Mara has become used to the extraordinary. Roaming from place to place with Gideon Davorin’s Traveling Carnival, she longs for an ordinary life where no one has the ability to levitate or predict the future. She gets her chance when the struggling sideshow sets up camp in the small town of Caudry, and she meets a gorgeous local guy named Gabe. But before long, Mara realizes there’s a dark presence lurking in the town that’s threatening the lives of her friends. She has seven days to take control of a power she didn’t know she had in order to save everyone she cares about―and change the future forever. In the pages of Freeks, Amanda Hocking once again proves her ability to create amazing characters and enchanting worlds that will capture your imagination and never let go.
A nostalgic setting, plus a little bit of horror and mystery makes FREEKS a win
The gorgeous cover pulled me in at a glance. The premise sold me on the story and the 80s setting made me a Hocking fan. There was a lot to love about Freeks and there were some misses as well. The 80s setting was extremely well done. Sometimes it’s easy to forget when you’re reading a book that takes place in the not too distant past, but Hocking gives the reader an occasional gentle reminder that keeps you firmly in the 80s without overdoing it.
Mara is truly a strong, independent girl with a softer side. A very refreshing take on a YA protagonist, so I applaud Hocking for her expertise in creating such a believable character. The entire cast of Freeks was a solid win for me. I loved every single Freek—even some of the non-freeks too.
The pacing of the novel left me frustrated at times as the story seemed to drag on with no answers to my burning questions. The reader is expected to wait until the bitter end to discover anything of what’s happening in Caudry or with the main characters … or anything at all. I prefer a story that delivers answers along the way, driving you to read just one more chapter, one more page until you discover an answer that only makes you ask ten more. Alas, Freeks makes you work for it, but it is all worth it in the end.
As a standalone, I’m not sure the story was fully resolved, as the open ending could segue into a sequel if the author chose to pursue Mara’s story. The world of Freeks is certainly compelling enough to warrant a sequel, and I for one, would enjoy revisiting Mara and Gabe to see where their rag-tag carnie family might end up next.
"Freeks" is a captivating paranormal mystery. Mara has lived all her life with a circus, traveling from one place to another. This circus contains not just performers, but individuals with special abilities. For instance, her mother is a fortune teller who is able to do so through her gifts as a necromancer (she speaks with the dead who sometimes know the future). Mara is not always proud of her life (townies never let them forget that they are different- e.g. the spray painted "FREEKS" their first day open in town) and wishes she had a normal home, but the people there are her family.
Things become strange when they arrive in Caudley, a small town excited for the rides, games, and interesting shows and people they bring. However, strange things start happening- performers are mauled and everyone's powers are going wonky. This is a mystery that doesn't get solved until the end of the book. I had a guess, but I was only half right.
What a journey! The events happen quickly and with enough going on that it's easy to lose an afternoon reading this fascinating book. I was not sure about star rating, as there are some things I liked less about the book, but because I just could not pull myself away from this book, I'm giving it 5 stars. I was not disappointed in the least.
Mara and Gabe (a townie) have a really fast romance. They get together and start making out in the first few pages. At first, I figured it was just a fling, but then it starts to become something more. I assume Mara must move so fast because she never stays in a place for very long, and Caudley is no different- they are only supposed to be there for about a week. However, Gabe really grew on me and I ended up loving them as a couple by the end. His secret wasn't so great- I figured it out quickly- but it was overshadowed by the bigger secret around the town, so it wasn't a let down (and I didn't figure that out entirely). I really enjoyed it- it's interesting and quite a quick read!
Please note that I received this book from the publisher through netgalley in exchange for my honest review.