Expected publication: January 3, 2017 by St. Martin's Griffin
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
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 bodies 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.
Bestselling author Amanda Hocking draws readers inside the dark and mysterious world of Freeks.
~It's the late '80s and the Gideon Davorin's Travelling Sideshow is devastatingly broke. Although, this may be a tad similar to the atypical circus sideshow with our resident sword swallower, caged animals, the milk-bottle toss game, and so on, Mara, who cleans animal cages because she's so talented, lives with her fortune-teller mother who suffers from routine headaches.
Soon, people start to go missing and the members of the sideshow (aka: the freeks), most of whom already have supernatural abilities to enhance their performances, and are looking to collect their checks and peace out before they're next on this shadowy murderer's kill list.
The romance was too intimate, too soon. Literally, seconds after their first interaction, Mara was already trading tongues with Gabe, who is another boring local-turned-supernatural. Ge yourself some morals, girl. Also, since this is a wicked combination of '80s-based awesomeness and dystopian wackiness, I would think the idea of actual modernization would be so included. We have many mentions of Nintendo and Pink Floyd and Joan Jett.
I adoooore the friendship between Roxie and Mara. They work so well together. Although, they technically don't work together. I love nothing more than conversations that flow, and bring the feeling of familiarity.
AND I would think it's extremely strenuous to work behind-the-scenes of a road show. Surely. Water for Elephants knocks this aspect out of the park. It doesn't glamourize it in any way. There's a moment where they're cleaning animal cages, sweeping all the disgustingness, and it's described so casually. Come on, y'all.
Everything leading up to the finale's plot-twist was so weird and unnecessary and disappointing. Mara's mother is a psychic. Could she not predict any of that? Even with all her headaches. Jeez. Plus, it always boggles me when parents are so lax about their kids' brand-new relationship. Get real, fam. At least, Gabe's gives us a mild sense of realism.
As soon as the words left his mouth, a howl echoed outside. I'd heard dogs outside before, but this was different. It sounded more like a force of nature, like a crack of thunder.
"Oh shit," Gabe groaned. "My mom is here."
Amanda Hocking is the USA Today bestselling author of the Trylle trilogy and six additional self-published novels. After selling over a million copies of her books, primarily in eBook format, she is widely considered the exemplar of self-publishing success in the digital age.