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The daughter of a murdered physician vows to protect the magical Oddity he left behind—if only she knew what it was—in an alternate nineteenth century where the United States is at war with France. It’s the early 1800s, and Clover travels the impoverished borderlands of the Unified States with her father, a physician. See to the body before you, he teaches her, but Clover c The daughter of a murdered physician vows to protect the magical Oddity he left behind—if only she knew what it was—in an alternate nineteenth century where the United States is at war with France. It’s the early 1800s, and Clover travels the impoverished borderlands of the Unified States with her father, a physician. See to the body before you, he teaches her, but Clover can’t help becoming distracted by bigger things, including the coming war between the US and France, ignited by a failed Louisiana Purchase, and the terrifying vermin, cobbled together from dead animals and spare parts, who patrol the woods. Most of all, she is consumed with interest for Oddities, ordinary objects with extraordinary abilities, such as a Teapot that makes endless amounts of tea and an Ice Hook that freezes everything it touches. Clover’s father has always disapproved of Oddities, but when he is murdered, Clover embarks on a perilous mission to protect the one secret Oddity he left behind. And as she uncovers the truth about her parents and her past, Clover emerges as a powerful agent of history. Here is an action-filled American fantasy of alternate history to rival the great British fantasies in ideas and scope.


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The daughter of a murdered physician vows to protect the magical Oddity he left behind—if only she knew what it was—in an alternate nineteenth century where the United States is at war with France. It’s the early 1800s, and Clover travels the impoverished borderlands of the Unified States with her father, a physician. See to the body before you, he teaches her, but Clover c The daughter of a murdered physician vows to protect the magical Oddity he left behind—if only she knew what it was—in an alternate nineteenth century where the United States is at war with France. It’s the early 1800s, and Clover travels the impoverished borderlands of the Unified States with her father, a physician. See to the body before you, he teaches her, but Clover can’t help becoming distracted by bigger things, including the coming war between the US and France, ignited by a failed Louisiana Purchase, and the terrifying vermin, cobbled together from dead animals and spare parts, who patrol the woods. Most of all, she is consumed with interest for Oddities, ordinary objects with extraordinary abilities, such as a Teapot that makes endless amounts of tea and an Ice Hook that freezes everything it touches. Clover’s father has always disapproved of Oddities, but when he is murdered, Clover embarks on a perilous mission to protect the one secret Oddity he left behind. And as she uncovers the truth about her parents and her past, Clover emerges as a powerful agent of history. Here is an action-filled American fantasy of alternate history to rival the great British fantasies in ideas and scope.

30 review for Oddity

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    3.5 rounded up to 4 due to strong, female lead. Well developed and likeable characters. Interesting storyline but sometimes it rambles a bit. Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book

  2. 4 out of 5

    Brenda

    Clover mostly enjoys assisting her father as he makes his medical rounds in the foothills of the Centurian Mountains, but what she is especially enamored by are oddities, rare everyday items that behave in peculiar and unique ways. Like the Ice Hook that she's been carrying around in her haversack that can freeze everything it touches. Or perhaps the wineglass that is rumored to be able to fill a lake with an endless supply of wine. Items that if Clover's father knew she possessed, he'd surely f Clover mostly enjoys assisting her father as he makes his medical rounds in the foothills of the Centurian Mountains, but what she is especially enamored by are oddities, rare everyday items that behave in peculiar and unique ways. Like the Ice Hook that she's been carrying around in her haversack that can freeze everything it touches. Or perhaps the wineglass that is rumored to be able to fill a lake with an endless supply of wine. Items that if Clover's father knew she possessed, he'd surely force her to get rid of, despite her own mother having collected them as a member of the Society of Scholars. Then one day while Clover and her father were making their way home from one of their medical visits, they encounter a group of men barring their passage across the bridge. Sensing these men plan to do them harm, Clover's father hands her his medical bag, with the cryptic message that it contains a rare oddity that she alone must protect. He also tells her to find Aaron Agate in New Manchester by looking for "the canary among doves," and then throws her off the bridge into the water below. Clover witnesses the bandits murdering her father, before fleeing to safety into the nearby forest. While in the forest, Clover happens upon a rooster fighting off a dog, and is surprised when the rooster begins to speak, introducing himself as Colonel Hannibal Furlong of the Federal Army. Clover has always known about the war between the US and France over the Louisiana Purchase, but to encounter a living oddity such as Colonel Furlong comes as quite a shock. He is only the first of many uncanny allies that will help Clover on her adventure to New Manchester. Oddity takes place in the early 1800's and presents an alternate history to the Louisiana Purchase. On one side is Napoleon Bonaparte who appears to have the advantage due to his endless supply of soldiers. On the other side is Senator Auburn, who has been purchasing all of the oddities he can find to determine a solution to Bonaparte's advantage. He is assisted by Smalt, a wraith like creature who wears a hat that can purge you of all your secrets and the men who murdered Clover's father. Mixed in with these two sides is the Seamstress, who creates these vermin creatures that sound horrific, reanimated corpses made up of watch springs, steel fillings and held together with parts of the animals skeletal structure and a piece of blue thread. Yep, kinda delightfully creepy. Throughout Clovers adventure, she is beset on all sides by people who want to use her for their own purpose. To gain the oddity her father entrusted in her , to use her as a force against the French, or even to pay off a debt. However, Clover is a resourceful girl and ultimately puzzles out the explanation for how the war began isn't accurate, and that it is just a struggle for power between the two sides. At the same time, she unravels the mystery of her mom's death and is able to bring an end to this unjust war. My favorite oddity was Susanna, the doll with immense strength and an attitude to match.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Davon Godwin

