Review of Deadly Curiosities by Gail Z. Martin

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July 1, 2014 by mmileti

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           After reading only a few chapters of this novel I realized that it far from what I expected.  The cover makes the book seem like a typical urban fantasy consisting of a female main character in awe of a supernatural male supporting character.  Fortunately, Deadly Curiosities breaks many of the stereotypes of urban fantasy, and is an enjoyable book that, despite the inclusion of supernatural creatures and monsters, gives the reader a journey through history and a lesson in antiques.  This is the type of novel that in my opinion is best read while sipping tea, and with a cat comfortably curled up in your lap.

            This story follows Cassidy Kincaide, the owner of an antique shop called Trifles and Folly located in Charleston, South Carolina.  Cassidy possesses the power to determine the magical imprint of an item, and she is most sensitive to items that are dangerous in a magical or supernatural way.  Trifles and Folly has been in her family for generations, and has always been part of the Alliance, which is a group of humans and supernaturals dedicated to keeping these dangerous magical items out of circulation and the hands of the public.  When mundane items all over Charleston suddenly start to become hazardous, it is up to Cassidy, one of her employees with an ability to find hidden information, and her business partner Sorren (who just happens to be a five-hundred year old vampire) to get rid of these items before they become deadly.

            This is the first book I have read of Martin’s, but I am surprised that this is her first stab at writing urban fantasy.  Deadly Curiosities is a frightening novel in many ways, and yet her writing makes the reader feel incredibly comfortable.  Her use of in-depth descriptions and a relatable main character make the spookiness of the novel manageable for readers that would not usually be inclined to read this type of novel.  In fact, I will be recommending this novel to my mother and aunt, who are both people that would never usually read an urban fantasy novel.  Despite this, this novel is definitely not for everyone. 

            At many points in this book Martin writes extremely detailed descriptions of the antiques that Cassidy handles, and those that aren’t interested in antiques or the history that goes along with them may find a significant amount of the book to be tedious.  Though the plot is pretty consistent, with ghosts, demons, and other supernatural beings pretty constantly being part of the storyline, there is also plenty of tea, politeness, and old furniture.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone that loves antiques and ghost stories, or to anyone who wants to read a unique take on the urban fantasy genre.  If any of these concepts really do not appeal to you, this book may not be for you.  It is not until later in the book that demons and other scarier supernaturals come into the story, so if these are the elements you are looking for in a story, you will have to be patient for Deadly Curiosities to deliver.

            Though I would not recommend this novel to everyone, I really enjoyed this fresh take on the urban fantasy genre.  The plot and characters are both enjoyable, and the story is almost quaint despite its more deadly supernatural elements. 

            Overall I would rate this book a 7/10.

            I received a copy of this novel from Netgalley and the publisher in return for an honest review.

 

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One thought on “Review of Deadly Curiosities by Gail Z. Martin

  1. Mogsy says:

    I was surprised this was her first stab at UF as well, from the ease of her style and dialogue, I would have thought she’d been writing this genre for years.

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If you would like to submit a book for review, or you have any questions about Avid Reviews, you can contact me by email: mrmileti(at)gmail(dot)com

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