I was recently sent a copy of Curio by Evangeline Denmark by Harper Collins (via Booklook Bloggers) in exchange for an honest review. Curio is a YA fantasy/steampunk novel starring Grey, a teen aged girl who is thrust from one world into another.
Grey lives with her family in a wild west style town that is run by magician-cum-chemists. Everyone in the town suffers from the starvation gene, it prevents them from being able to keep down any food. The people of the town have no choice but to depend upon a potion to survive, a potion made by the secretive chemists. Their dependence on the potion means they are subjected to harsh rules and regulations. Grey is different from those around her, she is stronger and larger – her whole family is. Grey breaks one of the rules and needs to hide, she finds her sanctuary inside a curio cabinet, emerging into a world of dolls.
This novel is driven by an interesting plot and wonderful settings; it is fast-paced and exciting. I have never read about places like the ones in this story, they are utterly unique and thoroughly interesting. One is strange mixture of the wild west and communist society and the other is a porcelain world of dolls, beautiful and run on steam. I thought the characters in this novel were fantastic, Grey especially. She is loyal and brave, and will do anything for her loved ones.
There are some aspects of this story that I think needed more explanation. It would have been very interesting to hear more about the chemists and how they came about their power. Grey’s family and where they came from is a bit of a mystery too. I felt that most explanations came a little late in the book and it would have greatly benefited from explanations earlier on.
Overall, I enjoyed this novel and look forward to reading more from the author. I gave it a 3/5 stars.