**Disclaimer-I received an ARC Copy courtesy of St. Martin’s & NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not have an effect on my review whatsoever.
“Welcome to Gideon Davorin’s Traveling Sideshow, where necromancy, magical visions, and pyrokinesis are more than just part of the act…
Mara has always longed for a normal life in a normal town where no one has the ability to levitate or predict the future. Instead, she roams from place to place, cleaning the tiger cage while her friends perform supernatural feats every night.
When the struggling sideshow is miraculously offered the money they need if they set up camp in Caudry, Louisiana, Mara meets local-boy Gabe…and a normal life has never been more appealing.
But before long, performers begin disappearing and bodies are found mauled by an invisible beast. Mara realizes that there’s a sinister presence lurking in the town with its sights set on getting rid of the sideshow freeks. In order to unravel the truth before the attacker kills everyone Mara holds dear, she has seven days to take control of a power she didn’t know she was capable of—one that could change her future forever.
Bestselling author Amanda Hocking draws readers inside the dark and mysterious world of Freeks.”
I finished this book last night and I’m afraid I was left with a feeling that I wish didn’t linger even now. Amanda Hocking is a talented author and I’ve read her other books. However, this book lacked depth, structure, and too much repetition. The copy I received from NetGalley was an unedited copy but there were problems that extended mere spelling and grammar errors.
Once the traveling carnival reached Caudry, Louisiana, Mara went off on her own to explore the town. She comes across a party taking place at a mansion-type house along the way and decides to go inside. Firstly, who does that? I get this takes place in the 80s but who enters a town, comes across a random party filled with strangers, then you decide to go inside despite not knowing the people. And secondly, the moment she goes in and falls in insta-love with the host of the party named Gabe.
Ok, Mara and the carnival are only going to be there a week. Throughout this whole week, these two are constantly kissing and putting their hands all over each other. Half the time I kept wondering if they were going to actually explain their backgrounds except for the same bits they continuously tell one another. It grew annoying after the third time Gabe spoke about his family moving to Louisiana and now he couldn’t go to NYU like he wanted too. Mara, on the other hand, kept drowning on and on how she couldn’t tell Gabe she was part of the Carnival because of past ridicule. For being nineteen, these two needed to grow up instead of acting like fifteen year olds.
I thought this was a YA novel not an adult novel, but fair warning there is a sex scene in the book. It’s a quick page, but if you’re a parent whose kid is about to read this…be warned! I personally don’t have a problem because I’m an adult but normally, this is a “no-no” in YA novels.
Back to the story, the workers at the carnival begin to get attacked late at night. At first, the workers believe the tigers escape then the attacks grow more intense as the week goes on. Each one of the Carnies have a supernatural abilities. The longer they stay in the town, their abilities begin to waver or quit operating properly. The carnival attempt to receive help from the local police to help discover and arrest the attacker, but they disregard every cry for help and in turn try to get the carnival out.
The novel’s pacing is pretty quick but the problem is resolved too quickly for my taste. The explanation behind the attacks comes so fast it’s like, “Wait, what just happened?” I needed more depth to the characters other than what Mara repeatedly said about the backgrounds of the characters. Telling me is one thing, but the characters in question need to show me their wounds, their memories, act like they are the survivors they are instead of sole entertainers.
Have you read this novel yet?
What were your thoughts on this book?
Let me know in the comments below!
My Rating: 5 out of 10 Book Charms