Curio - eBook
Curio - eBook  -     By: Evangeline Denmark
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Blink / 2016 / ePub
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Curio - eBook

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Product Information

Format: DRM Protected ePub
Vendor: Blink
Publication Date: 2016
ISBN: 9780310729365
ISBN-13: 9780310729365
UPC: 025986729363
Ages: 12-16

Publisher's Description

Curio, written by Evangeline Denmark, is the story of Grey Haward’s struggles to keep her friends and family safe from their totalitarian government while she’s at home, and from afar. After her friend Whit is taken by a patrol for breaking curfew, Grey is willing to give him her ration of the potion that allows citizens to digest their food, believing she is like her grandfather and father, who don’t need the potion. After being accused of ration dealing, Grey is on the run and becomes trapped in Curio City with the upper-class "Porcies" and ragged, lower-class clockwork people. She is befriended by another trapped human, Blaise, and they must escape together, or the porcelain Lord Blueboy will try to take her power of being unbreakable by force. Grey needs to return to her own world before her friends and family lose their lives.

Product Reviews

2.9 Stars Out Of 5
2.9 out of 5
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(3)
(1)
Quality:
2.6 out Of 5
(2.6 out of 5)
Value:
2.3 out Of 5
(2.3 out of 5)
Meets Expectations:
2.3 out Of 5
(2.3 out of 5)
43%
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  1. fairytaleblue
    2 Stars Out Of 5
    Could have been so much more
    November 26, 2016
    fairytaleblue
    Quality: 2
    Value: 0
    Meets Expectations: 0
    This review was written for Curio.
    First of all, I think Evangeline Denmark sucks the audience into her fantastical steampunk world. It's dark, gritty and frightening. There are two worlds within this novel; the Curio world filled with color and menace. Animated dolls fill this secret world within a cabinet and it is just as dangerous as the dreary Chemist world that keeps Grey and her kind captive. In order to escape the Chemists, Grey literally bleeds into the Curio world and looks for a key to save her kind. Sounds exciting...but in reality, the novel drags.

    I never fully understand why Grey's community can't eat without a strange elixir. I have so many questions about the marvelous world, the political structure and the "Whys" of the Chemist and Curio world. We just are thrown into the strange and bizarre with little reason or explanation. That's a problem throughout. And it would have taken some of the pressure off the sexual scenes. The novel is filled ad nauseam with Grey's budding sexuality. I get it. It's part of life but it just really became the whole focus even if unintentionally. It could have been dealt with a little more sensitivity. And it really doesn't make sense. I felt the author had some steamy scenes in mind and wrote the novel around those scenes. Really lost out on some interesting plot twists. I too struggled with whether or not this novel is Christian and in the end, I'm just as inclined to call it secular. I'm surprised Blink published it. And I would not hand it to a preteen. I'm not a prude when it comes to novels but this one really crossed into the ick factor with Lord Blue straddling Grey. Francine River's latest novel is quite graphic but there is a definite moral lesson that the character goes through. I didn't really feel that for Grey. I found the whole reference to God to be extremely vague and Grey never really seeks her Maker's help. Disappointing. Because that would have been a compelling character development.

    Thoughts. Amazing world building, weak plot that flounders, graphic violence with Grey's hand sheared to the bone, sexual content that bushes boundaries without any true lesson and little else to mark it inspirational.
  2. EmilyAnne28
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    YA Steampunk
    April 14, 2016
    EmilyAnne28
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    One night, everything went wrong. First, an evil chemist comes to visit, Grey and Whit are caught breaking curfew, Greys family is attacked, and Grey is thrust into a different world filled with clockwork people. Her world is falling apart, but at least she has a purpose, if vagueto find him and bring him back. But clockwork world, Curio City, has its own problems and politics that she is soon thrown into. Will she manage to complete her quest and return home alive?

