Sinister Sideshow Slayings

Carnivals have a unique quality about them where they can be both intriguing and frightening. Freeks by Amanda Hocking glimpses into a world that is a little “other” than the norm.

Mara has been traveling with Gideon Davorin’s Traveling Sideshow along with her mother for most of her life. Without any discernible special ability, such as the necromancy her mother has, Mara mostly helps out setting up acts, cleaning up afterward, and running whatever errands need to be done. When Gideon is tipped off to a more lucrative venture in Caudry, Louisiana, the group travels into the swampy land to display their talents for the small town. But everything is not as it seems in the small town and mysterious, violent attacks befall the members of the sideshow. In finding out what’s behind the attacks Mara embraces a power she didn’t know she was capable of.

While the narrative was entertaining and engaging with the characters and atmosphere it presented, I found that the suspense of what’s actually going on dragged out a bit too long with the same thing happening over and over again before any sort of resolution is presented or even built toward. The plot seemed stagnated, much like the waters of the swamp that serves as the setting for the story, and then the climax and resolution is rushed into the last few pages instead of more fully developed.

Overall, I’d give it a 3.5 out of 5 stars.


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