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"It's a rare novel that manages to combine humor, tragedy, powerful friendships, outcasts, insiders, detached satire, and deeply felt emotion all in one..."Lauren Willig, New York Times bestselling author of The Other Daughter
A hypnotic novel in turn-of-the-century Coney Island, where an abandoned girl collides with a disgruntled ménage of circus freaks.
Kitty Hayward and her mother are ready to experience the spectacles of Coney Island's newest attraction, the Dreamland amusement park. But when Kitty's mother vanishes from their hotel, she finds herself penniless, alone, and far from her native England. The last people she expects to help are the cast of characters at Magruder's Curiosity Cabinet, a museum of oddities. From con men to strongmen, from flea wranglers to lion tamers, Kitty's new friends quickly adopt her and vow to help find the missing Mrs. Hayward. But even these unusual inhabitants may not be a match for the insidious sickness that begins to spread through Coney Island...or the panic that turns Dreamland into a nightmare.
With shades of Water For Elephants and The Museum of Extraordinary Things, Magruder's Curiosity Cabinet sweeps readers into a mesmerizing world where nothing is as it seems, and where "normal" is the exception to the rule.
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)|
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
Magruder's Curiosity Cabinet
By Hilary Poole
Sourcebooks, Inc.Copyright © 2016 Hilary Poole
All rights reserved.
Zeph unlocks the heavy oak door of Theophilus P. Magruder's Curiosity Cabinet. As he does every morning, he considers propping the door open to give the museum a more welcoming "come on in" sort of feeling. But as he does every morning, he decides against it. Opening the door only increases the likelihood some fool might actually come on in.
Fortunately, not many fools do. Why would they? The Cabinet is on the wrong end of Coney Island.
The other end of the beach, the "proper" end, braves the weight of thousands upon thousands of tourists every day. Now that Dreamland has thrown open its sparkly gates, the 1904 season will bring the biggest crowds ever. And the eye of the storm is Surf Avenue, with its chic restaurants and bustling music halls. Live shows re-create the flooding of Galveston, Texas, and the volcanic demise of the city of Pompeii. Amusement rides terrify and delight with the mysterious power of electricity. A town populated solely by midgets makes visitors feel tall, and a genuine replica of a headhunters' village makes them feel civilized. Strange young men guess the weights of passersby, while strange old women tell their fortunes and mechanical calliopes play strange little tunes.
That's there. Here, on the wrong end of Coney? Theophilus P. Magruder's Curiosity Cabinet is just a homely old building with blacked-out windows and a faded sign. Thousands of souls may visit Coney Island, but few of those souls are hearty enough to peer inside Magruder's heavy oak door.
Which is exactly the way Zeph likes it.
He climbs onto his stool behind the counter at the front entrance, removing his worn, fingerless work gloves. On the counter, Doc Timur has left him a present: a book. Typical.
The old man hides in the museum's attic for days, emerging periodically to shout a few half-sane commands. Last night, he'd come downstairs barking that he needed more copper, which was sensible enough, but then he muttered something about a salt bridge. Salt has to be the stupidest idea for building material Zeph has ever heard, and he said as much. Which is when the insults started flying, mostly in Timur's native language and thus incomprehensible. But Zeph doesn't need to speak Uzbek to know when his intelligence is being questioned.
But the storm passed, and Zeph has arrived this morning to find this little apology waiting. Usually the apologies take the form of some gadget that Timur, in his guilt, assembled the night before. One time, he left Zeph a pocket watch — or, rather, it looked like a pocket watch until Zeph wound it. The casing of the watch split open like a beetle's shell to reveal little brass wings. Then the watch took to the air, flying a circle around Zeph's head before coming to rest on the counter again. "Nice trick, you crazy old man," Zeph had muttered, "except I did actually want to know what time it is."
Today, this book instead: The Souls of Black Folk by W. E. B. Du Bois. Zeph has wanted a copy since it came out last year. But an Unusual like Zeph can't just go shopping anytime he pleases. Had he mentioned the book to Timur? Zeph flips through the pages, trying to remember. Maybe Timur was just too busy to build an apology from scratch, so he'd gone rooting through his library — giving the book with "black folk" in the title to the black fellow at the front counter. But you never know with Doc. Maybe it's something else.
