It’s the 1980’s and all Mara wants is a normal life. There’s little chance of that, as she’s part of Gideon Davorin’s Traveling Sideshow. Along with carnival games and tigers, necromancy, magical visions and pyrokinesis are just part of daily life for Mara. Her mother speaks to spirits. Her good friend shoots fireballs out of her hands. Another can heal from seemingly anything. When a former member of the troupe invites them all to come to the small town of Caudry, Louisiana, they are skeptical and more than a bit desperate. The struggling sideshow needs the money, and they’ve been promised a great deal of it. Almost immediately after arriving, members of the sideshow begin to disappear or be attacked in the middle of the night. Meanwhile, Mara is falling in love with a local boy in town and starting to wonder if he could know more about the sinister presence stalking the sideshow.
Freeks is the type of book where just when you think you’ve figured out the storyline, it changes on you. This makes for a fast-paced story and very interesting reading. Mara is a tough young woman looking to strike out on her own, but also make sure her mother is well protected. Amanda Hocking does a great job of making Mara likeable, as well as drawing you into the personal drama of the members of the sideshow. When someone is hurt, you actually begin to worry about the characters.
Freeks is a dark book with a few moments of intense violence, so I would not recommend it to younger readers. Older teens and adults who love the supernatural and a good mystery, not to mention sideshows, will love this book.
Freeks by Amanda Hocking is available now from St. Martin’s Press.