Monday, November 23, 2015

Book Review & GIVEAWAY: Curiosity House: The Shrunken Head, by Lauren Oliver and H.C. Chester {ends 11/30}

They went straightaway, after changing in the darkness of the attic out of their pajamas and into street clothes. When they emerged into the brisk air, the sky was just beginning to lighten in the east, like a large blue blanket whose corners had caught flame. Max had always loved the city at this hour, when the buildings were like tall black stakes against the sky, and only a few lights flickered in the windows; when the streets were empty; when the whole city felt like a large, slumbering monster, and she could pass unseen in its shadows.

But now that they were on their way to catch a real-life monster, Max felt different. 

I'm a big fan of Lauren Oliver's books - the last novel I read by her, Vanishing Girls, was great, and I like her Delirium series too. Curiosity House is a little different in that it's more for younger readers - the book trailer calls it a "middle-grade" read. That being said, as an adult, I still enjoyed the book.

Official synopsis:
What you will find in this book:

– A rather attractive bearded lady
– Several scandalous murders
– A deliciously disgusting Amazonian shrunken head
– Four extraordinary children with equally extraordinary abilities
– A quite loquacious talking bird

Blessed with extraordinary abilities, orphans Philippa, Sam, and Thomas have grown up happily in Dumfrey’s Dime Museum of Freaks, Oddities, and Wonders. But when a fourth child, Max, a knife-thrower, joins the group, it sets off an unforgettable chain of events. When the museum’s Amazonian shrunken head is stolen, the four are determined to get it back. But their search leads them to a series of murders and an explosive secret about their pasts.

This sensational new series combines the unparalleled storytelling gifts of Lauren Oliver with the rich knowledge of the notorious relics collector H.C. Chester.

What you will NOT find in this book:

– An accountant named Seymour
– A never-ending line at the post office
– Brussel sprouts (shudder)
– A lecture on finishing all your homework on time
– A sweet, gooey story for nice little girls and boys.

The children who live in Dumfrey's Dime Museum all have special abilities, and they've never thought of themselves as "freaks" before - until a series of murders occurs and their local "rag" paper turns the spotlight onto them.

This novel was interesting and a quick read; it's definitely meant for younger readers, but the mystery itself was intriguing enough for myself, as well. It took me a while to figure out what time period the novel is set in, but the Depression is mentioned once, and from that I discerned that it's the 1920s or '30s. "Dime museums," too, were more popular back then versus now, although the modern day equivalent would be any Ripley's museum.

This is the first in the Curiosity House series, it seems - the next book, The Screaming Statue, has a release date of May 3, 2016. I'll be checking that one out as well, since it continues the story of our four protagonists, the youngest residents of Dumfrey's Dime Museum, whom have a story worth reading.

3.5 stars out of 5.
{Click here to purchase}

*Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for reviewing purposes. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.


Enter via the widget below. Two of my lucky readers will win a copy of Curiosity House: The Shrunken Head!

Giveaway will end on Monday, November 30th, at 11:59pm EST, and winners will be notified the next day via email and have 24 hours to respond, or an alternate winner(s) will be chosen.

U.S. residents only, please.

Good luck!

Curiosity House


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