    *I read an advance copy of this book. In Oddity, his first novel for younger readers, Eli Brown introduces us to Clover Elkin, a smart and spirited 13 year old girl who assists her physician father. We also get to explore the brilliantly crafted setting for Clover’s odyssey, an alternative nineteenth century United States. This fantasy version of the U.S. is bordered by the French and a Native Confederation, on the verge of war, and home to amazing magical objects, Oddities, which seem to be dra *I read an advance copy of this book. In Oddity, his first novel for younger readers, Eli Brown introduces us to Clover Elkin, a smart and spirited 13 year old girl who assists her physician father. We also get to explore the brilliantly crafted setting for Clover’s odyssey, an alternative nineteenth century United States. This fantasy version of the U.S. is bordered by the French and a Native Confederation, on the verge of war, and home to amazing magical objects, Oddities, which seem to be drawn to Clover, with life-or-death consequences. At times tender and terrible, Clover’s coming of age story weaves itself into our hearts and minds with powerful creativity, vivid imagery, and touching emotion. I loved this book, admire Clover, and hope there’s more to come for her, soon. In proper fairytale fashion, poor Clover is soon orphaned when her father is murdered. This tragedy, and her growing awareness of and connection to Oddities are the catalyst for an action-packed adventure bringing Clover closer to her destiny - and readers closer to Clover - with each page. Clover’s intelligence, resourcefulness and courage endow her with the strength to face a myriad of challenges: dastardly villains, a dangerous witch (and the hellish creatures she patches together from junk and animal corpses), corrupt political powers bent on the destruction of war, and her own human shortcomings. Almost immediately I came to admire Clover’s integrity and spunk. I’d like to be a little more like her. As the twists and turns of her journey thrust her into increasingly treacherous predicaments, Clover gathers strange and unlikely allies: Hannibal, a talking rooster who commands armies; Susanna, a rag doll with superhuman strength; Sweetwater, a deadly viper who can read Clover’s thoughts; and Nessa, a traveling sales girl with the voice of an angel. Like Frodo and his quest to Mordor, Clover’s deadly journey is sweetened by the friendships that develop between Clover and her allies. These connections, and the ever-surprising magic of the Oddities made this a compelling read. Brown’s rendering of this world and Clover’s evolution is inspired and beautiful, even in the most brutal scenes. His facility with metaphor and imagery drives a powerful prose, stamping our minds’ eye with scenes both harsh and lovely. The way he handles the various cultures of this alternative history with care and respect makes clear how dangerous it is to trust just one perspective. It’s an important reminder for all of us to consider many sides to each story. We can all identify with the uncertainty of sudden loss. Clover’s resilience, wit, and compassion are inspirational reminders that even in the worst of times our connections to each other will be how we heal, overcome our challenges, and live more fulfilling lives. Clover Elkin joins an admirable and growing list of bold female characters like Anne of Green Gables, Scout Finch, Pippi Longstocking, Hermione Granger, Paikea Apirana, Katniss Evergreen, Rey Skywalker, Starr Carter - who shatter traditional boundaries and expand all our horizons.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Cassidy

