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Thursday, 26 June 2014
Buy or Borrow: Buy!
Source: ARC Courtesy of NetGalley
Deadly Curiosities is one of those books that you request to review, and you're so excited to read it you can't wait to be accepted. The synopsis immediately piqued my interest, antique and curio shop....shadowy alliance of mortals and mages...supernatural items...being able to touch stuff and know it's history (one of the coolest gifts ever)...500 year old jewel thief vampire (I can smell the romance already)...I mean, it has all the hallmarks of a great read, not to mention the third bloke on the cover that screams love triangle, and frankly, I wasn't disappointed.
While you might read the blurb and think it might be like any other supernatural books with vampires, or a bit of fluff or whatever, while there's nothing wrong with that, this book is so far from being a bit of fluff. I'm always looking out for books that are intriguing to me, but also unique or a bit odd or wacky, not a cookie cutter book basically. Just from the blurb I was drawn in because it sounded like I was in for a treat.
As soon as I started reading, I immediately slipped in to the familiar world of Urban Fantasy, slipping in to the story was like being wrapped in your favourite blanket, while the genre was familiar, and some aspects where, there was plenty in the book to make it unique and stand out, and as everyone who reads my reviews knows...I love unique! However, those aspects I just mentioned? The ones that add to the whole "favourite blanket thing"? Those would be the wording used. I'm a Mortal Instruments fan and for me, the only other time the word Mundane has been used to describe regular people is in TMI, so for me while at first it was bit of a jolt, the familiar terminology made it easy to slip in to the book.
The world Martin has created was truly very well written. I mean, I want to move to Charleston, the pull is so great. A lot of the time we just get the whole "the town is called this, this happened and blahblahblah" which ya know, is kinda great cos you're not bogged in information, but I've got to say, I was loving the rich history of the place woven in to the book, not to mention the culture, it was all included expertly with no info-dump of doom. Martin really is talented, the blend of all that rich history and culture with the fictional paranormal elements was truly perfect.
The world was written so very atmospherically and cinematically, that you can so easily picture yourself strolling down the sidewalks, perusing the antique shops, sitting outside a cafe for lunch, then checking out the museums before heading back to the B&B to have dinner before hopping on a ghost tour. It's the kinda place you can just imagine living in so easily. Which sounds weird, but yeah.
For me, the pacing at the beginning was perfect. I eagerly started to read, and I was hooked straight from the beginning and unable to put the book down, although the pace burned out towards the middle, then picked back up for the end, it wasn't for me personally, a struggle to get through, I just couldn't put the book down despite the pacing issue.
Characters, well, I rarely get to read an Urban Fantasy book where the characters have such natural and modern voices. Usually it's either too modern/try hard, which means that every single phrase or saying or abbreviation (totes for example) is used so much you lose the will to live, or it's kind of just blah. The narrative and the characters voices was smooth like chocolate! (har de har) Martin has written her characters so well, and with such depth that even the secondary characters jump off the page and shout "Look at me" at you.
Now, as I said before, when reading the synopsis, I could practically smell the romance. Turns out I might need to have my nose checked out. There was no romance going on, which I was a bit sad about, because I figured there was a prime opportunity and I was expecting it, but the disappointment soon faded because it was quite refreshing for there not to be a romance. Not to mention the fact I've read far too many books of late where a romance has been awkwardly shoved in when it really shouldn't have even existed and thus made me hate the book. Depending on where you fall on the whole "I NEED ROMANCE" and "'I'm really not fussed" you'll have a different opinion.
Now History nerd that I am, I loved the flashbacks whenever our lead touched an item, they where written with just as much care and detail as every scene in the book, and where so vivid. The pure amount of hauntings, paired with the creepy flashbacks, usually featuring death, gives this book a ghost story type feel, which really makes it stand out from every other Urban Fantasy book on the shelf.
Another thing I loved about the book was that when it was dark, it was DARK, nothing was done halfway or half assed, but this was tempered by the humour present in the book.
You can always tell when a book is exceptional when you want more, and I most certainly want more of Deadly Curiosities, I'm eagerly awaiting the next book, and I'm tempted to check out Soren's series while I'm waiting!
Deadly Curiosities, is a unique, and intriguing new addition to a tired old genre filled with samey books, once you dive in, it's impossible to get out, the book remains glued to your hand and you're left wanting more! It's also refreshingly free of romance, although I was expecting a love triangle thanks to the cover, not gonna lie!