Curio, by Evangeline Denmark, was a fantastic book to read. Curio is the story of Grey Haward, a girl whose life changes drastically one day after she is caught out late after curfew, along with her friend Whit. In the chemist controlled city of Mercury City, rules are strict and consequences worse. For Grey, who is underage, the consequences are not nearly as bad as they are for Whit. Whit is of age to be striped and though Grey tries to defend Whit, the chemists will not have it. As Whit is hauled away, Grey undergoes a change that will mark the rest of her life, she becomes a defender and begins to see the only life she’s ever known in a whole new life. When confrontation forces her into a magical curio, will Grey and her defender blood be enough to figure out a way to escape?
What I liked about Curio was the sheer depth that the author placed into it. The beginning was a bit confusing, but I imagine that reading the prequel Mark of Blood and Alchemy should clear up any remaining questions. There are two main settings to this book, Mercury City and Curio City. Curio City is a bit different and almost reminds me of something like you would see in Oz the Great and Powerful. If you ever remember the portion of the movie where he finds the porcelain doll, you may be able to glimpse even a little bit of this town. Curio City is inhabited by porcelain beings who all vie for the right to be called ‘beautiful’ unfortunately beneath the pretty veneer of this city, pain and sorrow lurks. As Grey soon learns friend and foe can change at the drop of the hat. Will she be stuck inside this curio forever or will she make friends and escape?
The premise for this book is unique and an interesting fusion of steampunk meets fantasy. It is for this reason that I am giving this book 5/5 stars. I would recommend reading the prequel first (which is available for free now), if only to gain additional context for the story. This book will be released on January 5th.
I received this book for free from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.