    This review was originally on my blog at https://cassidymgbooks.wordpress.com/... In a world with magical objects that can do seemingly impossible things, Clover, after the death of her father, sets out to figure out the meaning of her father’s last words. The Writing This book had some great twists, and I think it handled them quite well. There was this one (pretty predictable) twist, and I thought that it would drag on for a while, and when it was finally revealed, it would be this huge deal. But This review was originally on my blog at https://cassidymgbooks.wordpress.com/... In a world with magical objects that can do seemingly impossible things, Clover, after the death of her father, sets out to figure out the meaning of her father’s last words. The Writing This book had some great twists, and I think it handled them quite well. There was this one (pretty predictable) twist, and I thought that it would drag on for a while, and when it was finally revealed, it would be this huge deal. But it was actually a small deal: a side character, who had known the twist from the beginning, stated it, and the main character actually acknowledged that they had always known, but had not been ready to fully accept it. The story then goes on. I think that this can be appreciated by both people who had predicted and who had not predicted it because it didn’t support the whole book but was also a small revelation. And this book, I think, is full of things like this; turns in the story that were unpredictable because it didn’t follow normal tropes. The end, in my opinion, had one of the biggest twists where it ended on a cliffhanger. And it was also made pretty clear that this was the end of the story, as in there will be no series. Even the main character doesn’t want to look into the cliffhanger because she’s done with being involved with everything. I think this adds to the story, ending it on a more realistic note while also not leaving way too many plot lines unanswered and unfinished. The Characters I thought that the characters were all really great. They weren’t as perfect as many other middle grade protagonists. At some points, they were even a little antagonist-y, even getting very close to becoming like one of the antagonists, and it actually felt concerning because the consequences would be great and it pretty close. It was also interesting (and spoilers here) that a side-protagonist did actually go on the main antagonist’s side. And there was never any resolution to that betrayal. Another character I found interesting was an animal similar to daemons (creatures like animals from the His Dark Materials series, by Philip Pullman) in the story, which, while it was pretty similar to daemons, I really like the idea of daemons, so I thought it was a cool addition. In conclusion, I think that what largely made this book interesting for me was that its many differences to the other books in its genre sets it apart and made it more unpredictable. I liked how cleverly the oddities were incorporated into the plot, and not just being the magical thing that everyone’s trying to get. The detailed wood cuts as illustrations were really interesting and something I have never seen in a book before, and the cover is amazing, with great elements from the story on it. I’m glad that this is my first book of 2021! I would recommend this book for grades four through eight. Thank you to Edelweiss+ and Walker Books US for the DRC (Digital Review Copy)