Zeph pulls his hair back and ties it into a knot so he can lean over the book without his locks obscuring the pages. It had been the Doc's idea that Zeph should let his hair grow into locks. One day, he'd reached into one of the museum's cabinets and pulled out a photograph of some Maasai hunters holding up a dead hyena. "You should look like this," he'd said.
"Aww, hell no," Zeph had replied. "I'm done with that Wild Man of Borneo freak-show crap. I'll work for you, but no chance I'll put on some moth-eaten costume and pretend to —"
"No, stupid. Hair. You look the hair like this."
Zeph had studied the photo. The hunters grinned out at him from behind long black ropes they grew themselves. "Yeah? You think I'd look good?"
Timur had rolled his eyes. "You look terrible, obviously. But you spend less time fixing the hair and more time doing the work. This, I like."
Zeph smiles at the memory and starts to read. Before long comes that familiar, unwelcome pounding on the front door.
"Zeph! I need to speak with you!"
He recognizes the voice. "That's all right, Joe. Y'all start the revolution without me."
"Come on! I have something of yours!"
"Ain't nothing you got that I want, mister."
"Zeph!" Joe thumps again, even harder.
Zeph frowns. The pounding and shouting risks drawing Timur out of his lab in a rage. "For God's sake, come in if you're gonna!"
The door cracks open, and sunlight floods the dim museum. Joe pokes his head around the door conspiratorially. "You alone?"
Zeph folds over a page in his book. "You're the only man I know so desperate for a scrap he'll try to break down an open door. Yes, I'm alone, what's it look like? What do you want?"
"Like I said, I have something of yours." He opens the door a bit wider, and a young boy skulks in. Eight years old with skin the color of Coney beaches, he wears a newsboy cap, a checkered shirt, and short pants with no shoes. He looks up guiltily.
"P-Ray," Zeph says. "What are you doing with this guy?" He glares at Joe. "Why are you messing with him?"
"My comrades and I liberated your boy from the politzya. You're welcome." Joe comes inside. The left sleeve of his white shirt, where his arm used to be, is folded up and pinned at the shoulder. The pin has a tiny black flag on it.
"Comrades ... what, you mean your gaggle of anarcho–circus freaks or whatever you're calling yourselves?"
Joe smiles indulgently. "Anarcho-syndicalists. It means we're concerned with the exploitation of labor by the —"
"Your boy here was fooling around with the police horses at the precinct, and it's just luck that we came along and —"
Zeph ignores him and turns to P-Ray. "You catch some good ones?"
P-Ray grins and holds up a small jar.
"Good job, little man," Zeph says. "Go put them with the others. Must be feeding time by now anyway."
P-Ray scampers behind a black velvet curtain that hides the rest of the museum from view.
Joe looks confused. "What was it in that jar? Bugs?"
"Off the horses? That's disgusting. Why'd you let him bring fleas in here?"
"Don't fret yourself about it. Okay, well, thanks, Joe. Sorry you can't stay, but —"
"Now wait a minute." Joe leans over the counter, and Zeph gets a look at the jagged, poorly healed scar running down his cheek. "I brought your boy back to you, brother. It seems like I deserve something in return?"
"It seems like P-Ray was doing fine on his own."
"The politzya would have pinched him if I hadn't —"
Zeph shakes his head. "Cops around here all know P-Ray. He ain't no trouble. So why don't you go back to your anarcho-cymbals, and I'll —"
"I want to talk to your boss."
Zeph frowns. "Trust me, you don't. And the Doc don't want to talk to you."
"I've got business."
Joe drops the cheerful tone. "I must talk to him, brother."
"Listen, brother. Timur don't talk to nobody. If you truly have business with him, then you tell me. That's what he pays me for."
Joe chuckles. "Is that so? Looks like he pays you to sit here like a chump, taking tickets at a crummy museum with no customers."
"You ain't exactly helping your case, you realize. Just tell me what you want, and in the unlikely event it ain't completely stupid, I'll pass it on."
Joe straightens up contemplatively. He drums on the counter with his five remaining fingers, gazing at the tapestry hung behind Zeph. It shows a large, golden wheel with spokes dividing the image into sections. In one, a rooster bites a pig, who in turn bites a snake. In another, men battle against strange beings — gods or monsters or both. There's a man in a boat, another with an arrow through his eye, another carrying a corpse. The entire wheel sits in the lap of a red-faced demon, who grasps it with needlelike fingers and bites it with sharp fangs.
Joe grimaces. "What in the Sam Hill is that picture anyway?"
