The Perfectly Entertaining Prequel to the CW's Nancy Drew | Review: Nancy Drew: The Curse by Micol Ostow

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It's no secret that I'm a massive Nancy Drew fan and I've been digging the CW's modern, chilling take on the classic characters. So, obviously I've been anticipating its prequel novel. And, uh, update? It is as fun and thrilling as the show. 

Nancy Drew: The Curse
by Micol Ostow

A curse is just a mystery dressed up in a sharp, stern warning.
And everyone knows that I love a mystery.

Nancy Drew isn’t one for ghost stories. So when the annual Horseshoe Bay Naming Day celebration is threatened by eerie warnings of an old curse, Nancy is sure someone—someone human—is behind them. And no way is she letting this person stand in the way of her best friend, Daisy, finally getting her day in the spotlight as the lead in the much-anticipated Naming Day reenactment.

But as Nancy begins investigating, the so-called marks of the curse become bolder…and more sinister. A vandalized locker and ominous notes are one thing, but soon enough lives—including Nancy’s own—are at stake. Though the dreams and eerie visions plaguing Nancy are certainly just products of her own mind…right?

All old towns have their traditions and histories, but as Nancy will soon discover, they don’t always tell the whole story.

Nancy Drew: The Curse by Micol Ostow 
Rating: ★★★

Much like with the CW's new take on Nancy Drew: this book won't be for everyone.

Let's face it: this is Nancy Drew like we've not seen her. She's not our mother's, or grandmother's, or even our Nancy Drew. But, honestly? That's what makes it work.

One may argue that it's unnecessary and, frankly, trying to tie into the success of Riverdale and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.

(And other inevitable "edgy" takes on classic properties.) 

But, it's not. I REPEAT: this is what makes it work. It's perfect for lifelong fans of the series who are okay with all the changes that happen when reworking classics. It's perfect for new fans. It's perfect for fans of the series. This spin on Nancy Drew is very much so appropriate for fans of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and Veronica Mars--it's essentially a mash-up of the three titles while ultimately forming a new tale.

Nancy Drew: The Curse is one of those quick reads that feels almost like a familiar campfire story. In all its ties to the original books, and the television series that follows, there's this undeniably haunting tone to it. Micol Ostow pens a fast paced, entertaining and subtly chilling tale, that doesn't necessarily rely on jump-scares. It relies on the strength of its teenage sleuth and her friends; with the simple backdrop of high school and family secrets.

Given where the television series picks up--Nancy, reeling from the loss of her mother and being left behind in her hometown while her friends are all away at university--there aren't that many ties to the show's storylines. Obviously, we get nods here and there, but the absence of mostly everyone from the show is fairly apparent. I could definitely feel the lack of the Drew Crew and didn't always find myself connecting to Nancy's high school friends like I do with the others.

Still, the mysterious hum of ghosts and curses within Nancy Drew: The Curse keeps readers on their toes. We see that there's more to the central mysteries and mythology in the town of Horsehoe Bay than what the television series has tackled and it gives us the air of potential for the second season. (Will we be seeing some of these characters? Will we get references to any of them?)

Nancy Drew: The Curse doesn't necessarily offer any huge revelations when it comes to background and development of the show, but it does make for an entertaining read. It's witty, well-written and a little on the indulgent side. I definitely enjoyed this one!

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