Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Turning Book One: What Curiosity Kills Review

The Turning Book 1: What Curiosity Kills by Helen Ellis
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release date: May 1, 2010
Source: Publisher

Mary Richards is a normal sixteen-year-old girl living in Manhattan. Well, almost normal. She goes to private school on the Upper East Side, having been saved from a life of squalor by an adoptive family. But she’s also slowly transforming into a cat.

Struggling to hide her physical metamorphosis, Mary discovers that she isn’t alone. A whole race of cat people prowls the streets of Manhattan at night, including Mary’s long-time crush, Nick.

Aside from heightened feline senses, hanging out with Nick is the best thing about discovering her inner kitty. But Mary’s transformation is special and could decide the outcome of a citywide turf war. She must decide whether to embrace her powerful feline side and become a pack leader or go back to being a normal teenage girl. Can she land on her feet or will curiosity be her downfall?


The Turning was an original and unique story, but it didn't really live up to it's potential. The plot was extremely original and I did enjoy reading it overall, but it did have it's flaws.

Mary was an interesting character and her family was definitely unique. She and her sister, Octavia, were both adopted at age eight, but they both formed a swift connection with each other and their parents. I liked how close the Richards family was with each other. The other characters were a bit... empty, in my opinion. I would have loved to get to know not only Mary and Octavia better, but also some of the minor characters.

I applaud Helen Ellis for writing such a unique book in all, though. The plot was mainly what kept me reading. The idea of the different groups of cats and the whole idea of "the turning" was very original. There was excitement and intrigue at points and the ending was quite suspenseful. I'm interested in seeing where the sequel goes, as the ending to this book was a little loose.

The "romantic interest" was a little fast paced for me- it seemed as though at one point Nick wasn't even looking at Mary and the next he was abandoning his girlfriend, Ling Ling, and going after Mary. I liked the diversity in this novel- Nick was Greek, Ling Ling (and many others) Asian, Octavia African-American, etc. This was mainly due to the fact that many of the characters were adopted, and this was definitely an interesting sub-plot.

As this was the first in a series, I'm still going to check out the sequel, as I'm interested in seeing where Mary goes next and how the plot progresses. This was an original novel, although a bit slow at times, but I overall enjoyed it and loved the idea of transforming into a cat- how cool is that?

Overall: 3.5 out of 5 stars


  1. Nice honest review Kel. It's on my Books To Buy list :)

  2. I agree the cover is really pretty. But it's sad to see that the actually book doesn't live up to its potential. Still, it sounds really cool and I'm liking how all of the characters are of different nationalities. Thanks for the review!

  3. Great review! i'm reading this now... i kind of feel the same way, i guess now i'm just waiting for the exciting parts.

  4. Hmm, This book has had me interested, Ill probably pick up a Copy when I have extra cash.

  5. An intriguing premise, that's for sure. I hadn't even heard of this book until I read your review. Sounds like there was room for improvement in the execution but that the idea was pretty awesome.


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