"Sipa Khorlo, the Tibetan wheel of life."
"Yeah, so why's that monster trying to eat it?"
Zeph sighs. "Private tours of the museum cost extra, Joe. How 'bout you run along and —"
"All right, all right. I'll tell you. Very soon, on this fine Coney of ours, a Decoration Day event will be attended by no other than His Highness, President Theodore Roosevelt. Parade, speech, and a party at the Oriental Hotel. All the hogs will be at the trough, every swell in New York, pouring claret down their gullets and congratulating one another on —"
Zeph rolls his eyes. "Yeah, I get it. And y'all gonna what? Pull some anarcho-cinder-block nonsense on them, is that it?"
Joe gives a vague "why not" one-shouldered shrug. "We intend to spoil their party, yes. Just like we spoiled McKinley's trip to the World's Fair."
"Come on — it was that one guy did that. You and your dimwit battalion had nothing to do with killing President McKinley."
"Didn't we?" Joe says smugly. "Well, obviously you know everything, Zeph ..."
"So let me understand. All y'all gonna attack the president onDecoration Day. Decoration Day, the one day of the year when everybody — black, white, rich, poor, North, South — everybody sets all their shit aside to say thank-you to our boys in uniform. And on that day, y'all gonna try to kill the commander in chief?"
Joe nods, his eyes glimmering. "Quite the irony, don't you think?"
"Oh, it's quite something," Zeph says, eyebrow arched. "That's sure to gather folks around your cause ..."
"That's exactly what I've been saying."
"Gather 'em to watch your cracker ass swing from a rope."
"Shows how little you know. This country is ripe for revolution. Like the prophets say, it's time for the bourgeoisie to reap the whirlwind. And when I spotted your boy on the street today, I got to thinking about Timur. What contraptions does that madman have in his attic?"
"I have no idea what you're talking about," Zeph says, only somewhat believably.
"Sure, sure, the picture of innocence, ain'tcha. Everybody knows there's something ain't right up there in that lab of his. What couldn't we accomplish with a man like that on our side?"
"Timur ain't on nobody's side but Timur's."
"Come on," Joe scoffs. "Are you going to look me in the eye and say that man doesn't build bombs?"
"I'm saying that Timur don't build bombs for you. Now hustle off before I call the politzya."
* * *
When Joe's gone, Zeph turns around and addresses the dark museum. "I know you're there, little man ..."
Sheepishly, P-Ray pulls back the velvet curtain and steps forward.
"You hear all that?"
The boy nods, his eyes wide.
"Don't be afraid, little man. Ain't nobody killing nobody. That Joe ... I swear, he's so full of it, place was starting to smell like my daddy's farm. Nothing bad gonna happen. Zeph won't let it, you hear?"
The boy nods again but can only force a half smile.
"Okay, how can I make you feel better? You want me to read to you?"
Before Zeph can even finish the offer, P-Ray races to the shelf next to Zeph's stool and pulls out a book. He hands it to Zeph and arranges himself on the counter, his bare feet dangling over the edge.
Zeph looks at the cover. "Not this again?"
P-Ray nods solemnly.
Zeph makes a big show of sighing in misery as he opens the book for the hundredth time. But he winks at P-Ray and begins to read.
Chapter One: The Cyclone. Dorothy lived in the midst of the great Kansas prairies, with Uncle Henry, who was a farmer, and Aunt Em, who was the farmer's wife ...CHAPTER 2
Thanks, but No
Kitty prefers the little birds. She sits on her park bench and watches them work as the sun rises over the ocean. Fat seagulls swoop effortlessly overhead, riding the sky like kites set free from their strings. Meanwhile, tiny birds flap furiously just to stay a few feet above the waves. For the little birds, nothing is effortless. One little bird spots something in the water and drops into the sea like a stone, only to force its way back up a moment later with a fish in its mouth. The others follow, one at a time — flap-flap-flap-drop, flap-flap-flap-drop. Exhausting.
The gulls seem amused by their tiny, hardworking cousins. They remind Kitty of her older brother, Nathan. How he'd laughed at her as she'd struggled ungracefully across their grandparents' frozen pond last winter, all flopping limbs and tearing petticoats. Meanwhile, he glided past as though he'd been born with skates on his feet. "Go ahead and laugh," she'd called to him from the ice where she'd fallen yet again. "You don't have to skate in this foolish dress."
