Author: Evangeline Denmark

Genre: Fantasy/ Alt History/ Steampunk/ Little of this Little of that

Grade: B

After standing up to the Chemists, the rulers of her small town, and learning some family secrets Grey is sent into a Curio Cabinet full of living porcelain dolls and “tocks” (clockwork like servants). She’s there as much for her protection as to find the key that might be able to stop the Chemists and free her family and friends.

I read this for the Perustopia Book Club January book. I don’t usually keep to book club schedules but I was pretty pleased with myself to finish this one.

There’s a lot going on. While Grey’s in the Curio her friend Whit is still struggling to help in the fight against the Chemists. Meanwhile she draws the attention of  the ruler of the Curio Cabinet as well as the renegade “Mad Tock.” Like I said a lot going on, a whole lot of information, and I thought it was a little lacking on the town side. The characters were good and it gets clearer at the end but…

The Curio Cabinet was just a more interesting setting. It was creepy and weird but it’s inner workings, it’s politics, and the belief’s of the dolls were pretty well explained. I really enjoyed the Mad Tock, Fantine, the obsession with Beauty and Grey trying to explain to tock maid Nettie that she needed to go to the bathroom. There’s crazy potential with this setting for a sequel.

It also gets violent in there so prepare yourself for that. Not only can the dolls shatter and such they don’t really recognize that Grey can be hurt and even killed in a whole different way.

I also found the end a little weird. You hit the last chapter and then move into the epilogue and I felt like I missed something. There was a bit of a time jump and you actually get some added information about the town at the end (it’s a series of course) but character wise I was like… “What happened in between?” Also at that point I wanted to know what happened in the Curio Cabinet more than the town.

Recommend: Yes. It’s an entertaining read in a fascinating setting but I might wait for the series to finish before I jump back in.

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