Curio by Evangeline Denmark

27 Dec

By: Evangeline Denmark
Publisher: Blink

Publication Date: January 5, 2016

(Received ARC from

 Grey Haward detests the Chemists that run her society. They have rules for everything including touching or consorting with members of the opposite sex.  To survive the starvation trait, Grey and everyone else must drink their daily ration potion.  Without it, they’ll die.  But Grey’s father doesn’t drink it, he gives his away.  So does her grandfather.  One night, after publicly defying a Chemist to try and save her friend Whit, Grey finds an odd tattoo on her midsection.  The next night, as she runs from the Chemist, she runs straight to her grandfather’s shop where his assistant takes her scraped hand and presses it to the curio cabinet with the words “Find him.”

The almost nonstop action takes Grey into a world of living porcelain dolls and mechanical people.  And the Mad Tock who is neither procelain nor mechanical but fixes both and flies with a strapped on contraption.  Then the book gets odd.

The story has lots of great elements but needs more direction.  It is not clear why the Chemists put up so many rules but it does explain Grey’s initial hesitation to touch anyone.  There’s a lot of back story missing (where is the old country that her grandfather is from, how do the intermarry, etc.).  There’s a lot left unanswered about Grey & Blaise, the Mad Tock, and most especially, having escaped from the Curio, what happened to the inhabinents there also in revolution.  Why are both societies fighting so much?  Are they meant to mirror each other?

The Epilogue isn’t an epilogue at all, but just another chapter with more questions than answers.  Only the very last snippet with Whit might be considered an epilogue and a prologue to another book.

Recommended: Grades 6 & up


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