Book Review: The Curiosity – Stephen P. Kiernan

The CuriosityTitle: The Curiosity
Author: Stephen P. Kiernan
ISBN: 9780062221063
Pages: 448
Release Date: July 9, 2013
Publisher: William Morrow
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4 out of 5


Bringing a dead man back to life. Can there be a bigger mystery, a greater achievement? When Dr. Kate Philo’s scientific expedition finds a man frozen in the ice in the Arctic, they bring him back to the lab for study. No one expects them to try to revive him, much less succeed in doing so. They bring back Jeremiah Rice, a judge from Boston who disappeared in 1906. As the world watches and objects to this cavalier treatment of life, with the help of Dr. Philo, Rice learns what it means to live again.


The Curiosity is a novel that is about no less than the ultimate: life and death itself. What does death mean? What does life? This novel explores the difficult questions that we don’t even know how to answer. Where does morality lie in terms of life and death? The questions this novel raises are enough to keep a reader thinking long into the night. Luckily, Stephen P. Kiernan pairs these thought-provoking questions with an engaging story and unforgettable characters.

Dr. Kate Philo is arguably the main character of The Curiosity. She’s the reader’s moral compass, the only one who isn’t looking for selfish gains out of Jeremiah’s situation. It’s wonderful to get to know her, and though the reader might not always agree with her actions, they know she’s acting out of a place of good. Jeremiah provides perfect balance for Kate’s character. His voice is so distinct, so different, that at times it’s difficult to believe that both narrators were written by the same author. Kiernan is very talented at developing his characters, and as a result, love them or hate them, they’re people you won’t forget anytime soon.

The science in The Curiosity is one of the most fascinating parts of the novel. Whether accurate or not, it’s so interesting to see how Jeremiah was brought back and how the scientists are trying to keep him alive. If you’re at all interested in science, you’ll appreciate Kiernan’s attention to detail and devour his explanations as he tries to show how a man frozen in ice could actually be brought back to life.

There are some less appealing parts of The Curiosity; namely, the love story isn’t very believable and leaves something to be desired. But overall, this is a thought-provoking novel that readers will devour from beginning to end. It’s a unique premise, a man being brought back from the dead, and Kiernan doesn’t shy away from the difficult moral questions that come with this lofty feat. The result is a novel with engaging characters and a gripping storyline that will leave readers wanting much, much more from this talented author.

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  1. I’ve been curious (ha!) about this one. I like urban fantasy and I like the premise. Thanks for the warning about the love story part.

  2. It sounds like an interesting read, and different than a lot of the other urban fantasy books out there, but not 100% convinced its the book for me.

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