Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Immortal Circus Book Review

The Immortal Circus by A. R. Kahler

Click here for the Amazon product page.

Blurb: Murdered contortionists aren't exactly what Vivienne signed up for when she ran away to join the circus. But like most things under the big top, nothing is what it seems. With a past she can't quite remember, Vivienne finds that running away forever might not be as appealing as it once sounded - because forever means something quite different at the Cirque des Immortels.

Aided by her friends Kingston - a feisty stage magician whose magic is quickly stealing her heart - and his sarcastic assistant Melody, Vivienne finds herself racing against the clock to discover the culprit behind a series of deaths that should be impossible. However, the answer she seeks might reveal more about her own bloody past - and future - than she bargains for.

The show's just beginning.

Step right up...

The Immortal Circus is the first book in the Cirque des Immortels trilogy.

Review by Brittany:

Circus stories are interesting to me. I love the idea of magic and tricks and believing in what feels unbelievable. This book interested me because of the magical circus idea that I already love so much. This started out as a Kindle serial (released in parts) and was sold all together once the full story was released.

Vivienne is the main character of the story, which is told from her point of view, and she is ordinary living in a world of extraordinaries. Nothing with this circus is as it seems, and Vivienne learns that continually throughout the story.

The books opens up with the gruesome murder of a contortionist, but the show must go on, even as more murders are committed. The story became one about fey (not a spoiler as this is revealed early on) and two kingdoms are at war. Out of all supernatural characters, the fey tend to be the ones that I like the least, so that didn't appeal to me the way it might appeal to another reader.

One character that did really interest me was Lilith, a little girl who is essentially the right-hand man to the circus ringleader/Queen of the Winter Court, Mab. Throughout the book she is a mystery. Why is she still a little girl when others have been permitted to grow up? Why does she seem to have limited intelligence - or limited ability to verbalize her thoughts - when other characters don't? What is her relationship with the cat, Poe? By the end, some of the answers are provided, but there are still some mysteries circling Lilith.

Vivienne's struggle with her memory and her past adds some needed character depth. While other characters are mostly surface, Vivienne gets some depth in the story. She cannot remember much from before she joined the circus, and even as events are happening she is forgetting them. It is clear something is going on with her memories, but what?

There were some scenes in the book that were a bit gruesome, particularly the murder scenes that are described. There was one scene that was erotic without being graphic, but it was sexual in nature and is something to be aware of.

The ending of the book was well done and had enough of a cliffhanger to leave me intrigued, but not so much that I feel like I have to read the next installment to feel complete. This book could definitely be a standalone if you don't want to invest in a series, but it's also a great first piece to what I'm sure will be an excellent trilogy.

Notable Quotes:

"Which means, my dear servant, that I can no longer protect you from the hands of time."

It's amazing how fast things can fall to shit.

"Human skin is so...suffocating."

Keeping track of all these secrets is going to be impossible.

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