  5. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

    I received an Advanced Readers audiobook from Netgalley, in exchange for my honest review. This alternative early-American historical fiction, in which Clover, a young girl training as an apprentice under her physician father, is full of epic adventure and fantasy. I loved the ragtag band of characters that Clover meets throughout this story, and I especially loved how much depth each character ended up possessing. No one is completely "good" or "bad," and everyone, as we discover, has secrets. I I received an Advanced Readers audiobook from Netgalley, in exchange for my honest review. This alternative early-American historical fiction, in which Clover, a young girl training as an apprentice under her physician father, is full of epic adventure and fantasy. I loved the ragtag band of characters that Clover meets throughout this story, and I especially loved how much depth each character ended up possessing. No one is completely "good" or "bad," and everyone, as we discover, has secrets. I hope to reread this sometime with my 10 year old, as I have discovered that the printed book version has illustrations, which I missed out on listening to the audiobook. The audiobook had an extremely engaging narrator whom I really enjoyed, however, so I don't feel like I missed out on too much this go round. I think my daughter would have a great literary role-model in Clover. Her strong-willed desire to never give up on her quest to understand where she came from and her desire to stay true to her convictions definitely left an endearing impression on me.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    When a book becomes a chore to read, it’s not worth the time and effort. When a book has to tell you that the characters are odd and quirky, they’re probably not - and that’s not a good sign.. And that was the case with Oddity. I would guess that I have one DNF in maybe 200 books I read, and this was almost one. It’s not that it’s horrible, it’s just boring. The voice actor tried to infuse life into her voices, so at least I was glad I had requested an audiobook vs. a print version. Most of the When a book becomes a chore to read, it’s not worth the time and effort. When a book has to tell you that the characters are odd and quirky, they’re probably not - and that’s not a good sign.. And that was the case with Oddity. I would guess that I have one DNF in maybe 200 books I read, and this was almost one. It’s not that it’s horrible, it’s just boring. The voice actor tried to infuse life into her voices, so at least I was glad I had requested an audiobook vs. a print version. Most of the characters were at least “likable” but the story tried too hard to be quirky and weird, but ended up just being annoying and lackluster. The premise sounded good, but the execution was bad. Everything was predictable and the idea that the “oddities” are so rare was vanished when the protagonist “ran into” so many in just a few pages. There is no way any of my students would last more than 15 minutes of this. I stayed until the end, hoping for something I could “grab onto,” but alas, that’s just 9+ hours that I’ll never get back. Thank you to NetGalley for the advanced copy of the audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Zaba Cita Novine

    DNFed at 76% I just couldn't go anymore. This is a cute book, but I have to stop fooling myself that I enjoy children's books anymore. But that wasn't the main problem. The main problem was the narrator - (I don't know a proper English word for it but) an adult woman who is trying to sound like a little girl. I wanted to slap her until she stops speaking forever! Disgusting! She can sing, I'll give her that, but she's overdoing it all too much! As for the book, it is a cute story with adventure, ma DNFed at 76% I just couldn't go anymore. This is a cute book, but I have to stop fooling myself that I enjoy children's books anymore. But that wasn't the main problem. The main problem was the narrator - (I don't know a proper English word for it but) an adult woman who is trying to sound like a little girl. I wanted to slap her until she stops speaking forever! Disgusting! She can sing, I'll give her that, but she's overdoing it all too much! As for the book, it is a cute story with adventure, magic, mysteries, hidden secrets and much, much more. I am sure that many kids could enjoy it. I just couldn't go on. It is a wonder I went this far with Suzy Jackson's idiotic reading. A big thank you to NetGalley and RB Media for providing me with an early copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mable (the-forest-library)

    Sometimes a family is a deadly venomous snake, a grumpy rag doll with super powers, and a girl trying to find out what she is. Thoroughly enjoyed this alternate history tale where the Louisiana Purchase never happened and America and France are fighting with/over objects with magical abilities. Liked Clover’s journey, but Susanna stole my heart. Thanks to Walker Books for an ARC.

  9. 4 out of 5

    sera ✧˖*°࿐

    rtc!!

  10. 4 out of 5

    David Goldstone

    I had the luck of reading an early edition of Oddity with my ten year old and we both loved it. Oddity is an excellent adventure with many surprising turns and loads of action. The main character, Clover, is so well formed. We were completely on her side and the odds are really stacked against her. From one chapter to the next, the threats mount against Clover and we kept wondering: "How is she going to get out of this one?" There are some truly bad characters in the book and they increasingly r I had the luck of reading an early edition of Oddity with my ten year old and we both loved it. Oddity is an excellent adventure with many surprising turns and loads of action. The main character, Clover, is so well formed. We were completely on her side and the odds are really stacked against her. From one chapter to the next, the threats mount against Clover and we kept wondering: "How is she going to get out of this one?" There are some truly bad characters in the book and they increasingly ratchet up the danger along the way. There are many surprises that I won't mention here but, this book is a definite page-turner. We both look forward to reading Oddity all over again when it hits the shelves.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    Interesting alternative history with a strong female lead, and western US setting, and some medical information. Reminded me of Gratz's League of Seven series. Cool illustrations. Just not something I have readers for, but if steampunk or alternate histories are popular in your library, definitely take a look. Also reminded me slightly of Alexander's Vesper Holly books for some reason. Interesting alternative history with a strong female lead, and western US setting, and some medical information. Reminded me of Gratz's League of Seven series. Cool illustrations. Just not something I have readers for, but if steampunk or alternate histories are popular in your library, definitely take a look. Also reminded me slightly of Alexander's Vesper Holly books for some reason.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Amber