But it had never been about the dress — not really. Nathan was a gull, always had been. He was handsome and graceful and fine, and life seemed to open itself to greet him, as if the world had waited thousands of years for his arrival. Kitty was one of those tiny birds — flap-flap-flap-dropping with all her might against forces far beyond her control.
"So, Nate," she says aloud. "How is it I'm here and you're not? Why'd you fly off without me?"
She shivers. It's so cold here by the water. Leave it to me, she thinks, to get myself stuck someplace with worse weather than home in London. And it's even colder this morning, somehow, than it had been at night. Or perhaps Kitty just hadn't noticed. She'd been too busy gawping at the Coney Island skyline, which was unlike anything she'd ever seen. Towers and spires and minarets assaulted the clouds, lighting up the sky with electric bulbs uncountable in number. Thousands upon thousands of fireflies caught in tiny glass jars. There is electric light back in London too, of course, but nothing as lavish as this, nothing so theatrically unnecessary. Nothing so American.
How Nate would have loved this, she'd thought. How unfair that I should be here and not him.
Now daylight has come, and the firefly army has marched on. There's not much to distract Kitty from her predicament or from an early-morning wind rolling off the sea. The moistness cuts through Kitty's overcoat, the bodice of her dress, her corset, all of it. All her armor, nothing but a soggy cage now.
Not that it matters.
But truly, how can it be so cold? Isn't this May? And isn't this meant to be a resort? How can one do any manner of resorting in this weather?
She smiles a bit at the thought, despite her circumstances. Kitty sits alone on a bench at the edge of the world. She's been here for two days. She knows no one in this city. She has no luggage, passport, or money. No family or friends. No one waiting for her. No one to care if she remains on this bench for another two days, or two weeks, or two years.
If ever there was a last resort, this is surely it.
Against her will, Kitty's gaze travels toward the west, in the direction of the majestic hotel she'd called home for all of ten hours and thirty-six minutes. She knows she shouldn't keep looking, shouldn't give that blasted hotel the satisfaction. But she can't stop hoping Mother will suddenly appear, robust and smiling, and turn the past two days of misery into a joke. She can practically hear her mother's voice. "Bless us," she'd say. "You simply will not believe what nonsense our Kitty got up to in New York!"
Imagining her mother causes Kitty's eyes to sting, and she forces herself to stop.
Instead, looking out at the tide, she imagines herself lying facedown, rocking lifelessly with the current, her petticoats blossoming on the surface of the sea. The gulls would squawk in confusion, but the little birds would understand. It takes a lot of energy to keep flap-flap-flap-dropping. Sometimes energy runs out.
Kitty stands with the indignant air of someone who's waited too long for a tardy friend and has decided to give up and go home. She takes a few steps closer to the shore. And why not? she thinks. Why shouldn't I chuck myself into the sea? What do I have to live for? Father long dead, Nate gone, and Mother ... Mother apparently lost as well. I'm only seventeen, Kitty reminds herself. I've no skills, no way to get by, no way to get home. Anything, even drowning, has got to be better than just sitting here, day after day, waiting and waiting for exactly no one to come and precisely nothing to happen. No one back home is fretting over me anyway. No one here knows me, and no one there wants me. Wouldn't it be more convenient if I floated away?
She takes another step closer to the water.
But Kitty has never been convenient. Not from her first breath — the infamous moment when her mother took to her bed, expecting to deliver another baby Nathan. She hadn't even bought any new baby clothes, so certain was she that she'd produce a second agreeable, easygoing son. But she'd ended up with baby Katherine instead. A colicky daughter, red-faced and squalling.
Convenient? No, Kitty thinks, I've never been convenient to anyone.
Coney Island would be a right silly place to start.
