Reading Level: Middle Grade
Length: 7 hours and 59 minutes (384 pages)
Release Date: September 29, 2015
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the Curiosity House series
Source: Audiobook from Audible.com
Rating: 3/5 stars
“Blessed with extraordinary abilities, orphans Philippa, Sam, and Thomas have grown up happily in Dumfrey’s Dime Museum of Freaks, Oddities, and Wonders. But when a fourth child, Max, a knife-thrower, joins the group, it sets off an unforgettable chain of events. When the museum’s Amazonian shrunken head is stolen, the four are determined to get it back. But their search leads them to a series of murders and an explosive secret about their pasts.”
I got this book as part of the Lauren Oliver audiobook sale on Audible. I was excited to read a middle grade series by Oliver; the synopsis sounded interesting and I thought this would be something I would love. In the end it was okay but not great. The story is fairly predictable and very boring at times.
I listened to this on audiobook and the audiobook was decent. The narrator does a good job with character voices. However, this wasn’t one I thought was great on audiobook…actually I was pretty ambivalent about it in general.
This is a pretty classic “Clue” type of story. Someone is killed in Dumfrey’s Dime Museum and a group of unusual children try to unravel the mystery of who killed them and why. Initially the increasing number of deaths is blamed on a curse from a shrunken head that’s stolen from the museum. However the story ends up much more convoluted than that.
Our group of extraordinary pre-teens follow the clues through a number of mis-directions to unravel this increasingly deadly mystery. The end game though is fairly predictable given the foreshadowing throughout the book.
For some reason I had trouble engaging with the story. All the characters seemed a bit stereotypical. Additionally the story seemed more like a laying out of facts than an interesting story or mystery. I just didn’t think it was all that interesting or all that well done.
Overall this was an okay middle grade “who done it” type of mystery. There are a couple interesting twists right at the end of the story but for the most part the story is incredibly predictable and boring. I wouldn’t recommend. There are a lot of wonderful middle grade reads out there and this isn’t one of them.