    Oddity is at times a really fun book, but at other times it’s a bit of a rambling story. I was sucked in at the beginning, but as the tale wore on, I got a bit bored. It’s also on the longer end for middle grade novels, and considering the violence and implied violence, I would recommend Oddity to older middle grade to young adult readers who are interested in something strange and interesting. I requested this ARC because the concept of Oddities fascinated me immediately. Does anyone remember th Oddity is at times a really fun book, but at other times it’s a bit of a rambling story. I was sucked in at the beginning, but as the tale wore on, I got a bit bored. It’s also on the longer end for middle grade novels, and considering the violence and implied violence, I would recommend Oddity to older middle grade to young adult readers who are interested in something strange and interesting. I requested this ARC because the concept of Oddities fascinated me immediately. Does anyone remember the SyFy show Warehouse 13? The concept of Oddities is just like the artifacts in Warehouse 13, and I was fascinated to learn more about the magic, history, and mythology woven into these objects. There was some of this, though there were a limited number of Oddities (in all fairness, there were never going to be enough to sate my curiosity – I love magical objects like these). I thought Brown did a decent job describing the magic in this world, and while it isn’t entirely unique, it’s a flavor we don’t see often. I enjoyed that. I also felt that the characters were well flushed out. In middle grade novels, depth of character is hit or miss, to the point where I’ve come to expect a “miss”. Oddity was a refreshing change from that, with Clover’s journey driving her forward and a collection of mostly dishonest (but loveable) characters urging the story forward. Susannah was easily my favorite character. Even the villains in this story were interesting and well-written, with their own histories and motivations. I love me some complex characters. For me, the pacing was a little slow, and I felt like Brown started to be repetitive about the functions of individual Oddities, and Clover’s personal drive. I think the book could have been tightened up a little bit to create a better reading experience. The plot itself moved along, but there some repetitive explanations and some emotional cycling that didn’t add to the story and made scenes drag out. The one other thing I would like to mention is that Oddity takes place in the American west. Westerns are traditionally fraught with problematic elements, and unfortunately, Oddity is no exception. There’s a couple mentions of slavery and we learn that Clover was basically raised by a Black woman, perpetuating the “Black nanny” stereotype. I didn’t realize the character was Black until there was an illustration and brief comment later in the book. Additionally, the Native people in Oddity are constantly referred to as “Indians” and there are a couple scenes with Native people in them that I feel were not handled well. They weren’t handled poorly, per se, but once again Brown fell into stereotypes. It was really unfortunate because these elements were not at all essential to the story and added a bit of a sour taste because of their handling. As a whole, the book was fun and creative and as a whole, I enjoyed my experience reading it. However, the poorly handled rep turned me a bit off the story. I also want to acknowledge that as far as middle grade novels go, Oddity is pretty dark, so please take that into consideration before offering it to a middle grade reader. The writing is also pretty simple, as is often the case with MG books so that is not a criticism, just a fact. Since this was only an ARC, please note that some of the elements I found concerning may be addressed before full publication. If they are, it would make Oddity is a book I would have loved when I was younger. As it stands, it needs a little work.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Tonja Drecker