    Evangeline Denmarks Curio was a fascinating tale of revolution, magic, and romance. Set in two worlds with tyrannical governments, the characters begin to see just how wrong the systems are and step up to right their wrongs. And in the midst of the chaos and life-threatening danger, the characters start fall in love.

    My favorite part of the novel was the story world. There were two different worldsone in an alternate history (future?) of the United States and one filled with porcelain and clockwork people called Curio City. But Curio City is not a world as much as it is a prison. The plot splits between Greys side of the story in Curio City and Whits in the human world. There were times when I wondered what the point of investing in so many characters and putting so much of the story in this fake world, Curio, when the characters would travel back to the real one, but I have a feeling that the characters will travel back to it in future novels.

    The plot was interesting. There were times when I could not put it down and times when it seemed to drag on. I cannot explain why it dragged, since the plot was so complex and moved along so quickly. Perhaps because, as I stated before, it was because I did not understand why the characters spent so much time in Curio when there were more problems in the real world. Whatever the case, I am still glad I read it and plan to read the next book.

    The magic, well, I did not like the blood part of the blood magic. Just the idea of it grosses me out and seems wrong. But it makes complete sense in the context and was very well done. The Defenders and the ChemistsI cannot wait to see how their conflict will climax in coming novels.

    I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to those who enjoy steampunk and young adult fiction.

    I received a free copy of this book from Book Look Bloggers in exchange for an honest review.
  3. Jessica
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    2 Stars Out Of 5
    Not for a young audience
    February 14, 2016
    Jessica
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 0
    Value: 0
    Meets Expectations: 0
    This review was written for Curio.
    Grey Haward's family has a secret. They are different from the others in Mercury City. At least, her father and grandfather are different. They aren't dependent on the potion from the Chemists like everyone else in the city. But the secret is even deeper than that. Even Grey doesn't know, until she risks her life for her friend, Whit, and endangers her family. She finds herself inside of a curio cabinet, where a world exists full of living porcelain and mechanical creatures. Her only clue: find him.

    There was something about the feel of this novel that I didn't care for. It is the first steampunk novel I've read, so it may be that I just won't be a fan of the genre, and not any fault of the author's.

    There are, however, other things I didn't care for that were specific to this book.

    First, the fact that there are two worlds in this novel that I (as the reader) know nothing about, and both are so vastly different from the real world. Just as I was beginning to feel comfortable in Mercury City, Grey is whisked away to Curio.

    Second, when Grey arrives in Curio she has no idea what she is supposed to do, and neither does the reader. I had no way to judge if she was on the right track or not, and I just felt lost.

    Finally, and what I believe to be most important, is the intended audience. This is meant to be a Young Adult, Christian novel. While the book offers minor mentions of a Christian theme with talk of a Designer, the YA rating fails. The book is very sexually charged. Within the first chapter Grey's "full chest" is brought to our attention. A rule in Mercury City that forbids touching between men and women brings the sensation of physical touch to the surface. Kissing is described in such a way that it is sexualized more than romanticized. And, this may be a slight *SPOILER* but I feel it's necessary to add, there is a scene about halfway though the book *that basically amounts to attempted rape with descriptive movements of hands and lips.*

    I was surprised to find this level of sexual content in a book published by Zondervan, let alone meant to be read by teenagers. I definitely would not recommend this book as YA.

    Despite its flaws, the general story did have promise. I give credit to the author for her vivid imagination, even though I couldn't always picture what she was describing. That may have been on me, since I'm not used to steampunk.

    That being said, I'm not likely to continue if this turns into a series, for the above reasons.

