I received this book from NetGalley for free for review purposes. This does not mean that I have to give the book a positive review, but I do have to notify the reader how I received this book.
There is a funny story behind this book. I had applied to NetGalley to read the book, but did not hear anything for a few weeks, so I figured I was going to be turned down. I did want to read the book, so I went out and purchased it. The day after I started reading it, I found out I was approved to read it via NetGalley, so I read half of it in galley form and the other half in the final retail form.
Magruder's Curiosity Cabinet by HP Wood was a difficult read for me not due to the language or the writing, but due to the story.
The book tells the story of Kitty Hayward who has just arrived in Coney Island and is looking for her sick mother who disappeared from a hotel room. Kitty is penniless and stuck. She runs into a local con man who takes her under his wing and introduces her to a cast of characters who work for the boardwalk.
As the story is told, we see that rats are dying on the boardwalk, as are the camels in one of the acts, and then one of the boardwalk workers all falls ill. It turns out the plague aka the cough is claiming the lives of people.
It was at this part that book kind of fell apart for me. I really enjoyed the first part of this book as the two stories of Kitty and the Cabinet start coming together. Those parts of the book were great. When the plague is introduced and the cast is separated, I found the book lost its way.
The writing was a lot of fun and I felt that Wood was telling a great story. She kept the slew of characters going and kept the story progressing. It was just the plot that drew me out. I know that people will love this book despite my beef with the plot. I will warn that there is a feeling that this is a YA book, but it definitely is not. It becomes a pretty depressing book toward the end and has themes that are not appropriate for youth.
I rated this one 3.5 stars.
Here is the Amazon link- Magrudedr's Curiosity Cabinet by HP Wood