Hey all, Dani here.
Today I’m here to talk about a book I picked up at BookExpo this year. I was lucky enough to meet author Amanda Foody and get my ARC signed, and I’ll just say right now that she was so nice. I really loved how she wanted to collect the business cards of us book bloggers and vloggers and such. It’s nice to see a debut author actively engaging with the book community. So that made me really excited to read her book. Still, I should also say that receiving a signed ARC did not influence my rating or review.
A darkly irresistible new fantasy set in the infamous Gomorrah Festival, a traveling carnival of debauchery that caters to the strangest of dreams and desires.
Sixteen-year-old Sorina has spent most of her life within the smoldering borders of the Gomorrah Festival. Yet even among the many unusual members of the traveling circus-city, Sorina stands apart as the only illusion-worker born in hundreds of years. This rare talent allows her to create illusions that others can see, feel and touch, with personalities all their own. Her creations are her family, and together they make up the cast of the Festival’s Freak Show.
But no matter how lifelike they may seem, her illusions are still just that—illusions, and not truly real. Or so she always believed…until one of them is murdered.
Desperate to protect her family, Sorina must track down the culprit and determine how they killed a person who doesn’t actually exist. Her search for answers leads her to the self-proclaimed gossip-worker Luca, and their investigation sends them through a haze of political turmoil and forbidden romance, and into the most sinister corners of the Festival. But as the killer continues murdering Sorina’s illusions one by one, she must unravel the horrifying truth before all of her loved ones disappear.
Rating: 5 stars
You guys…I need the finished copy of this book right now. There are pages in the ARC where it mentions that there are illustrations to come, and those illustrations have notes on them from Sorina, but also notes from the killer…and I just really want to see what the final version looks like.
So basically, this book was absolutely fascinating. I enjoy reading circus books. I was hooked on Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, and I adored The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I still need to read Stephanie Garber’s Caraval but I’ll get to it hopefully sometime this year.
The descriptions of the sights and smells and sounds just always get me. Then there’s the foods and the various circus acts. It’s all just so magical. Learning about Gomorrah and Sorina and the family she made for herself was just such an interesting experience for me. I can definitely put this on my list of favorite atmospheric reads, much like I do with The Night Circus.
Also, can I say that I was totally invested in this story from the beginning? Seriously, I was as upset as Sorina and her illusions when the first illusion murder happened…and that was like in chapter two. I love when a story grabs hold of my emotions that early in. It makes me want to read more and to read faster, so that was excellent. I wanted, no, I needed to know who was targeting Sorina’s illusions, and why.
Normally I’m not the biggest fan of mystery/thriller type stories, at least not in written form. I’ll watch plenty of police procedural shows, though. So I’m glad that I’m finding stories that make me change my mind on that. Basically, I’m saying that this is definitely a book I would recommend, and I am definitely looking forward to reading Amanda Foody’s next book.
Now, I will say that my ARC had some printing flaws in it where it seemed as if the printer was running low on ink. I had numerous pages where two or three words were missing from each line all the way down the page. Thankfully I was mostly able to work out what words filled in those blank spots. This is something that was a bit annoying for my reading process, but it did not affect my rating.