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Curio (Blink) by Evangeline Denmark
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Curio (Blink)

by Evangeline Denmark

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Showing 5 of 5
First off, I love this cover, it is beautiful and the synopsis is wonderful as well. I knew that this book was going to be crazy detailed and there are multiple worlds we, as readers, get to experience. I also heard a lot about this book, on blogs, vlogs, the internet in general and I have to say that it was mixed reviews. So how do you know if this book is really for you? - Well, if you like steampunk, dolls, world building, a strong female lead, and a bunch of craziness - I think you will enjoy this one. If you don't like those things - probably not.

The best part about this book is the world building, in the first part you get wrapped up in this horrific society where Chemists run everything. They are the law and you have to follow their rules - no touching the opposite sex, go to work, home before dark, take your ration - which is your only way of survival in this new world otherwise you starve to death. Then as the story progresses you and Grey are thrust into another world, completely different. This world is made of dolls and tinker toys and magic and mystery and Grey has to find someone and then get back out into her world to save it from the evil Chemists.

The book was crazy detailed and the worlds were captivating and interesting, sometimes a bit on the strange side, but it seems like in the end it will all work together well. I am not sure how the author decided to go from Chemists and a dystopian society to one with play-things as living beings, but it was something new that I have never read before, so props for that.

Grey is our main character and from the very beginning she is strong-willed and you can tell she is not a fan of the Chemists and how her world works. She is determined to help her family and all the people she knows but we follow her as she learns more about herself, these two worlds, and the magic that permeates then both.

This was a really fun read and I very much enjoyed it. I don't want to give too much away but I cannot wait to see where the next book leads us. ( )
  sszkutak | Sep 28, 2016 |
Again, this is one of those YA books I thought I would like more than I did. It wasn't that the story line was bad (it wasn't!) or that the writing was horrible (It was not!), it just didn't pull me in as much as I had hoped it would. It's still a great book, but I probably won't go any further in this series. I'm just not invested in the characters enough. I would recommend the book to others though because I can see how it can be appealing to wide audience. 3 out of 5 stars. ( )
  Beammey | Feb 13, 2016 |
Grey Haward lives in a world where people can't digest food unless they drink a potion provided by a tyrannical ruling group. When her friend Whit gets punished for saving her life, Grey discovers a hidden trait inside herself - she is a Defender who protects people from tyranny. Just as she's discovering her new powers, she is thrown into a strange new steampunk world in which she must find the Mad Tock in order to escape.

Curio had unique plot-line and world-building, and the mystery remained throughout the book. It was good, clean fun with no sex and minimal violence. Both worlds in the book were quite fascinating, and I wish I knew more about each. However, I did have some difficulty because the transition from the first world to the second was quite abrupt. I was just starting to get emotionally involved in the first when it was taken away, and I suddenly had to start from scratch learning the rules of a foreign world. I would have preferred reading two books each with one world than one book with two. It was a little confusing. Overall, I think Denmark has a lot of potential as an author, and will keep a look-out for other books by her. ( )
  The_Hibernator | Jan 11, 2016 |
Evangeline Denmark's new fantasy created an interesting steampunk sort of world. The main characters are Grey Haward, Whitland Bryacre, and Blaise Amintore. The story is told from each of their viewpoints.

The story begins in Mercury City which is under control of the chemists who have put all sorts of restrictions in place. The citizens in Mercury City are dependent on a potion supplied by the chemists to stave off the starvation trait. When Whit is punished for a curfew violation and touching Grey, he is punished leading Grey to share her dose of potion with him.

Grey's father and grandfather don't need the potion because they are Defenders. Grey has always taken it because her mother is not a Defender. Because they are Defenders, they have drawn the particular attention of a Chemist named Adante. When he learns that Grey has shared her potion he wants to study her. Her grandfather protects her as she runs away to his shop where she is sent into a strange world inside a curio cabinet.

The world inside the cabinet is inhabited by porcies who are made of porcelain and are the upper classes and tocks who are clockwork and are the working classes. The world is controlled by Lord Blueboy who is interested in Grey and wants to add her to his collection of beautiful things. Blaise, another human, is leading the revolution against the porcies. Their Defender marks call to each other and they fall in love.

Meanwhile, while Grey is in the curio cabinet trying to survive the evil intentions of Lord Blueboy and trying to find a way home, Whit falls into the company of Mercury City's rebels as he becomes a potions dealer. He meets twins Marina and Maverick and has his own run-ins with Adante. He also falls for Marina.

These plot threads do eventually come back together when Grey finds a way to escape the curio cabinet bring Blaise and his secrets with her.

I liked the world building especially in the world inside the curio cabinet which was filled with interesting steampunk inventions. Generally, I thought the story had a pretty slow beginning. The reasons for the way the world was the way it was were given but not until late in the story. I found myself having a lot of questions as I tried to figure out what was going on in the story. So much happened in the book that I felt like developing the characters motives and personalities got pushed to the back burner.

I read an eARC and had some issues with the formatting that I hope are ARC issues and not book issues. Capitalization was extremely random with some names never being capitalized and others shifting from lower case to upper case at random. Also sometimes the initial letters of sentences lacked capitalization. I'm eager to see the finished book to see if this was by design or just a product of the eARC.

Fans of fantasy and steampunk will enjoy this story. ( )
  kmartin802 | Dec 27, 2015 |
I was first drawn to this book by the lovely book cover, than by the fact that the author is a Colorado author, and lastly by the summary of this book. I do like reading steampunk books but they can be hit and miss for me. This book is what steampunk is about and how to do it right. I instantly was transported into the world that Grey resided in. I could picture everything and it all had a touch of steampunk elements to everything.

While I am talking about this book I have to also mention the whimsical world behind the curio. All of the people who live in this alternate world are memorable and intriguing. This is another reason that I enjoyed reading this book. It helped because for the first third of the story there was not a lot happening in the action department but after that it was full of action. The story did end nicely. I can't wait to read the next book and continue the battle with Grey, Whit, and the rest of the defenders. ( )
  Cherylk | Dec 27, 2015 |
Showing 5 of 5
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0310729661, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Fri, 21 Aug 2015 10:18:15 -0400)

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