Monday, February 6, 2017

Book Review: Freeks by Amanda Hocking

Release Date: January 3rd, 2017
Read: December 26th-27th, 2016
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Series: Standalone
Format: Hardcover, 400 pages
Source: McNally Robinson/ Two Thumbs Up Program

Description from GoodReads:

   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 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.


   God is good, but the devil is not so bad to those he likes.
   I've been a huge fan of Amanda Hocking since I picked up Switched, back in 2012. I've read her Trylle series, her Watersong Series, and I've even picked up her Kanin series, although I haven't read them yet. So when Freeks was announced, I obviously had to get my hands on the book. McNally Robinson's Two Thumbs Up program came to the rescue, just like usual.
   Freeks ended up being something different than what I was expecting, but never the less it was still something I found myself really enjoying. Where I expected a story almost completely based on Carnival life, I found myself more focused on the people with exceptional abilities and the surrounding town where the Carnival sets up. It was really intriguing to see all these different abilities that the people had, along with being able to learn about the different mysteries that the town had in store.
   It took me roughly half the book to realize that the book took place in 1987. Most of the time, you find that newly released books either take place in the present or in an obvious time where things are almost completely different like in the Wild West, or in the future with really new technology, etc. With Freeks, having it take place in 1987 you still get that feeling that you're in the present but with a lot of little things that are different. You'd think that the tarot card headers with the date on the front would be an indicator, or even the way the characters dressed would have tipped me off, but apparently not. Even though I was completely clueless for half the book, I was really intrigued with the setting for the other half of the book. Once you paid attention to it, you began to notice a lot of minor world details that Hocking put into the book. It was definitely a time period I'd like to find more YA books set in.
   Although the book is a standalone, I felt like the book could have also been a series. With the way things ended, I feel like the characters still had a large mystical world to discover. If Amanda Hocking decides that she wants to continue the series, you'll find my name #1 on the list to read the next one.
   Filled with magic, creatures, and tattoos, Freeks was just what I needed to settle my paranormal book love. I can't wait to see what Amanda Hocking has in store for us next. 


Favourite Quote:

"I've been alive for thirty-seven years, and I have seen all kinds of things that defy the laws of nature. But I've never seen a monster. Only those that are misunderstood and mistreated." 

Recommend to People Who Enjoy:

Young Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy, Circus', Carnivals, Magic, Werewolves, Monsters

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