Publisher: Amazon Digital Services, Inc
Format: Kindle edition
Reviewed by: Onnica
Final Score: 8/10
Plot: Vivienne Warfield decides that the only way to escape from a past she barely remembers is to run away and quite literally, join a travelling circus. Amongst the eclectic band of misfits, Viv makes two friends: magician (and the object of Viv’s affections) Kingston and his wise-ass assistant
Melody. She’s keen to settle in and become part of the troupe, led by the enigmatic ‘Queen’ Mab, until one morning she wakes to find the lead contortionist deceased and arranged in an eerie pose. Murder most foul. It soon becomes apparent that all is not well under the Big Top and there’s more to the circus than meets the eye. As Viv struggles to regain her lost memories and find out who is behind the murders, she is soon left wondering whether she could be the next victim…
Review: First of all, let me preface this by saying that I’ve been reading some very samey samey stuff lately, so when I came across this series I was intrigued. A male writer offering a completely different environment to set a story, where romance, intrigue and fantasy can flourish – what’s not to like? Viv is a character that has a lot of the traits we all want in a good heroine – she’s brave, she doesn’t know what she’s getting herself into exactly but she forms bonds quickly and is eager to protect those she loves. We’re given little glimpses into what she’s running from but it’s all hazy – this was the hook that kept me reading and seeking answers. I give Act One an impressive 8/10.
Based on the following criteria:
How much did I like the heroine? 9 – she is great – she doesn’t go in for drama or angst, she gets on with the business of finding out who’s responsible for threatening the troupe and looking after her friends. I think she’ll really come into her own once she knows who she is and what she can do. The way she feels about Kingston is super sweet and poignant – but will she get her man?
How much did I like the love interest? 7 – Kingston is great but we don’t find out all that much about him in book one. There are a lot of secrets about him which are bound to come out. Secrets that may involve Viv. He’s a very interesting character and one of the longer serving members in the troupe – just exactly how old is he?
How believable is the plot?: The story is set in a circus run by the fae so you decide, but I will say that I was hooked regardless, which is a good measure of supernatural/paranormal stories.
How much did I like the writing style/editing/etc: 9 – A. R. Kahler writes really well and it’s clear from the outset that he’s familiar with the circus environment – its sounds and smells. He’s humorous and the writing matches the elegance of the story.
How much did I want to keep reading? 9 – I finished the book quickly, my curiosity well and truly stirred – I wasn’t sure what to make of it when I started, but by the middle I was hooked. Can’t wait to dive into Act Two and see what Mab has in store for the Cirque des Immortels.
Final score: 8/10 – and you have to love that cover.