    I received a free electronic copy of this book for review purposes from BookLook.
  4. Maria
    2 Stars Out Of 5
    Shouldn't be advertised as Christian fiction....
    February 13, 2016
    Maria
    Quality: 0
    Value: 0
    Meets Expectations: 0
    This review was written for Curio.
    Curio by Evangeline Denmark is a fantasy/steampunk novel for young adults. The storyline is fascinating and, even though I was a little confused at first, it still pulled me in because of the strangeness of the new world. I really appreciated the fact that the story started with instant action since I wasn't left any room to debate if I wanted to read this book. haha

    Grey Haward knows something is different with her family, and she suspects it's with the potion/medicine that everyone is given so they can eat food normally. One day, it became time to test her theory when her friend, Whit, was taken away for being out after curfew. Once back, Grey is dismayed by Whit's extreme punishment and gives him her medicine so he can get better faster. Nervous that if she eats she'll be in debilitating pain, she doesn't eat all day. But later that night they get a visit from the Chemists coming to take Grey away, and her grandfather tells her to run to his shop.

    Once at the shop, her grandfather's assistant pulls her to the curio cabinet and tells her to, "find him and bring him back." And with that, she is falling down into a new world with a very different sort of people living there.

    This book has two of my favorite things: steampunk and fantasy. I loved the story! It kept me glued to the book until I finished it. The characters were intriguing, the worlds were fascinating, and the mission was mysterious. But there is one scene in the Curio that I strongly disliked. It was weird and creepy and definitely not fit for a book touted at being Christian fiction for young adults. The book was technically clean, but it went right to the edge of it. Honestly, I've read cleaner in non Christian fiction! Because of that, I'm lowering the stars. The story itself is a 5 star, but I'm rating it on everything, not just if she has well-developed characters and a great plot, but if I would want my teen reading it and the answer to that is NO. If you are published as Christian fiction then you need to be honorable to that moniker, and I'm sorry but this book does not fit those guidelines. I was so disappointed that such a great book ended up being one that I could not recommend. :-(

    I was given this book for free from Booklook Bloggers in exchange for an honest review.
  5. Lindsey from BFCG
    Texas
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: Female
    1 Stars Out Of 5
    Not clean & Not Christian
    January 22, 2016
    Lindsey from BFCG
    Texas
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: Female
    Quality: 1
    Value: 1
    Meets Expectations: 1
    This review was written for Curio.
    {{AGE WARNING on this review & book. There are lots of touches & detailed kisses in this book and listed in this review. This review should not be read by girls under 14.}}

    About this book:

    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 towns people survive. A potion that Grey suspects shelike her grandfather and fathermay not actually need.

    By working at her grandfathers repair shop, sorting the small gears and dusting the curio cabinet inside, Grey has tried to stay unnoticedor 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 familys secret, and the Chemists soon decide to use her for their own purposes. Panicked, Grey retreats to the only safe place she knowsher grandfathers 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 Whits life and also end the Chemists dark rule forever.

    Series: Book #1, has a prequel novella which is considered #0.5. Review Here!

    Spiritual Content- Mentions of the Designer & thanking him; A mention of Heaven; The author thanks the One in her acknowledgments;

    *Note: All about blood magic & evil magic; A mention of a (fake) Saint (prequel); A mention of being a savior; made my life hell. is said; Holy Chemist elbows, Holy Chemist Knees and Holy Defender are each said once.

    Negative Content- Minor cussing including: a crack you (said as a curse), a damnation (said as a curse), a shut up, a suck it up, nine stupids; Grey curses once, Blaise curses five times but none are written out; Many mentions of curses that are said but not written; Lots, lots & lots of blood & pain (semi-detailed to detailed); Fighting (semi-detailed); A broken wrist & showing the bone (semi-detailed); Abuse (up to semi-detailed); Broken porcelain people & dead-like ones; Many Mentions of blades, whippings & blood (semi-detailed); Many mentions of vomiting, vomit & starving (semi-detailed); Many mentions of going to the bathroom, leaking & taking a leak (up to semi-detailed); Mentions of bullets & shooting (semi-detailed); Mentions of fighting & hitting (semi-detailed); Mentions of pain & blood (semi-detailed); Mentions of blood sucking & vampires (up to semi-detailed); Mentions of rabies & wolfs (semi-detailed); Mentions of hunting; A couple mentions of boxing; A couple mentions of taverns; A couple mentions of suicide.