Excerpted from Magruder's Curiosity Cabinet by Hilary Poole. Copyright © 2016 Hilary Poole. Excerpted by permission of Sourcebooks, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: The Cyclone,
Chapter 2: Thanks, but No,
Chapter 3: Sitting with Shakespeare,
Chapter 4: Mr. Deschamps,
Chapter 5: Portrait of a Lady,
Chapter 6: The Tiny Favor,
Chapter 7: Missgeburten,
Chapter 8: Cantilever,
Chapter 9: Flamingos Don't Lie,
Chapter 10: Only in New York,
Chapter 11: Unflappable Girls,
Chapter 12: A Practical Matter,
Chapter 13: Miasma,
Chapter 14: Try On My Starry Crown,
Chapter 15: Exactly Like This,
Chapter 16: Ye Who Are Cursed,
Chapter 17: Tourist Season,
Chapter 18: A Piece of Paper,
Chapter 19: To Whom Much Was Given ...,
Chapter 20: ... Of Him (or Her) Shall Much Be Required,
Chapter 21: In the City of Sighs and Tears,
Chapter 22: Two Dollars,
Chapter 23: Mummies,
Chapter 24: Give My Regards ...,
Chapter 25: The Hero,
Chapter 26: The Ghost,
Chapter 27: What Now?,
Chapter 28: Captain Courageous,
Chapter 29: Pretty Girl,
Chapter 30: Eat, Drink, and Be Merry,
Chapter 31: Halfway Down the Stairs,
Chapter 32: Elixir Salutis,
Chapter 33: There's No Business ...,
Chapter 34: The Hound,
Chapter 35: The Good Thing,
Chapter 36: Trust Me,
Chapter 37: The Monster,
Chapter 38: Bells,
Chapter 39: Houseguests,
Chapter 40: Important Men,
Chapter 41: The Telegram,
Chapter 42: Digby,
Chapter 43: The Dragon,
Chapter 44: Ha, Ha, Ha,
Chapter 45: Hmm ...,
Chapter 46: To Hell with It,
Chapter 47: Politics,
Chapter 48: Knock Knock Knock,
Chapter 49: Little Girl,
Chapter 50: When It's Over,
Chapter 51: Useless,
Chapter 52: Ding!,
Reading Group Guide,
About the Author,
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
It's 1904 and the English Kitty is stranded on Coney Island. Her brother passed away and going to New York was his biggest wish. When he died Kitty and her mother made the journey in his honor instead. However, Kitty's mother is now ill and Kitty has no idea where she is or how to reach her. Her money and clothes are at the hotel she and her mother were staying in, but all members of staff pretend they don't know her. Kitty is completely alone and doesn't have any idea what to do, until she's being adopted by the Magruder's Curiosity Cabinet family. Zeph with no legs is the unofficial leader of the residents and Rosalind who's half man and half woman takes Kitty under protection. Kitty has to adapt quickly to the bizarre world of this crazy museum of oddities if she wants to survive. Will she ever be able to go home? Kitty's mother isn't the only sick person on the island. More and more people are getting mysterious symptoms. Survival rates are low and something has to be done to prevent the illness from spreading. At Magruder's Curiosity Cabinet they're trying to deal with the situation, but there's no chance to get out of it unscathed. What will the destruction of this terrible outbreak be and can Kitty and her friends escape the horrors that are now taking place at the once so cheerful Dreamland amusement park? Magruder's Curiosity Cabinet is a wonderful mix of strangeness, terror and beautiful friendship. I was blown away by the dazzling setting. Dreamland and Magruder's Curiosity Cabinet are fascinating places to read about and the contrast between these fantastic buoyant locations and the events that are taking place is incredible. I was impressed from the start. I loved Magruder's Curiosity Cabinet and its quirky people. A leopard tamer, a mad inventor, an automaton with impressive skills and plenty of fleas, nobody and nothing are out of place at Magruder's. It's a fantastic dynamic museum and the perfect location for a story about a situation that snowballs out of control. I couldn't turn the pages quickly enough to discover where this disaster-to-be would lead. H.P. Wood is always perfectly in control of the chaotic world she writes about, which makes her story a true joy to read. She skillfully adds the most amazing suspense to her story, there are many unexpected twists and turns that kept me on the edge of my seat and the relationships between the main characters are each equally fascinating. I was constantly surprised and I love when that happens while I'm reading a book. Magruder's Curiosity Cabinet is dark, twisted, shocking, hopeful, merry and very much alive in a time of death. It's an emotional rollercoaster that will stay with me for a very long time. I absolutely loved this brilliant book.
I received an eArc of this book from Netgalley for an honest review I gave this four stars because it was told from multiple points of view, which at times was confusing. There were times, due to the multiple P.O.V’s, I felt the story was a little bit all over the place. Those are the only negatives that I have with this book. I loved the friendships that formed throughout the story, especially because of how different all the characters are, they still found a way to become friends. While everyone was different, they all had Magruder’s Curiosity Cabinet in common, it was the place where they all came together, and for some became home. Another thing that I enjoyed very much, was the vivid, imaginative, descriptive language H.P. Wood used. For example, on page 26, “Everything about the Cabinet is grimy, and fusty, and strange.” I absolutely loved this description, I was able to put my own pictures in my mind about the Cabinet. Also due to the writing, I was able to fully immerse myself in the time period and setting of the novel. I will definitely be reading more from H.P. Wood in the future.
