Title: Deadly Curiosities
Author: Gail Z. Martin
Series: Deadly Curiosities, #1
Format: eARC, kindly provided by
publishers via NetGalley
My rating: 2.5 / 5
Cassidy Kincaide owns Trifles & Folly, an antique/curio store and high-end pawn shop in Charleston, South Carolina that is more than what it seems. Dangerous magical and supernatural items sometimes find their way into mortal hands or onto the market, and Cassidy is part of a shadowy Alliance of mortals and mages whose job it is to take those deadly curiosities out of circulation.
Welcome to Trifles & Folly, an antique and curio shop with a dark secret. Proprietor Cassidy Kincaide continues a family tradition begun in 1670—acquiring and neutralizing dangerous supernatural items. It’s the perfect job for Cassidy, whose psychic gift lets her touch an object and know its history. Together with her business partner Sorren, a 500 year-old vampire and former jewel thief, Cassidy makes it her business to get infernal objects off the market. When mundane antiques suddenly become magically malicious, it’s time for Cassidy and Sorren to get rid of these Deadly Curiosities before the bodies start piling up.
-- As seen on Goodreads
*I received a copy of this book from the publishers via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This didn't influence my opinion in any way.*
Deadly Curiosities is one of those books I can’t quite make up my mind whether I enjoyed it or not. There was quite a bit I liked, but taking everything into account, I don’t feel it quite lived up to my expectations.
Our main character and narrator, Cassidy, owns Trifles and Folly, an antiques shop that has been in her family for generations. Sorren is a five hundred plus year old vampire, who acts as a business partner, but is essentially guarding over the shop and Cassidy’s family and is their link to the Alliance. Teag is their employee and friend, who is gifted at finding out information about the objects that comes into the shop. They use Trifles and Folly as a cover to find haunted objects, and to remove them from the general population. Cassidy specialised in psychometery, the ability to pick up images and impressions from inanimate objects, and I really loved seeing this ability take centre stage.
I love the idea behind the story, and I do think there is lots of potential for an awesome series. Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out to be written in a way that appeals to me. My biggest problem with Deadly Curiosities was the pacing. The story didn’t move along fast enough to keep my attention firmly fixed on the pages. That elusive ‘hook’ that makes you want to keep reading was missing, and in honesty, I was bored. On more than one occasion, I ended up switching over to another book to get me back in a better mind-frame.
The characters never fully appealed to me either. I’m a very character driven reader, and when I don’t connect quickly with the characters, it’s very hard for me to stay focused and enjoy the rest of the story. It felt like I was looking at them through a glass wall, and I couldn’t empathise or really relate to what they were going through.
Apart from the pacing, I can’t pinpoint one moment that bothered me so much I ended up disconnected with the book. It’s more a combination of lots of little things that prevented me from enjoying the story as much as I hoped. For me personally, at times the story was crying out to move on ahead, and I felt the repetitive detail held the story back unnecessarily. I do think this could be an amazing series for the right reader that prefers a slower, more detailed plot.