Saturday, October 17, 2015

Book Review: Curiosity House: The Shrunken Head by H.C. Chester and Lauren Oliver

Media Type: Print Book (ARC)
Title: Curiosity House: The Shrunken Head
   Series: Curiosity House #1
Author (s): Lauren Oliver; H.C. Chester
Publisher: Harper Collin's Children's Books
Pages: Hardcover; 368
Release Date: September 29, 2015
Source: Publisher
Content Screening: Mild Violence

HDB Rating: 4 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Readers who love vivid characters, settings that come to life, and a great mystery.

Add it on: Goodreads | Amazon | BookLikes
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.

Let it be known that I can't resist a middle grade book at the best of times, but if it's by Lauren Oliver there's no question it will end up on my reading list! She charmed me with Liesl & Po, made me shiver with The Spindlers, and left no doubt in my mind that I'd pick up any middle grade book she puts forth. There are certain authors who just understand what a book for this age group needs. A pinch of madness, a few drops of magic, some interesting history, and the type of characters who steal your heart before you even know it's gone. This book is all of that, and it's wonderful.

Charming, is probably the best word to describe Curiosity House: The Shrunken Head. Honestly, it's hard not to smile as you read the first few pages. Pippa, Sam, Thomas and Max are quite the cast of characters. Dumfrey’s Dime Museum of Freaks, Oddities, and Wonders is a setting all its own. Add in a smattering of 1930's history, and you have the perfect stage for a wonderful story. I'll warn you now that this story is a bit on the darker side. Think Lemony Snicket. Bad things happen to good people, good things happen to bad people, and sometimes it's a little gruesome. Still, at the end of the day we all know how things wrap up. These are my favorite kinds of stories. The kind that doesn't shy away from the darker parts of life, but embraces them as truth.

Am I rambling? Probably! I don't want to spoil anything, because this book is just so much fun! The mystery is probably the best part of this whole package. As if our plucky and talented young characters weren't amazing enough on their own, this story pits them against one heck of a mystery. When the prized possession of Dumfrey's goes missing, and all the people involved start to die in mysterious ways, what do you do? If you're Pippa, Sam, Thomas and Max you set off on an adventure to figure out what's going on. Possibly putting yourself in mortal danger at the same time.

This is a great story. Curiosity House: The Shrunken Head is completely charming from the writing on the page, to the stunning illustrations, and it will definitely make you want to come back for more. What are you waiting for? Go add this to your reading list. It's definitely worth your time.

FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.


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