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.
I love Amanda Hocking’s books. I loved her books in the Trylle world and the Watersong novels. Unfortunately, I couldn’t love this book. Before I get into all the problems I had with it, let’s talk about the characters.
Mara (Mary Sue): Mara is your typical young adult novel main character. She’s kind, she cares about others, she’s the one to save the day in the end, and she has a tragic past that is haunting her. She comes from a family of necromancers (people who speak to the dead) and if she gives into her powers she’ll go crazy just like her family before her.
Honestly, she wasn’t as annoying as other characters, but I was bothered so much by her relationship with Gabe. I’m not a fan of insta-romances because they are SO unrealistic. When they were saying “I love you” after only knowing each other for a few days, I was ready to scream. That is not fucking romantic. That is fucking creepy!
Not to mention, how dumb is Mara to not notice she’s coming into her powers when she is literally hearing voices and having dreams with a dead woman speaking to her?
Gabe (cliche love interest) Alvarado: Let me start off by saying I am sick of writers creating their love interests to be perfect specimens and Greek gods. PEOPLE DO NOT LOOK LIKE THAT! STOP DOING IT!
Moving on, Gabe didn’t feel much like a real person, just a cardboard cut out of what girls wished their boyfriends were like. He was so into Mara after only knowing her for two seconds and was so interesting in being with her all the time even after he found out that she was only going to be in town for a week.
Not to mention, he’s a werewolf. And Amanda Hocking barely puts any effort into trying to develop these werewolves. They are almost carbon copies of the werewolves from Twilight. They can transform at any time, they have super senses, and they are always warm.
There were a few other characters (Lyanka, Gideon, Roxie, Hutch, Seth, Luka) all of them with special abilities as well, but all with no brain cells. Even after they learn that there is a monster crawling around at night trying to kill them, they still walk about as if they won’t get hurt.
Apparently, the monster was some sort of demon that feeds off of the abilities from those with powers and then eats them. So my question is, why the hell did it take so long to try and kill everyone? It killed Blossom (a telekinetic) on the first night with no problem whatsoever. No one even heard her getting attacked. So how did it not kill anyone else the entire time? Even with everyone being so stupid?
These people would leave their trailers for the dumbest of reasons. Roxie didn’t want to sleep on the couch in Hutch’s trailer so she walked out at around three in the morning. Boom. Her and Hutch get attacked. Next night, Hutch was in the bathroom and Luka had to pee so he goes outside. Boom. He gets attacked.
This is not rocket science people.
The thing would make such loud noise when attacking that it woke up the entire camp and Gideon would come out with his shotgun and shoot the thing and it would run away but doesn’t mind getting shot with a silver bullet a few nights later.
Another complaint I have is the final fight. It was over almost as quickly as it started. Which leaves me with two questions, if the demon was able to attack and kill people as easily as it did then, then why didn’t it kill everyone the first night? Second, if the demon just needed to be hit with the special crossbow in Mara’s family trunk, then why didn’t her mother get it out a few nights ago when the thing started attacking in the first place?
Then there’s the whole thing about how Gabe’s family is werewolves and they made a deal with the demon to where if it left them alone, they would give it special people to feed off of every year. Which makes no sense because then it’s thrown in your face that the only reason the demon took the deal was that werewolves are harder for it to kill.
I also didn’t like how Hocking made it seem like the only way a special person could find someone to love them is if the other person is special as well. Yeah, because all normal people are assholes and couldn’t possibly be open-minded enough to love someone just because they have special abilities.
Also also, this book was set in the 1980’s. There was no reason to have this book set in the 80’s. Was it to have people prejudice against people with special abilities? That still exists today. Was it to make the traveling circus not feel so out of place? We still have those today, too. It felt like it was only set in the 80’s because… I don’t know exactly.
I just… I’m not even going to try and figure out this book anymore. There was so much added in just for length and it felt so out of place. I’m going to give it a solid three stars because it was good and entertaining until the end and I’m going to leave it at that. Please only read this book if you like cookie-cutter YA novels.
One last thing, I don’t know what Mara is talking about. Books are always better than boys.