A rich and satisfying book about a young British teenager at the turn of the century who is taken in by some of the more ... unusual ... Coney Island inhabitants, who range from anarchists through performers who are popular for their acts, or for their ... unusual qualities. By the end of the book, you can taste and smell and feel the place, which is not always nice, but is always fascinating and very, very real. A plus: H P Wood has a splendid website associated with this novel. You can play a gramophone to hear the music, and page through a picture gallery. Great fun!
The best way to describe this book is to say it is enchanting. It takes place in Coney Island in the late 1800's. Kitty is the main protaganist who comes to Coney Island for a holiday with her mother. But when her mother goes missing, she finds herself in dire straights. Hungry and without money, she encounters a charming gentleman who takes her under wing and introduces her to a sideshow with a vast array of strange freaks and characters., Fast paced, intricate historical details and great writing add to the wonderful storyline. This book is fascinating in its unusualness with plenty of eccentric characters. This novel is a great escape, a delightful read for the summer. Thank you to the author and publisher. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for visiting my blog, http://greathistoricals.blogspot.ca, where the greatest historical fiction is reviewed! For fascinating women of history bios and women's fiction please visit http://www.historyandwomen.com.
Ms. Wood’s website contains a vast amount of information about the large amusement park on Coney Island, its history and how it was developed. I was amazed by the facts, photos, and music that she has included.
Welcome to the Unusuals! They are a tight knit bunch of individuals with heart. I was attracted to this novel because of the circus theme and I loved the cover but inside I found much more. Individuals came to Magruder’s Curiosity Cabinet, a dime museum, for it was an attraction that provided rare and odd marvels. The individuals, who ran and worked inside this show, were also a unique crowd. I was impressed with all of them and I really enjoyed this novel tremendously. There was Zeph who worked the front counter, who I visualize like Bluto only without the legs and being African American. I liked him for I thought he was talented and bright. There was Timur, the man in the attic, working away. I thought it was funny how clever and mysterious he was, hiding out up in the attic making clever inventions. P-Ray, he was skillful and inventive. His fleas, l loved his Race-to Death competition, complete with magnifying glasses. How he did that, amazed me and made me smile. I loved it! Chio, I wasn’t sure about him at first, I thought it was gimmick until later in the book and then, I believed. How? I don’t know, magic? But, I believed. There were a few things that he did that seemed to make me shake my head, and know that there is no other way but I wonder, is he sad? Does he feel? I can’t forget Rosalind, I love this person. What a great addition to this novel. Everything about this person makes me jump up for joy. Kitty brings everything together in this novel as she finds herself roaming the streets of NY alone and wanders into the bar at Magruder’s. Her mother was supposedly back at their hotel room sick but when Kitty returns to the hotel, the staff has no recognition of knowing Kitty nor her mother. Kitty was supposed to be finding medicine. Kitty’s mother is gone and Kitty must find her. The Unusuals step in to help after listening to her story. Kitty’s mother has this sickness that has hit NY and is labeled the Calcutta Cough. Who will catch this illness and how can they find Kitty’s sick mother? As they say, “the show must go on” and for the Unusuals, they try to entertain the public with their talents as this sickness surrounds the community but for long can this last? I loved how this story is continuous; there is never a dull moment, as something is always occurring. There are highs and their are moments where the story continues but towards the end, the story picks up speed and time waits for no one. I received a copy of this novel from NetGalley and SourceBooks Landmark in exchange for an honest opinion.
I thought this was a very fun and entertaining book with a whole cast of strange characters. And I do mean strange. They called themselves the Unusuals and that they were. It was a adventurous tale of the Unusuals mixing with the Dozens and trying to the rich and an unusual plague. I had fun reading it and found myself rooting for the good guys and definitely annoyed when the bad would win a battle. I'm pretty sure this is a YA book, but I thoroughly enjoyed it as an adult. It was almost like a fairy tale and with some of the inventions that were developed, it was a far out tale. I think it would be great for middle grades, teenagers and adults who are into fantasy. Thanks Sourcebooks and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest review. I've had a very entertaining afternoon thanks to you!