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. Bestselling author Amanda Hocking draws readers inside the dark and mysterious world of Freeks.
Freeks is set in the 80’s and there’s a little Stranger Things / AHS Freak Show vibe to it which really helped establish the setting. I love the overall vibe of the novel. The supernatural abilities of the characters were also interesting. The story started a little slow and it picks up towards the middle. This was where I started to get hooked.
The plot wasn’t really that unique but it was unpredictable which was cool. The characters fell a little flat and there wasn’t really a development. Still, it was pretty awesome to see a diverse cast within the group.
Mara’s character was easy to relate to, but then again the characters weren’t that complex. Mara feels a little out of place in the group since she doesn’t really have a power. Not one known to her, at the beginning. Her mom, on the other hand, is a necromancer. She can talk to the dead and use tarot cards for it. It’s been a long while since I read a book with tarot cards and it’s really awesome to see it again. I also loved the tarot card illustrations in the book.
Another thing I had issue with was the romance. Yes, it was sweet, but it really felt too rushed. There’s chemistry between Mara and Gabe and they weren’t really playing around or chasing each other by being hard to get. They’re pretty straightforward with their feelings but I think it’s just so fast paced. The events in the book happened only for a week and a couple of days. So yeah, you get the idea.
Overall, the book was very enjoyable to read amidst some issues I had. I definitely a cool book to start the year with! I’m a little sad that this is a standalone because I would have loved to look forward for more!
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.