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Curio Killed the Cat by Skyla Dawn Cameron

Urban fantasy without the angst...mostly. 

Welcome to Curio Killed the Cat—an occult shop in Kensington Market, Toronto. Meet the employees (a lazy hoodoo spellcaster, a feminist succubus, and a snobbish Wiccan priest), their perpetually drunk (and confused) boss, and their strange customers, as they try to keep the shop from closing.

Note: Curio Killed the Cat contains some graphic sexual content and harsh language.

A complete novel

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Listed: Feb 2, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

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Light urban fantasy in an occult shop

By Linda Schoales, editor

Feb 25, 2009: At 8 chapters, “Curio Killed the Cat” is the beginning of an urban fantasy set in an occult shop. The staff, “a lazy hoodoo spellcaster, a feminist succubus, and snobbish Wiccan priest”, are worried about their jobs, their boss and their spells. Their boss, Madam Curio, has let the financial side of the business slide and the store is in trouble. The staff each try in their own unique way to help save the store.

Briar, the spellcaster, is lazy, waaay bored, has no service skills, and would rather try a new spell than actually work or be nice to customers. Lilith, the succubus, could use her demonic powers to have men eating out of her hand, but wants to be loved for her brains and her organizational skills. Liam looks down on Briar for bending, and sometimes violating, the “and it do no harm” rule of Wicca. Add to this unlikely mix a vague, mostly absent boss who drinks, and a goth boy with a crush and a penchant for bad poetry, and you have the potential for a modern comedy of errors.

The characters are fun, well-drawn and feel real. The bantering between them is typical of people who have to work together without liking it. Briar can’t stop herself from blurting out whatever sarcastic comment comes to mind and everyone is rolling their eyes at each other. Lilith tries to keep her head and her temper while trying to organize the store and come up with a way to increase the profit margin. The challenge, of course, will be combining their talents to save the store and their jobs.

The story is told in first person, starting with Briar’s point of view, and then switching between Lilith, Briar and Liam. The writing is solid and the premise sounds like it should make a good story, once it gets going. The pace so far is leisurely, with a lot of dialog and some subplots. So far, a relative of the boss has visited briefly, Lilith has attracted a persistent suitor, Briar actually got a client who is willing to spend money, and a bunch of demonstrators have started picketing the store. It’s not yet clear if any of these incidents will feed into the main plot of saving the store but they do add to the general chaos. There are some funny moments, such as when Lilith’s mother, also a succubus, calls her at home. There is also a section narrated by one of the teenaged picketers that is great. The humour is dry and pokes fun at people who don’t think.

So far “Curio Killed the Cat” is a solid beginning to an urban fantasy with an interesting cast of characters who are forced to work together. The pace is a bit slow but the characters have been introduced, the stage is set, and the story is progressing towards a rescue plan for the occult shop. If you like light urban fantasy I would recommend giving this one a try.

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Most Helpful Member Reviews

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No Cats Were Harmed in the Making of This Review

By Ziggy, member

Aug 30, 2009: Opener: Funny. No more really need be said. I mean sure you have your romance and your supernatural but what really stands out for me is the humour. I love two of the three characters with steady point of views. Briar and Lilith. You’ve got a snarky, lazy and all around hilarious spellcaster with a rather unhealthy like of getting even. Then there’s the not so sex crazed sex demon, trying to hide from what she is behind a severe secretary like image (and failing quite abysmally I might add.). [more . . .]

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By gigistar05, member

Sep 11, 2009: This was an amazing novel as well! i am a huge fan of Skyla, and i do not usually read books, but when i came across this bored at work, and i didnt have anything better to do than read, i wanted to find something i was truly interested in. i love fantasy movies, and fiction movies. Movies that you know in real life can never happen, so when i started reading her novels i got lost in them, and could not get enough of them. In Curio Killed the [more . . .]


An occult shop with problems

By Kiyara, member

Apr 22, 2009: I discovered Skyla Dawn Cameron, when I stumbled onto her other on-going serial – "Children of the Apocalypse", and through there I started reading "Curio Killed the Cat".

Although there’s only 12 chapters or so of the story posted till now, it’s original enough to have captured my interest. Updating once a week instead of once a month is another plus when it comes to me.

Lilith – a succubus, who doesn’t [more . . .]

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