    This one is immediately hitting my favorite middle grade reads list for 2021. There are simply so many wonderful aspects at every twist and turn: the writing sits, the pacing sits, the characters are amazing, tension is high, and imagination fills every page. In other words, this one has everything needed to make an amazing middle grade read. Clover works with her very talented father and travels the border areas of the United States around the time period of the Louisiana Purchase to heal, whoev This one is immediately hitting my favorite middle grade reads list for 2021. There are simply so many wonderful aspects at every twist and turn: the writing sits, the pacing sits, the characters are amazing, tension is high, and imagination fills every page. In other words, this one has everything needed to make an amazing middle grade read. Clover works with her very talented father and travels the border areas of the United States around the time period of the Louisiana Purchase to heal, whoever is in need. Clover is clever and hard working, and has become a noteworthy physician herself even at a young age. But there's one thing her father refuses to teach her or even talk about: Oddities. These magical objects are hidden through-out the world and caused her mother's death. But Clover secretly is more than curious about the Oddities, and when she stumbles across one left in the brush, she's over-joyed. But it's exactly these Oddities which are about to turn her world upside-down. The idea of Oddities caught my attention right away: a tea pot always pouring hot tea, a rag doll coming to life, a hat to steal all secrets stored in someone's head...the imagination is endless, and this tale lets exactly that soar. We meet Clover right smack-dab in her life as her father's assistant. Her life isn't easy, and while she does have a whimper or two about some aspects, she's proud of him and the job they both perform. Her respect for her father is inspiring, and from her thoughts, it's clear she sees the world through pretty realistic and down-to-earth eyes. She does dream, too, but her asperations are nothing extreme. Add the sad death of her mother, and she's definitely a character root for all the way through. But then, all of the characters in this one are rich and carry enough quirks and corners to make them more than interesting. This is one of those reads which is hard to put down. Right away, Clover is thrust into an exciting adventure. It's impossible to guess what will come next and what dangers she'll have to face. And there are tons of those. Here, I'll put in a little warning for those more sensitive readers. Clover's adventure is definitely not an easy one, and the evil she's up against shows no mercy. There are several darker moments as vermin are sewn together, deadly shots are fired, and dark creatures attack. None of this is out of range for the middle grade audience, though. Most importantly, Clover finds the meaning of friendship and family along the way. There is hope even in the darkest corners, and surprises make it clear that not everything is as awful as it might seem (although many things are truly terrible). It's a lovely round-up for an exciting read, and one I can highly recommend. I received an ARC and adored every page.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Josh Stoiber

    Huge thanks to RB Media and NetGalley for the review copy. This is my honest review. I was excited to get approved for this book, partly because of the promise of a Pullman-esque middle-grade fantasy with an Americana flair, and also because I saw Suzy Jackson was narrating. Suzy co-narrated the last book I listened to, and I loved her work. Oddity follows Clover, the daughter of a traveling doctor in an alternate-history American frontier circa the early 1800s. In this world, the Louisiana Purch Huge thanks to RB Media and NetGalley for the review copy. This is my honest review. I was excited to get approved for this book, partly because of the promise of a Pullman-esque middle-grade fantasy with an Americana flair, and also because I saw Suzy Jackson was narrating. Suzy co-narrated the last book I listened to, and I loved her work. Oddity follows Clover, the daughter of a traveling doctor in an alternate-history American frontier circa the early 1800s. In this world, the Louisiana Purchase fell through, leading to war and then an uneasy peace between America and Napoleonic France. Scattered throughout this world are small objects called "Oddities," trinkets with magical properties such as a wineglass that never runs dry, an icepick that freezes anything it touches, a gun that always finds its mark. Early in the story, Clover's father is murdered, sending her on an Odyssean journey through the American frontier. Clover encounters many oddities throughout the story, and some of the most imaginative and engrossing sections of the book deal with how those oddities, simplistic or bizarre at first glance, strongly (and strangely!) effect the world around them. This is a theme that runs through the heart of the book. There is a strong cast of colorful characters, villains you love to root against, and ones that surprise you. At times the book can be on the denser, slower side of what one would expect of a middle-grade novel, and at other times, it moved so fast that I wished it slowed down and focus on more world-building. I think that this book would be an unquestionable success if it threaded the needle between those paces a bit better than it does. Still, it's a fun, imaginative fantasy in an extremely unique setting. Suzy Jackson's narration is spot on. I've heard that the hardcover has woodcut illustrations, but the audiobook is done so well that I don't feel I've missed out. Oddity is a fun read, though it could have done a little more to justify it's length (it's on the longer side for middle-grade at over 9 hours). I wish the world-building had been stronger, but only because the author has created such a fun and fascinating world. I would definitely recommend this book to young readers ready to tackle something a little denser, and to adults willing to work through some pacing issues to get to a unique and exciting frontier fantasy. 7/10

