Book Reviews

The Tiger Catcher by Paullina Simons

I received an advanced copy of this book from its publicists in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own.

Explosive love story? A relationship that bends the rules of time as we know it? Mysticism? I heard these about the book and my first thought was “where can I sign up”. I went in with quite a lot of expectations. Read on to find out if any of those were met.

Goodreads synopsis:

The Tiger Catcher (End of Forever, #1)

Can true love ever die?

Julian lives a charmed life in Los Angeles. Surrounded by friends, he is young, handsome, and runs a successful business. Everything changes after he has a fateful encounter with a mysterious young woman named Josephine. Julian’s world is turned upside down by a love affair that takes him—and everyone else in his life—by storm. For the two new lovers, the City of Angels is transformed into a magical playground.

But Josephine is not what she seems and carries secrets that threaten to tear them apart—seemingly forever.

A broken man, his faith in tatters, Julian meets a mysterious stranger who tells him how to find Josephine again if he is willing to give up everything and take a death-defying trip from which no one has ever returned.

So begins Julian and Josephine’s extraordinary adventure of love, loss, and the mystical forces that bind people across time and space. It is a journey that propels Julian toward an impossible choice which will lead him to love fulfilled…or to oblivion.

Review:

The Tiger Catcher is the story of Julian Cruz loving and losing Josephine Collins. Throw into the mix some meddling friends, mystical happenings, mysterious strangers, and the Prime Meridian, and you have quite an interesting story in your hands.

Time-defying romance takes everyone by storm is one sub-genre that’s right up my alley, but boy, The Tiger Catcher fizzled and died in vain while trying to enter it.

Why?

Two words: Insta love.

Why, why do authors insist on forcing insta love down our throats? It’s the one trope I hate with all my passion and it’s the one trope this book has. Julian and Josephine have a whirlwind romance ending in betrayal and tragedy. With any other couple, the reaction that followed the tragedy would have made me sad, but with this one, my only reaction was “JFC you knew each other for two months, sit the fuck down. And get some therapy, maybe.”

25% into the book, the tragedy strikes. After this, you need to be able to root for the main couple to agree with all the actions that follow. But when your reaction to the couple is lukewarm at best and pull-your-hair-out-in-frustration at worst, you just won’t find any love for Julian’s actions.

Many a times, I was screaming out loud in frustration. I physically wanted to drag Julian by the arm and take him to therapy. Despite all the screaming and hatred, this book is a 3.5 star read for me. And that’s totally because of Simons’ enchantingly poetic writing.

She’s excellent at writing heartbreak and even better at writing about the mystical elements in this book. If I did like the couple, her writing would surely have drawn a tear or two from me. It’s the kind of writing that moves even the stoniest of readers.

Simons has done a stellar job writing about the mystic forces at play in this world and time travelling. She has also written well fleshed out characters who are each unique and interesting. I may detest the main couple, but I love them as individual characters.

If, like me, you hate insta love, you will scream as much as I did about this book. But it’s totally worth reading for Simons’ poetic writing, characters, and the pace of the story.

I’m definitely picking up the sequel when it comes out.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

The Tiger Catcher will be out on May 28, 2019.

~ Shruti

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6 thoughts on “The Tiger Catcher by Paullina Simons

  1. Thank you for an excellent review that clearly set out your objections to the book. I do understand your problem with insta-love. However… I happen to have fallen for my first husband like that – hook. Line. And sinker. We met and fell in love at 16 – boom! He asked me to marry him 3 weeks later and I said yes. And four years later we married. It would be nice to say that we are still married – we’re not. But never doubt that we fell passionately in love and it was the classic – eyes meeting across a crowded room…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow! You know, I’ve actually heard a lot of stories like this (and loved them), and yet, in fiction it sounds like, well, fiction. I’ve always wondered why I like these stories when friends tell them as opposed to reading about them in books. 🤔

      I’m also a hardcore cynic, so it’s no wonder I’m reacting this strongly. 😅

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for this review. I agree with most of this wholeheartedly. The book fell flat. And the insta-love was unbelievable to me. (I just saw their relationship as infatuation.) Also, I thought the main character, Julian, was underdeveloped. Josephine was more developed, but I never cared for her much, personally. Ironically, the secondary characters in the book are quite vivid in my opinion. The time-travel approach that Paullina takes is indeed interesting. Also, in spite of my not really caring for the book, I kept reading it. Her writing is like that. It just keeps you reading. It does say something about her ability as a writer. She has a way with words. I found the book somewhat emotionally exhausting, and I imagine the next books will be as well. (there’s a part of me that wonders if everything Julian experiences might end up really being that he’s in a delusional state. Remember how delusional he got after she died? Just a theory. I sure hope that’s not the case though!)

    In The Bronze Horseman trilogy by Paullina Simons there is a kind of Insta love. They do fall for each other at first sight. BUT, the love between them actually develops after they spend time together and the reader literally experiences them falling in love. I’ve never read anything like it. If you think her writing is poetic and beautiful in this series, oh my gosh, read The Bronze Horseman. It’s 10x more so, I think.

    Like

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