    Sexual Content- a hand kiss, a forehead kiss, a barely-above-not-detailed kiss, five semi-detailed kisses, two detail kisses, and two very-detailed kisses; Staring at lips (semi-detailed); Wanting to kiss (semi-detailed); Wanting to touch (semi-detailed); All about Touching & not touching (semi-detailed); Lots and Lots of Touches, Sensations & Holding (semi-detailed to detailed); Remembering touches, Heat & Dancing (semi-detailed); Lots of Smelling, Blushes & Nearness (semi-detailed); Lots of Noticing & Staring (semi-detailed); Aching & Longing (semi-detailed); Fantine is Lord Blueboys mistress, along with Mentions of him visiting her room, Mentions of his next mistresses & Mentions of Greys body not being her own; Lord Blueboy wants Grey to be his next mistress & calls her Mistress Grey; Lord Blueboy wants to see all of Greys veins & tries to touch her (Grey says shes not a doll to be undressed, but that does not stop him from wanting to touch her); Grey is tied to a bed for Lord Blueboys curiosity, he touches, straddles, sits on & kisses her, but she gets away before anything else happens (up to semi-detailed); A law that unmarried males & females cant touch or fraternization and many, many mentions of it; A mention of being naked; Mentions of bare chest (up to semi-detailed); Mentions of kisses & kissing; Mentions of reproducing, procreating & pregnancy; Mentions of jealousy; Lots of Attraction & the emotions;

    *Note: A few mentions of Greys full chest & figure; Many, many mentions of indecent necklines, low necklines, dresses showing cleavage, belly-showing dresses, a ruffled skirt that ends at the wearers thighs & no pants underneath, showing bare legs, & flimsy nightgowns.

    -Grey Haward, age 16

    P.O.V. switches between Grey, Blaise & Whit

    Steampunk

    427 pages

    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

    Pre Teens- One Star

    New Teens- One Star

    Early High School Teens- One Star

    Older High School Teens- One Star

    My personal Rating- One Star

    {{Every book reviewed is tested against Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirableif anything is excellent or praiseworthythink about such things.. Rating reflect the content of the book compared to the Scripture.}}

    Have I ever mentioned I dont do well with blood? No? Really? Its true, I get light headed at the sight of blood. And thats one of the things this book has a lot of: Blood. Lots and lots of Blood. Also lots and lots of: pain, cursing, fighting, evil magic, touching, & kissing.

    Lots, yall. Lots.

    There was a major importance on unmarried males & females not touching, so due to that law, anytime Grey is touched/near-a-guy/started at she and the reader is very uncomfortable. It happens a lot. Like, a lot a lot.

    I dont think the author explained things well at all. Sure, I get that you want a bit of a mystery, but when the book is set is another world that only the author can picture, its just frustrating for the reader. I actually did something Ive never done before: I looked at the authors Pinterest board for this book before I started reading Curio. I normally look at the board after reading the bookif at all. Steampunk isnt a new genre to me, but this is my first time reviewing it on here due to only a couple Christian Steampunk books are published. When looking at Steampunk pictures, I stay towards the lighter side of things. The board for this book took me back with all the black, darkness & a few pictures of naked porcelain dolls.

    Boarder-lining magic at many points, this was not what I was expecting from I division of a Christian publisher. Of course, I havent had good experiences with Blink books {Two of their most popular books, Doon & Storm Siren, are not clean either.} Why did I read this book? Simply because it was many of yall requested it.

    This book felt & read a lot like a secular book, and while Im disappointed that the publisher counties to go this route, Im not surprised at all.

    *BFCG may (Read the review to see) recommend this book by this author. It does not mean I recommend all the books by this author.

    *I received this book for free from the Publisher (Blink) for this honest review.
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