Friday, January 22, 2016

"Curio" by Evangeline Denmark

{{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 town’s people survive. A potion that Grey suspects she—like her grandfather and father—may not actually need.
  By working at her grandfather’s repair shop, sorting the small gears and dusting the curio cabinet inside, Grey has tried to stay unnoticed—or 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 family’s secret, and the Chemists soon decide to use her for their own purposes. Panicked, Grey retreats to the only safe place she knows—her grandfather’s 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 Whit’s 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 ‘stupid’s; 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 Blueboy’s mistress, along with Mentions of him visiting her room, Mentions of his next mistresses & Mentions of Grey’s 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 Grey’s veins & tries to touch her (Grey says she’s 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 Blueboy’s 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 can’t 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 Grey’s full chest & figure; Many, many mentions of indecent necklines, low necklines, dresses showing cleavage, belly-showing dresses, a ruffled skirt that ends at the wearer’s thighs & no pants underneath, showing bare legs, & flimsy nightgowns.

-Grey Haward, age 16
                                P.O.V. switches between Grey, Blaise & Whit
                                                        427 pages

Pre Teens-
New Teens-
Early High School Teens-
Older High School Teens-
My personal Rating-
{{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 admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”. Rating reflect the content of the book compared to the Scripture.}}
Have I ever mentioned I don’t do well with blood? No? Really? It’s true, I get light headed at the sight of blood. And that’s 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, y’all. 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 don’t 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, it’s just frustrating for the reader. I actually did something I’ve never done before: I looked at the author’s Pinterest board for this book before I started reading “Curio”. I normally look at the board after reading the book—if at all. Steampunk isn’t 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 haven’t 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 y’all requested it.
This book felt & read a lot like a secular book, and while I’m disappointed that the publisher counties to go this route, I’m not surprised at all.

See y’all on Monday with a new review!

*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.


  1. Thank you so much for this review! I am at the library with my four children. We always go over the books they checkout. My almost 14 year old daughter asked if she could borrow this book. Thanks to you, I can make an informed decision...NO. (I found you via an Avid Readers of Christian Fiction group on Facebook.)

    1. Oh, I'm so glad you found this review then!
      Thank you for your encouraging comment!
      Have a wonderfully Blessed week!