2)

3.71  ·  Rating Details ·  1,476 Ratings  ·  52 Reviews
And you think magic is complicated?

Once more Wren Valere's game plan has taken an unexpected direction. She'd agreed to a bargain with one supersecret magic-watching outfit to protect her partner and herself on their last job. But now the Silence is trying to wedge them apart.

On the one hand, ever since she and Sergei began to talk about their "relationship" things have be
Paperback, 346 pages
Published December 31st 2005 by Luna Books (first published July 1st 2005)
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Jun 29, 2010 Bex rated it it was ok
Shelves: own
I read Laura Anne Gilman's "Staying Dead", the first book in the Retriever series, and wasn't very impressed. Laura Anne Gilman tried to create a new world of magic, but she made it way too complicated. There was so much time spent just trying to describe and explain the many different intricacies of her characters' world, that the flow of the book suffered. It was a difficult read. I went ahead and started "Curse the Dark", because I was hoping that, having gotten most of the explanations and d ...more
Dec 14, 2014 Thenia rated it it was ok
Wren's story continues and while there's nothing really wrong with the book, I just couldn't get into it.

There are a couple of different points of view that I really didn't care about and in general my interest in the goings on was barely piqued. It didn't help that the narrator's interpretation of Wren and Sergei's voices was not that different, which made it difficult to figure out who was saying what at some points.

The series continues with Bring It On, but I'm not sure if I'll ever read it..
Sep 29, 2007 Seth rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fans of: modern fantasy, esp. jim butcher, capers/crime fantasy
Shelves: sf-f-h, modernfantasy
Preface: I haven't read the first book in this series or the short stories that introduced the characters, but that didn't seem to be a problem at all. From the descriptions, each book stands pretty well on its own, but this book does start up some meta-plot that could continue through the next books.

Luna (Harlequin's fantasy imprint) seems to have a good thing going. Women authors writing character-centered not-heavy adventure fantasy with a touch of romance (read: a touch of sex) and solid edi
Katharine Kimbriel
Aug 26, 2012 Katharine Kimbriel rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Contemporary fantasy lovers, fans of Laura Anne Gilman's work
Our heroine is Wren Valere, a talented young woman in her late 20s who is a lonejack, a solo magic user raised up in a soloist tradition. She works as a “retriever” – essentially a thief with considerable magical talents. Someone stole something from you – something magical, dangerous, powerful? You pay Valere and her “manager” Sergei Didier, and she’ll steal it right back.

New York City is a vibrant place at any time, but in LAG’s world talents (those who feel and manipulate current) and nulls (
Nov 22, 2011 Leah rated it it was ok
Now under contract to take jobs for The Silence, Wren and Sergei fly to Italy to retrieve an ancient parchment stolen from a strange monastery. None of the monks understand the objects they guard and so provide little helpful information. Wren is able to determine that something is very wrong after a botched attempt to get an electrical read within the monastery. A customs contact gives Sergei information that leads back to America, and the pair are soon back home where records have lead them to ...more
Carrie Vaughn
Feb 24, 2012 Carrie Vaughn rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 03, 2010 Starfire rated it liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
This is the second book in Gilman's "Retrievers" set, which I re-read the first book of ("Staying Dead") earlier in the year, and was disappointed to discover I didn't enjoy nearly as much as I had the first time around.

Whatever it was that disappointed me in the first one, however, was absent for this one - while it's a bit of a bubblegum urban fantasy read, it's fun, it's sexy, and it definitely kept me entertained for the couple of days it took me to work my way through it.

In this instalment,
I enjoy this urban fantasy series. I like the chemistry between magical Wren and her normal partner Sergei, I love the interesting demon-esque creatures who are just trying to have their lives too, and I like the pace at which the series is building. This is the second book, and I have high hopes that this series will only get better as it progresses.

