by Seanan McGuire
I received a free copy of this book to review
At a Glance
adult dark fantasy, weird west, horror,
Set in the haunted frontier, Annie Pearl is the keeper of the oddities and freaks in the Blackstone Family Circus and Travelling Wonder Show. As the circus travels to Oregon for one last show before winter sets in, will Annie be able to keep the monsters at bay, or will her past finally catch up with her?
- The premise is fantastic
- I like the folklore tie-ins
- The author was good at raising the stakes
- I really enjoyed the characters
- The book made me want to try the RPG (the books are based on a role-playing-game)
- Having lived in Utah, I liked how the state was different in this weird west version
- The resolution of the book was way way too short. It felt like it just ends
- a few “get out of jail” moments seemed a bit too convenient
Would I recommend this title:
Yes, if someone was into creepy books and looking for an original premise.
Holy Awesome Premise, Batman! I loved the idea of a traveling circus in an alternate 1860s American West. Having lived in Utah for a number of years, I liked the complete twist on that state. The book made me want to play the tabletop game.
I loved the characters. They felt real and fleshed out. McGuire was great at raising the stakes on the characters too. Overall, the book was well written and a definite page turner.
For me, a really great premise can carry a book and make the downsides seem like small speed bumps. That’s how I felt in this book. I have a few issues with things here and there, but the concept is so great that I am able to look over them and still really enjoy the book. With that said, these are my few grievances.
I did feel like the characters got out of a few situations too easily. I also felt like the wrap up of the end was entirely too short. I wish there would have been at least one more chapter of resolution to tie up a few ends.
Again, I really did enjoy this and I would recommend this to anyone looking for some good storytelling.