Rating: 2.5 Stars ★★★☆☆
“Who the hell did this?” Kingston whispers, staring at the corpse.
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—especially not when she realizes the devilishly attractive ringleader, Mab, is the Faerie Queen of legend—and that she and the rest of the troupe are locked in an age-old rivalry between the otherworldly Courts.
Aided by her friends Kingston—a feisty stage magician whose magic is quickly stealing her heart—and his smart-ass 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 bargained for.
Vivienne doesn’t remember much about who she was before she joined Mab’s circus. It’s all a bit hazy and to be honest, she doesn’t care too much to remember. All she knows is that it was bad and that she was running away.
Now she’s a part of the circus. It’s not an ordinary circus. There’s handsome Kingston, with a tattoo that moves its position, able to do real magic. There are shifters, able to change their appearance and there’s Mab.
A strobe goes off, and Mab is there, revealed in a whirl of fog like Venus emerging from the sea. Only this Venus glitters with a thousand tiny Swarovski crystals and sports a top hat. And a whip.
She’s the one and only Queen of the Winter Court, head of the circus, peddler of dreams. Compared to all of them, Vivienne is utterly ordinary. But when her fellow circus members get murdered, she is determined to protect those she cares about.
It was an interesting story, with great ideas. I liked the circus, the abilities of the characters. The story had some weaknesses, however. One of them was that there were some inconsistencies with the plot, the story jumped around a lot and some things got dissolved a bit too conveniently.
It felt rushed at times, like it needed a bit more time to develop. There was also a bit too much love at first sight and gushing over Kingston for my taste. Sure, he’s a good-looking magician, but can we stop repeating that and get on with the story?
I pause as Kingston walks over. He’s got his cape in one hand, magi wand in the other. He’s in sequined trousers and shiny shoes… and nothing else. My eyes catch on the single drip of swea slowly edging down his chest toward his aggravatingly perfect abs. The head of his feathered-serpent tattoo is angled down one pec. The rest of its body curls over his shoulder and behind his back, its tail twisting over one hip and disappearing into his trousers.
But the ideas are really good and it is a quick-paced read. I’ll probably check out the next in the series, as this one shows a lot of promise.
An interesting story with some flaws, but overall really enjoyable.