In this book, Wren's sort of painted into a corner, forced to take a job from the Silence, a secretive organization that cleans up magical messes.
Beth Cato
Apr 10, 2012 Beth Cato rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: in, urban, fantasy, 2009
Wren Valere has a problem. As a magic-wielding Retriver, she's known as the best at her job. Unfortunately, the Council seems to be poisoning clients against her, and the bills need paying. Even under dire financial straits, Wren and her partner Sergei are reluctant to take on the Silence's job offer: go to Italy and retrieve a missing old parchment that happens to make any readers vanish.[return][return]I enjoyed this book much more than the first book, but my feelings are still mixed. Wren and ...more
Mar 11, 2012 John rated it liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
I really enjoyed the predecessor "Staying Dead" - interesting modern magic setting, engaging characters, fun twists and challenges and some interesting faction politics. "Curse The Dark" opened the same, but felt more scattered. A few segments touched on a little soft-core erotica - not a huge deal, but a real distraction from the flow when an entire chapter got the treatment.
Less good magic/intrigue and generally more predictable. When finally getting to the climax, it seemed to build quicker t
Jan 03, 2009 Shelley rated it it was amazing
This is the second book of the Retreivers series and I can't wait to find number three and start reading it. The idea of "magic" (or current) used in this book is some of the best that I've read about - new and fresh considering how many books out there are using the same ideas over and over again. I'm not a big fan of changing POV in the middle of paragraphs (which does happen from time to time) but I don't mind the switch when she does it in large chunks of narrative. Wren is a strong characte ...more
Oct 13, 2009 Richard rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, demon, heroine, modern
Didn't have the first book in the library, so I started with the second book. After finishing this book, it seems like the author just sort of wanted to end it.

Again, what is the deal with all this angst with all these power people. :( It seems like that's the only "interesting" characters to write about? Or is that the only thing that is around?

However, the background and the environment that she has made seems interesting, even though again convoluted. Tried and true formula. Maybe I should st
Feb 14, 2008 Rachel rated it really liked it
Shelves: supernatural, fiction
I liked this novel better than the first one. This is the second Wren Valere novel, and in this one, she and Sergei explore their new relationship, and her growing prominence in the Cosa Nostradamus. At the same time, we get a slightly larger glimpse into the Silence and the Council. The level of complexity is higher in this one, and I have to say, it has one of the most enjoyable sex scenes I've read in a sci-fi/fantasy novel. Possibly too long and detailed, but fun. As for the book as a whole, ...more
This Is Not The Michael You're Looking For
Second book of the series, it ramps up the romantic aspects of the story, but after setting a reasonably sedate pace through the middle, rushes to a sporadic ending that is with a lot of loose threads that don't necessarily feel like they should have been left to a future book (assuming they are ever addressed at all). All in all, a step down from the first volume, although the potential for a very good series is still present and I continue to like the unique take on magic and the avoidance of ...more
Wren and Sergei are hired to retrieve an ancient manuscript.

I did not like this one. 375 pages of internal dialog, external dialog, mildly interesting repartee, desk bound spies and office politics, fatae politics, various explanations and some romance. This puts this series squarely in the class of books that women will probably enjoy, but which would drive me crazy.

There was very little action, magic, plot, or character development. This series is not for me.

Jun 13, 2010 Moontyger rated it liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
I enjoyed the first Retrievers novels, so I finally got around to getting and reading this sequel. The world is, in many ways, a fairly typical urban fantasy setting, though magic actually being and feeding off of electricity is kind of different.

Anyway, there's nothing spectacular or brilliant about this book, but I enjoyed it. I like the characters and the plot was interesting. Definitely a good summer reading novel.
Dec 22, 2013 Lia rated it it was amazing
Shelves: urban-fantasy
The book held my attention (I read it over the course of a day) and I am looking forward to the next book.