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ashlin

    I would like to thank Netgalley and the publishers for giving me an advance readers copy. Clovers world is turned upside down when thugs come for his father. They are the brink of war with the Indians and French, Clover knows something is going to happen but her father taught her to focus on the patient in front of her. Now she has no living patient, but a mission that she promised to her father, keep his medical bag and the oddity inside of it safe. She is bound and determined to keep her last p I would like to thank Netgalley and the publishers for giving me an advance readers copy. Clovers world is turned upside down when thugs come for his father. They are the brink of war with the Indians and French, Clover knows something is going to happen but her father taught her to focus on the patient in front of her. Now she has no living patient, but a mission that she promised to her father, keep his medical bag and the oddity inside of it safe. She is bound and determined to keep her last promise to him before his death. Clover is now flung into an adventure that she never thought imaginable. With the help of her odd friends that she finds along the way, she has another mission: Stop the impending war that is looming. I’ve seen some reviews that refer to this book as “middle school” reading level. Mostly I would agree with that. There are some hard to understand world building, but nothing too difficult. There are some magically parts to his book, but it does seem like it was spun to be more towards children. An example of this would be one of the top war sergeants being a chicken (which I LOVED btw). There is no romance in this book, which honestly was a refreshing take. I really liked the character of Clover and her determined self. I think the story was beautifully written and she learns a lot about herself along the way. I really don’t have anything negative to say about this book. I thought I was a great read, and I would highly recommend it to someone who is just getting into the fancy world. It was a mix of fantasy and history (which I loved) so if you wanted to dive into a deep new world – this is not your book. It is based in the US, but the Indians are still standing in their tribes (WAHOOOOO!!) and the French have invaded. I really liked this alternative reality to our past and the twist of magic that this book held as well.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    I'd like to thank Netgalley and the publisher for an advanced copy of the audiobook. In exchange, I am providing my honest review. This story is an absolute delight that I wish I had been able to cherish as a child. It's the kind of book I could imagine myself curling up on the couch with in lieu of watching TV. In fact, I almost wish I had been able to enjoy a physical copy of it now. This isn't to say the audiobook wasn't good - it was. I just wish it was something I could set aside for a mome I'd like to thank Netgalley and the publisher for an advanced copy of the audiobook. In exchange, I am providing my honest review. This story is an absolute delight that I wish I had been able to cherish as a child. It's the kind of book I could imagine myself curling up on the couch with in lieu of watching TV. In fact, I almost wish I had been able to enjoy a physical copy of it now. This isn't to say the audiobook wasn't good - it was. I just wish it was something I could set aside for a moment so that I could pause and enjoy the really magical moments it gifts the reader with. As a teacher, this is a book I would gladly use in my curriculum. Not the audiobook, but definitely the book itself. I think the fact that it is an alternate history allows for students to think about history through a different lens than they normally do. I also enjoyed the clever characters, and the notion of oddities, rare treasures that could exist in the world without you even noticing them. (Susannah was my absolute favorite, and I would gladly take her on as a chaotic roommate.) I loved Clover, and it felt gratifying to watch her grow in confidence. The decisions she faced were tough ones for her to make, and all of the stakes were so high, making the story one that was hard for me to put down.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    It all begins with a young girl coming home after helping her doctor father with a challenging birth, mention of the Journal of Anomalous Objects, otherwise known as 'oddities', an ice hook, and sadly, a murder. Those are the early pages of the heart-rending adventure of Clover Elkin, taking her into magical worlds, meeting historical figures, including a talking rooster and a witch named The Seamstress. It's an alternate nineteenth-century history whose background shows the United States at wa It all begins with a young girl coming home after helping her doctor father with a challenging birth, mention of the Journal of Anomalous Objects, otherwise known as 'oddities', an ice hook, and sadly, a murder. Those are the early pages of the heart-rending adventure of Clover Elkin, taking her into magical worlds, meeting historical figures, including a talking rooster and a witch named The Seamstress. It's an alternate nineteenth-century history whose background shows the United States at war with France and a failed Louisiana Purchase. Eli Brown does not leave a frightening detail unexplained from tiny blue threads giving life to a true friend for Clover, another girl with courage named Nessa. If you are a fantasy lover, this book will thrill you, make you cringe, and bring admiration for the heroine who bravely steps forward every time to do what is right. The book includes lovely woodcut-style illustrations by Karin Rytter. Thanks to Candlewick Press and Walker Books US for this advanced copy!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Emma Ferrier

