I am a true fan of Urban Fantasy series that are filled with action, danger, adventure, kick ass action, awesome world building, and characters that can hold their own without falling into the Mary Sue category we all loathe. So, I eagerly requested Deadly Curiosities via NetGalley hoping to see if there was any hope for the genre itself.
Cassidy Kincaide is the protagonist and POV for Deadly Curiosities. She runs Trifles & Folly, a real estate auction and antiques store in the heart of historical Charleston, South Carolina. Cassidy is carrying on the family tradition that started in 1670. Along with her Assistant Manager Teag, and her silent partner, the nearly 600 year old vampire Sorren, they collect supernatural items called Spookies that contain dark malevolence that often times find their way into innocent hands.
Cassidy also has psychometric abilities which allow her to gleam strong emotions, memories, and images from the antiques that come into her store. Although psychometry has been used in previous series, I liked the uniqueness of her abilities to not only gleam the history from an object, but she can use powerful artifacts to fight against the evil that rears their ugly heads, and tries to take over Charleston for their master.
Cassidy, Teag, Sorren, along with voodoo practitioner Lucinda, work for a shadowy organization called the Alliance. The Alliance is a group of powerful magic users and immortals who stand against the darkness and ensure that their nemesis The Family, doesn't get their hands on dark artifacts that can cause tremendous problems as we see in Deadly Curiosities.
I loved that Gail uses Charleston as her setting for this story. Even though she, like every other author out there, takes artistic allowances with the characters, and the setting itself, you can't help but appreciate Charleston's history which is very long, and filled with historical events, and lots, and lots of ghosts. She does a good job of putting you in the setting and the people who are true southerners in that they do know each other, and they do help each other out in times of need.
I especially liked the fact that the action is right there in front of you. While there are some lags and lulls, it is expected when you are trying to track down the villains, and put together a team to end the threat to the citizens of Charleston. I liked that the ending didn't feel rushed to me, or that the characters like Cassidy didn't shy away or run from trouble. There was a pretty decent final battle, and all things are not black and white, or even happy when its all said and done.
It is also refreshing to me that Cassidy didn't find herself deep into a romantic situation that took her attention away from the matter at hand. All too often, I roll my eyes at the unnecessary romance thrown into stories for the entertainment purposes. Again, if you want romance, then stay with PNR. If you like kick ass action at every turn, and the unknown whether the characters will all survive or not, then please read Deadly Curiosities and give the finger to publishers who say that UF is dead and gone.
Apparently, publishers are more interested now in Paranormal Romance series, or Urban Fantasy Romance, than UF because that is where THEY believe the female readers are more likely to be. I absolutely call shenanigans, and bullcrap on any publisher who cancels a series without giving them a chance to get going, or at least allow it to end gracefully. There are more than enough readers out there who STILL love UF and we won't go away silently or without a fight.
Author - Gail Z. Martin
Title - Deadly Curiosities (Deady Curiosities # 1)
Published by Solaris
Released: June 24, 2014
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Format: E-Book 464 pages