Thursday, January 14, 2016

Book Review: Curio

CurioAuthor: Evangeline Denmark
Publication Date: January 5, 2016
Publisher: Blink
Series: Curio # 1

Grey Haward has always detested the Chemists, the magicians-come-scientists who rule her small western town. But she has always followed the rules, taking the potion the Chemists ration out that helps the town’s people survive. A potion that Grey suspects she—like her grandfather and father—may not actually need.

By working at her grandfather’s repair shop, sorting the small gears and dusting the curio cabinet inside, Grey has tried to stay unnoticed—or as unnoticed as a tall, strong girl can in a town of diminutive, underdeveloped citizens. Then her best friend, Whit, is caught by the Chemists’ enforcers after trying to protect Grey one night, and after seeing the extent of his punishment, suddenly taking risks seems the only decision she can make.

But with the risk comes the reality that the Chemists know her family’s secret, and the Chemists soon decide to use her for their own purposes. Panicked, Grey retreats to the only safe place she knows—her grandfather’s shop. There, however, a larger secret confronts her when her touch unlocks the old curio cabinet in the corner and reveals a world where porcelain and clockwork people are real. There, she could find the key that may save Whit’s life and also end the Chemists’ dark rule forever.

She braced a bloody palm on the brick wall and pushed to her feet. Eyes locked on the nearing teeth, she scrambled around the pallets. Warm blood seeped down her leg and glued her stockings to her skin.

Father and Grandad were anomalies in Mercury City, even rebels. But Defenders? Her textbooks called the race violent and cruel.

She sprinted into the darkness of the alley. The thrum of the engines faded. Then grew louder. It didn’t matter. All she could do was run.

I read this book in one sitting! This was a great way to start off my year. Chemists. Unique worlds. Porcelain dolls coming to life. Magic. Steampunk. Romance. I am in love with this book and am so thrilled that it will be a series. The author has created two different worlds for readers. Mercury City and the world behind the doors of the magical curio cabinet. Her imagination must be out of this world. Everything felt so alive and so real. The town where Grey Haward, our heroine and protagonist, grew up feels like a dystopian world almost. It is so restrictive and downright cruel, but this has only served to make Grey brave, able to think on her feet, resourceful, and highly adaptive. Grey will stop at nothing to make things right in her world and to do away with the Chemists. These people are part of the elite and run the town, making everyone else fall merciless at their feet. There is just so much to love about this story!

Grey is by far my favorite thing. She is full of flaws and insecurities and the author writes her in a way that makes her appealing and relatable to readers. This story is full of adventure; whether Grey is in Mercury City or Curio City, both worlds need saving and she seems to be the only saving grace. The story is fast-paced and needs no help reeling in readers; I promise you will be mesmerized from the opening pages. I am not sure how long I can wait for the next book in this series. I was also very shocked to find out that this was the debut book for this author! I am already so very impressed with her writing style and I am so anxious for more!

***A free copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at Blink in exchange for my honest review***

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