Monday, December 8, 2014

The Circus of the Damned by Cornelia Grey


The Circus of the Damned by Cornelia Grey

Review by Lauren

copy from Netgalley: all opinions are my own


Official SummaryMagician Gilbert Blake has spent his entire life conning drunkards in the seediest pubs in the darkest towns, careful to hide the true depths of his power. But when he spends a little too much time in Shadowsea and the infamous slumlord Count Reuben gets wind of his abilities, hiding within the Circus of the Damned may be Gilbert’s only chance at survival.
But there’s more to the Circus than meets the eye. Every time a performer dies, a new one must take his place, or the entire circus suffers the consequences. And while the handsome ringmaster Jesse isn’t one to coerce unwilling performers into giving up their souls to the devil, a recent death in their ranks makes Gilbert exactly what they need.
Yet the longer Gilbert stays with the Circus, the more danger he seems to bring them. Being with Jesse is more than Gilbert could have hoped for, but as Count Reuben’s men continue to search for Gilbert and the Circus loses another performer, they all face running out of time long before the Devil claims his due.
Review: This book was fantastic! I've been trying to read more genres other than contemporary, and The Circus of the Damned was one fantasy book that really worked for me. Gilbert is a magician, and he uses his skills to win card games and lots of money. He does his best to make sure that people don't suspect he is really a magician though, one with actual powers. One night he goes too far though, and Count Reuben is soon after him, leading Gilbert right into the path of the Circus. The ringmaster, Jesse, is honest with Gilbert about joining the Circus, but a drunk Gilbert is ready to do anything to get away from the rough gang after him. So he joins...and now he's stuck for life like the other members, an eclectic cast of characters that really helped make the book.

As the book goes on, Gilbert does develop a relationship with Jesse and there are a few graphic, sexual scenes. However, this is not the main focus of the book, so even if that aspect leaves you a bit wary, I would still recommend trying this out. Jesse has a dark, burdened past and it's difficult not to feel sorry for him. He is more than what he seems, but he is still on the good side of this deal with the Devil. Gilbert isn't so sure about Jesse or the Circus at first, but he eventually begins to feel at home with these people who are not afraid to self-identify as "freak", a word that Gilbert has run from his whole life.

There is only one scene where the Circus gives a performance and you learn just what everyone does, and it was so wonderfully written. It's something I wish I could see with my own eyes, though the book provides enough details to let your imagination run wild. I was particularly surprised by what Gilbert comes up with. It was spooky and yet fantastic, all at the same time.

Overall, I really loved this book. It was a fast read, but also something I didn't want to end. I would definitely root for a sequel.  

15 comments:

Melliane said...

Oh I love circus books and the mix here sounds wonderfully done. I didn't know about the book but I'm glad you had so much fun with it. Great review!

Claudine G. said...

I enjoy stories with a circus premise though I've never been to one. This sounds like one I might want to try. Thanks for recommending!

Kindlemom said...

For some reason that I can't even name, I love this cover! Maybe it is the dark and mysterious man on the front? I don't know but it just appeals to me as does the premises!
Wonderful review!

Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings said...

I like the sound of the circus theme, but I am no sure abou the graphic sex scenes, those put me off.

cleemckenzie said...

A unique idea. In my mind, circuses are always places where evil things happen behind the glitter and the glam.

Christy @ Love of Books said...

Heck yeah! I was smitten as son as I saw the cover and title. And then your review ... I'm for sure reading this book.

Medeia Sharif said...

I haven't seen this before. Thank you for your review. I'll add it to my wish list.

Tracy Terry said...

Loving the title, it certainly captures the imagination. I'm so glad that you enjoyed this one so much, I'll be sure to make a note of it for future reference.

Diva Booknerd said...

I absolutely love carnival based books, even simply fantasy seem pretty creepy. I love the diversity, that the two main protagonists aren't your typical heterosexual couple, it makes for a much more interesting read. Thanks for sharing Lauren, definitely checking this one out. Brilliant review <3

Brandi Kosiner said...

The circus scenes sounds interesting

Cascia Talbert said...

Sounds like an interesting book. I sure wish I had more time to read.

Liviania said...

This sounds good! I mentioned just today that I like circus books.

Candace said...

I LOVE circus books! This sounds particularly good though. On my list it goes!

Kate Midnight Book Girl said...

Well, The Night Circus is my all time favorite book (which I think I make clear in my profile pic, lol), and this cover and review are speaking to me- pretty much telling me to buy and read this one!

wordyhughes said...

Ohhhh! This sounds like a really fun read! The cover art grabs me as well! Glad you enjoyed it so much! Will add to my to-read list!

Lauren @ Wordy Hughes