As magic of the Universe is becoming more familiar with this second book of the Retrievers series the focus switches to building on the romantic and political issues for Wren and Sergei. The two of them end up have to go on a trip to Rome with little information. And with tensions running high it look like everything is going to get worse before it can get better.
Mar 18, 2012 Becca rated it really liked it
Wren and Sergei are off to Retrieve an artifact removed from a Monastary in Italy. In this novel, they finally actively acknowledge the romantic interest between them. Also, a more complete explanation about the 'Cosa Nostradamus' the organization that controls mages and the 'Silence' the organization that protects the world from magic gone bad.
This book was pretty good. I was happy with the advances in Wren and Sergei's relationship, and the item they were after this time was much more interesting then last. The ending was a little sad, but that happens I guess. I'm not looking forward to more political stuff in the next books, but hopefully they'll still be good.
Jun 10, 2015 Corrin rated it it was amazing
I liked it just as much as the first one. Full of twists and turns that are unexpected. The politics is intriguing and it is escalating also. The end made me so sad, it was really out of the blue and I was so shocked I had to reread that part twice. I really want to know what happens next, im interested.
May 05, 2009 Donna rated it liked it
Valere signed a contract with Silence, a secret organization trying to contain what they view as evil in the world. She needed the monthly retainer. Now, Silence calls the debt and sends her on a mission to retrieve a parchment. Sounds easy except everyone who reads the parchment disappears.
The book has great characters, funny dialogue, and a fairly decent plot.
Jul 21, 2015 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
Apparently I read this out of order! I haven['t done that in years and years. Anyway, I enjoyed this book where electricity can be harnessed to do magic and the politics are complicated and the heroine is independent and the side characters are varied and strange. Will definitely keep up with this series.
Jessica Rodgers
Nov 08, 2010 Jessica Rodgers rated it liked it
I loved the first book in the series but this one irritated and confused the hell out of me. There was just too much going back and forth between scenes. I don't think I will give the next book a try.
May 01, 2008 Toni rated it it was amazing
The growth of Wren ans Sergi's relationship is protrayed very well and also her maturity in the plotics of the magicial community is begining to develop. Was very pleased that there was growth protrayed.
Evil magic from the distant past! Complex (and deadly) politics between the Council of Mages, lonejacks, and the fatae, not to mention the Silence. Suspense, sex, and problems with laundry! I enjoyed the first book, and this one is just as fast-paced and entertaining.
Jan 31, 2011 Jessie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Another solid read for this series. I still think the author often isn't as clear as she thinks she is, and normally that's not a problem, but I was having trouble following the "politics" sometimes, and since it played a major part, it could have been clearer. Hmm...I like long sentences.
Apr 01, 2016 M rated it did not like it
Shelves: 3-urban-fantasy
Read the first in the series, and found it mediocre but gave book two a try - still no sparks for my taste. The premise is ok, but felt a little paint by numbers. Like a series setting to fit a saleable genre rather than born of an inspired story.
Feb 04, 2012 Kelly rated it liked it
second in the series. Wren and Sergei finally get it on, but it's still bumpy. PB is the best charachter in the series, I would love to see a book on him!
Feb 26, 2016 Lemonitsa rated it liked it
Nov. 22/10 -- Chapter 3 --
Nov. 24/10 -- Chapter 7 --
Nov. 27/10 -- Chapter 10 --
Nov. 29/10 -- Chapter 13 --
Dec. 11/10 -- Finished :)
CJ - It's only a Paper Moon
Aug 24, 2008 CJ - It's only a Paper Moon rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who likes urban fantasy with romance elements
Liked it a lot better than the second book, the writing was more cohesive and the characters are beginning to further in their development.
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By the time she was fourteen, Laura Anne Gilman knew she would be an editor, a teacher, or a writer.

By thirty, she was all three. She's a little focused that way (when not being distracted by -oooh shiny!).

After fifteen years working in NY publishing, Laura Anne became a full-time writer, with more than twenty novels under her various bylines, including the SILVER ON THE ROAD, the Nebula Award-nom
More about Laura Anne Gilman...

Other Books in the Series

Retrievers (7 books)
  • Staying Dead (Retrievers, #1)
  • Bring It On (Retrievers, #3)
  • Overrush
  • Burning Bridges (Retrievers, #4)
  • Free Fall (Retrievers, #5)
  • Blood from Stone (Retrievers, #6)

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