Publisher: St Martin's Griffin (2017)
eARC (400 pages)
Reading Challenges: Read 2016
In a world of magical visions and pyrokinesis, Mara just wants to have a normal life. But is that possible?
Mara has become used to the extraordinary. Roaming from place to place with Gideon Davorin’s Traveling Carnival, she longs for an ordinary life where no one has the ability to levitate or predict the future.
She gets her chance when the struggling sideshow sets up camp in the small town of Caudry and she meets a gorgeous local guy named Gabe. But before long, Mara realizes there’s a dark presence lurking in the town that’s threatening the lives of her friends. She has seven days to take control of a power she didn’t know she had in order to save everyone she cares about—and change the future forever.
Mara has an interesting life that most of us can not even imagine. This book is set in the 1980s and Mara is part of a traveling carnival. The people she travels with are performers on the sideshow. Some people can move things with their mind or call fire or heal quickly or see the future. But not Mara, Mara is ordinary and just wants an ordinary life.
Mara’s mother is a necromancer who reads tarot cards as part of the sideshow. She wants a better life for Mara than a traveling caravan, but this is the only life she is able to give Mara.
As things get creepier and creepier in Caudry, the past that Mara doesn’t know may be more important than anyone could guess. I mean, screaming banshees aren’t normal nightmare, are they?
Mara, as a character, shows quite a bit of growth throughout the novel. She has always done her job as part of the sideshow staff and pretty much followed the rules she’s been given. She knows how the rest of the world regards the carnival workers – they’re freeks (and people can not even spell their insults correctly). Mara’s done what she has to do and pretty much left the townies alone… until Gabe. She can’t explain it, but she feels drawn to him.
Caudry is a bit of a creepy place and things aren’t always what they seem. With members of the sideshow disappearing and being attacked and threatened, the question is asked if Caudry is really the safest place to be. Well, the answer is no, but the sideshow doesn’t have the money to get anywhere else… they need this paycheck from Caudry.
Overall, I did enjoy the book. There are twists that you can spot easily and some you can’t. Not everything wraps up the way I expected.
If you enjoy circus-type novels with a paranormal flair, this might be the book for you.
I received this book for free from the publisher via NetGalley for
review consideration. This in no way affects my opinion of the title
nor the content of this review.