Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Book Review of The Immortal Circus by A.R. Kahler

Goodreads Summary: 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.

The show's just beginning. Step right up...
Goodreads Rating: 3.72 stars with over 4,200 ratings
Genre Listing: Fantasy, Paranormal, Fiction, Mystery
Get the book: AmazonBook Depository

Book Review:

The Immortal Circus by A.R. Kahler quite possibly might be the weirdest book I've ever read. I'm honestly at a loss for what I just read. It wasn't bad, and truthfully I enjoyed it, but it was weird. I think to give my thoughts on this book; I'm going to have to break down the book a little more than I usually do. 

The story follows Vivienne, who's been with the Immortal Circus for about a month. She has only vague memories of her life and why she came to the circus. She knows she's running from something, but isn't sure what that something is. At first, this created a lot of intrigue for me. After a while, however, it felt more like her lack of past was out of laziness on the author's part. Eventually, some of her life secrets are revealed, but it left me with more questions than answers.

From the get-go, it's incredibly obvious that Vivienne is going to spend 97% of the book swooning over Kingston. This was incredibly annoying as it seemed like half of every page was about how much she wanted Kingston. I think it would have been okay if from the start he was an interesting character, but he didn't get interesting until after half way through the book. Before that, her affection was all because of how hot she thought he was. Gag.

I almost stopped reading this when it got to the part about the after show. Apparently, the after show is a weird shifter orgy. No thanks. Luckily, this was the only orgy scene, and Vivienne isn't feeling it either and leaves early. Had it kept with that theme I probably would have stopped reading it.

On the same lines of Vivienne not being able to remember her past, there is so much secrecy due to contractual obligations that the characters have signed with Mab. This got so incredibly frustrating for me. It was basically like "Here's this thing that would make this whole story make sense, but I can't actually tell you because of contractual obligations." Some of them get revealed, but not all of them. Between Vivienne's hidden past and the contractual obligations, I feel like this story would have been so much better without all of the secrecy. At some point for me, it just stopped creating a mystery and seemed more and more like author laziness.

There is a character named Lillith in the book who ends up being a fairly big part of the story. The thing I don't get is half the time she speaks very broken sentences and half of the time she speaks perfectly normal. It's addressed that she does it in the story, but why she does it isn't explained. I can't tell if it's an act to keep her cover or if it has something to do with the way Mab contained Lillith's powers. Maybe both?

I kind of felt like because of the secrecy around Vivienne's life and all of the contractual obligations Melody, Kingston, and Penelope's stories were explained a lot better than Viviene's was. We actually got a glimpse of why they were there, and how long they have to be in Mab's service.  Speaking of Mab, she was supposed to be this nightmare of a woman and scary, but I felt like her character was a little flat and uninteresting.

Overall, this book was okay. It was interesting to read, and a very unique storyline. However, I felt like it could have been a lot better. I felt like there were a lot of gaping plot holes that could have been easily fixed, while still creating the desired mystery. I will say, what saved this book for me was the final 5-10 pages. That's when there are finally some answers. The last few pages are what makes me want to read the second book in the series. Maybe things will get better explained in that one. Because of this, I feel like I'm being extremely generous when I give it 3 moons.

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