by Amanda Hocking
Thank you to Netgalley and the Publisher for the chance to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Publish Date: 3rd January 2017
Author: Amanda Hocking
Publisher: St Martin’s Press
Genre: Young/New Adult, Paranormal Fantasy, Romance
Rating: 4 Voodoos
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 bodes 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.
I saw the words ‘Traveling Sideshow’, ‘Necromancy’ and ‘Magical’ and instantly requested this book because who doesn’t want to read about paranormal beings who run a traveling sideshow!
Freeks follows Mara as she, and her community of misfits, arrive in the small town of Caudry, ready to perform for a hefty pay-cheque. But Caudry isn’t the quiet little town it pretends to be. Soon, members of their crew start to disappear or turn up mauled by unseen monsters. They can’t just leave because they need the money, but can they really stay and risk everything?
Amanda Hocking does a great job at creating a wonderful atmosphere. I loved the circus vibe, with its bright lights, laughter and fun, and how it contrasted with the dark and mysterious evil that seemed to be preying on the sideshow performers. Hocking, pulls the characters together, creating a close knit group of paranormal beings that felt more like a family than a freak show. I felt their love for each other and that made it easy to understand their fear when they realised they were being hunted. Mara was a really great main character. I loved her spunk and confidence but I hated that she felt she had to hide who she was. I suppose it makes sense, considering how people treated them but I still wanted her to be proud of who she was.
Mara falls for Gabe, a townie and straight away you know he’s different. Mara and Gabe both keep huge secrets from each other and yet somehow, still fall in love. I think the romance was probably the only thing that let this story down for me. They seemed to fall in love so quickly considering they didn’t really know each other.
For me the strength in this book was the circus community and the 80′s setting which was really, only created, through the dropping in of band names, songs and random clothing and technological choices. I don’t know whether Hocking will ever return to this world, but I kinda hope she does. It would be interesting to see where they go next and what they will encounter.