Tuesday, July 17, 2012

4.5 STARS | Circus Summer by Kailin Gow

Title: Circus Summer
Series: Circus of Curiosities #1
Author: Kailin Gow
Age Group: Young Adult
Genres: Science Fiction, Dystopian, Fantasy
Elements: Aliens, Psychic Abilities
Publisher: theEDGEbooks.com
Format: ARC
ISBN-13: 978-1597480352
Published: July 2nd, 2012
Source: Kailin Gow
Events: Book Tour
Rating: 4.5/5 STARS
Purchase: Kindle | Paperback | B&N

In post-apocalypse America, every season, the Circus of Curiosities visits the city, bringing with it the most fantastic circus acts that are beautiful, majestic, curious, and death-defying. Every season performers for these acts are chosen from the young men and women in each town, trained, and sent to perform in a live grand performance, performed literally to the death. Two performers from Sea Cliff, a beach town at the outskirts of The Center find themselves chosen to be in this Summer's Circus Act. Both must win at any cost, but could they ignore their feelings for each other? Leela Sinclair needs to win in order to get to The Center where she can get medical help from the best physicians for her ailing mother, plague with a condition no one have heard of. For Zachary Nile, his reasons for becoming a performer at the Circus is more mysterious. Only the ringmaster and the Circus of Curiosities owner Dex Hightower (Dr. Dex) knows what the touring Circus is really about amidst the magic and splendor. Despite the Great War and the poverty surrounding the land except for the towns fortunate enough to be near the Center, Dr. Dex and the Circus performers all know, "The show must go on."
Leela Sinclair desperately wants to leave her small beach-side town for a better life in The Center and medical help for her ailing mother. When the Circus of Curiosities comes to town Leela, though hesitant at first, sees her chance to make it to The Center. Leela signs up as a volunteer performer, but when training begins she starts seeing signs that the Circus may be more dangerous than it appears to be. With help from fellow performer, Zachary, the boy she's been crushing on for years, they make it through each performance even as the others suffer life-changing injuries and horrible deaths. Leela knows that she'll eventually have to go up against Zachary and as the final curtain rises on the Circus of Curiosities, it's not only Leela's life at stake but her heart as well. But as all performers know, the show must go on.

The prologue to Circus Summer gives us a brief glimpse into the Circus of Curiosities and what to expect. It's not your average circus with clowns, acrobats, and animal tamers (though they are there to save face). There is something more sinister about this circus. The performers are dying and the spectators keep coming back for more, as if unfazed by these horrible acts. What could these young men and women want bad enough for the slim chance of making it to the grand performance in The Center? Exactly who is Dr. Dex? And what is the true purpose of his circus? We learn that and more as the story progresses. But let me tell you, it's not what you expect.

The alternating POVs of Leela and Zach add depth to the story. I always enjoy reading stories from multiple perspectives. This gives insight into other characters and the choices that they make that we might not receive otherwise. Most of Circus Summer is told from Leela's POV and every once in a while we'll see from Zach's POV. Zach's perspective shows us a different world that Leela doesn't know about and secrets are revealed. Though I liked reading from Leela's perspective, I would have liked to see more from Zach's.

I like stories that make me literally feel something, kind of like a song that you can feel in your very being, and what I felt from Circus Summer was intensity, desperation, and fear. But in Leela and Zach I could feel a hope, a white light that shines through, and possibilities of a better future.

I found Circus Summer to be a very interesting and intriguing tale. I can't wait to read the sequel, Circus Autumn, to learn more about the war, the Invaders, the Circus, and the future of this series world and inhabitants.

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Kailin Gow is the author of over 100 books, with the majority of them for young adults. Her most popular series are: The Frost Series, PULSE Series, Desire Series, Wicked Woods, Steampunk Scarlett Novels, and more. A full-time author, she is also a producer, having worked in radio, television, and film. She grew up in Southern California, lived in Texas and England, and had traveled extensively around the world.

Disclaimer: This review was originally posted in 2012 to my book blogs, Zodiac Book Reviews and A Bibliophiles Thoughts on Books.


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