    I'm conflicted about this book. Perhaps I'd have enjoyed it more physically but I just felt a bit flat.. In terms of plot, it felt very middle grade - which is fine, except it felt like it was trying to be more "sophisticated" or something and it lost the magic and fun of middle grade. One thing I struggled to get over was the fact this was "alternate history" though bar the occasional mention of napoleon it was really just like 1800's America with magic and the consistent calling Indigenous peo I'm conflicted about this book. Perhaps I'd have enjoyed it more physically but I just felt a bit flat.. In terms of plot, it felt very middle grade - which is fine, except it felt like it was trying to be more "sophisticated" or something and it lost the magic and fun of middle grade. One thing I struggled to get over was the fact this was "alternate history" though bar the occasional mention of napoleon it was really just like 1800's America with magic and the consistent calling Indigenous people "Indians" bothered me. I'm not Indigenous, so it may very well be that in this context it's seen as okay but as I see Native people online calling out that term it didn't sit right with me. And while you could argue "it's accurate to the time period" it's an alternate history so there is no need to have people utilising a term considered derogatory - especially when there was no movement to challenge it or address the concerns people have with it.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    "I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own." This book was, well odd, but in a beautiful way. Clover's story unfolded in a really organic and interesting way. It's rare that the main character is as clueless about their own story as the reader and It was great to go on that journey together. The world building of a place that holds oddities was really well done, but some of the other "historical" points could have been "I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own." This book was, well odd, but in a beautiful way. Clover's story unfolded in a really organic and interesting way. It's rare that the main character is as clueless about their own story as the reader and It was great to go on that journey together. The world building of a place that holds oddities was really well done, but some of the other "historical" points could have been further developed. I thought the duality concept was excellent. That an oddity isn't innately good or evil it depends on who and how it is used. The audiobook version was well read and we'll edited, serving to enhance the story.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Natalia

    DNF @ 27% I listened to audiobook for this book and as much as I enjoyed the audiobook production and the narrator's voice (Suzy Jackson), the book itself bored me to death... It saddens me because I was really intrigued by the oddities and the beginning of the book made me think that it was going to do something interesting with this idea but unfortunately it quickly changed my mind about it. The first 1/4 turned that idea into boring and unoriginal and there was nothing that compelled me to cont DNF @ 27% I listened to audiobook for this book and as much as I enjoyed the audiobook production and the narrator's voice (Suzy Jackson), the book itself bored me to death... It saddens me because I was really intrigued by the oddities and the beginning of the book made me think that it was going to do something interesting with this idea but unfortunately it quickly changed my mind about it. The first 1/4 turned that idea into boring and unoriginal and there was nothing that compelled me to continue this book. Also, this novel made me realize that I don't like books set in the West. Thank you to RB Media for an early audiobook. I need to check out more books narrated by Suzy Jackson because I really liked her narration style.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Sammis

    Creating an alternate timeline along with populating it with apparently magical items is an ambitious undertaking. To sell it, the characters need to feel natural — like they belong in their world. Clover understandably spends much of her time after her father's death thinking about him. That leaves her traveling companions, a snake oil saleswoman and a talking rooster who unfortunately brings to mind Chicken Run, to fill in the world of the oddities. They don't beyond one quick tale of a wine g Creating an alternate timeline along with populating it with apparently magical items is an ambitious undertaking. To sell it, the characters need to feel natural — like they belong in their world. Clover understandably spends much of her time after her father's death thinking about him. That leaves her traveling companions, a snake oil saleswoman and a talking rooster who unfortunately brings to mind Chicken Run, to fill in the world of the oddities. They don't beyond one quick tale of a wine goblet making a marsh after spilling and getting lost in the process. It's just not holding my attention beyond reminding me of other books I've read and would rather re-read. http://pussreboots.com/blog/2021/comm...

  22. 4 out of 5

    OjoAusana

    *received for free from netgalley for honest review* Loved this book! Loved the characters, the fantasy world and just everything! Will reread.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Gideon Sterer

  24. 5 out of 5

    A Jones

  25. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

  26. 5 out of 5

    Susan Van Metre

  27. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

  28. 5 out of 5

    Charlotte

  29. 5 out of 5

    yven

  30. 5 out of 5

    Maria Wang

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