Thursday, September 1, 2016

Curioddity (review) - ODD Indeed!

TITLE: Curioddity
AUTHOR: Paul Jenkins
PUBLISHER: St. Martin's Press
PUBLISHING DATE: August 30, 2016

FROM GOODREADS: Will Morgan is a creature of habit―a low-budget insurance detective who walks to and from work with the flow of one-way traffic, and for whom imagination is a thing of the distant past. When a job opportunity enters the frame in the form of the mysterious Mr. Dinsdale―curator of the ever so slightly less-than-impressive Curioddity Museum―Will reluctantly accepts the task of finding a missing box of levity (the opposite of gravity). What he soon learns, however, is that there is another world out there―a world of magic we can only see by learning to un-look at things―and in this world there are people who want to close the Curioddity museum down. With the help of his eccentric new girlfriend Lucy, Will will do everything he can to deliver on his promise to help Mr. Dinsdale keep the Curioddity Museum in business.

Curioddity is Paul Jenkins’ debut novel... exciting, fast-paced, and uncanny. A must-read.

I've sat and thought about this review for a little while now and I guess it's about time I try to put it in to print. When I requested Curioddity, I figured I was in for a Harry Dresden/urban fantasy type book and while I was somewhat right, I don't think this book actually lived up to my expectations. That's not to say it's a bad book because it really isn't. It was just really hard for me to become engrossed with the plot and I didn't really connect to any of the characters until Lucy came along. And let's just add, it's a good thing that ODD is in the title because it very accurately Jenkins' latest endeavor.

Wil Morgan has his own business as an insurance private investigator but right from the start, the reader finds that Wil is not happy with his life and really has only been going through the motions since his mother died when he was 10. Wil's mother sparked Wil's creativity and imagination as a young child and especially an interest in all things science related, but when she passed, he was raised by his more practical father. Wil has always disappointed his father and has never really been happy and sad to say, I'm surprised Wil just didn't off himself several years before the events in this book even took place. However, one day he is approached by Mr. Dinsdale - an odd curator for the Curioddity Museum and Wil's subsequent involvement with Mr. Dinsdale and the museum leads him to unravel a new mystery which leads to Wil changing the way he looks at absolutely everything.

I never really became attached to Wil and perhaps it was because he was rather drab and boring. However, I imagine Jenkins portrayed him exactly as he wanted and he was supposed to be this way. It also took me quite a while to get used to Jenkins' writing. Many paragraphs and even the chapters are long and descriptive and for me, it bogged down the novel. However, once Lucy arrived on the scene, both the dialogue and the action picked up and I can honestly say in my opinion, she saved the book. Plus her driving abilities - priceless! Also, Wil's father comes to visit and the reader gets some insight on their very strained relationship which did succeed in making Wil a tad more interesting.

If you like mysteries, science fiction and strange adventures with odd characters and contraptions, then this might just be the book you have been searching for. At this time, I believe it's listed as a stand alone, yet I could see where it might have a sequel sometime in the future. If so, I might pick it up to see what happens to Lucy and Wil in the future, but it wouldn't be high priority on my list.

I received this book from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.



  1. It sounds interesting but at the same time I am afraid I would get bored and maybe not finish I will put it on my maybe list. :)

  2. It's hard to immerse yourself in a story when it's not what you were expecting when you started it. I have to admit you've made me curious, Barb, but I don't know if I could muddle my way through. I do like details but not to the point of them slowing the pace. If I do decide to pick up this one, I'll have to remember to hold out to meet Lucy. ;)

  3. I'm glad you liked this one, even though it wasn't quite what you expected. I'm not sure if this one is for me, but I'm glad it wasn't TERRIBLE for you. Excellent review. 😀

  4. Couldn't have said it better myself. It wasn't BAD, but the fact that it ended up being so far from my expectations made it really hard to get into the story or the characters.

    ~Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum