Published by St. Martin's Griffin on January 3rd 2017
Genres: Carnival & Circus, Fantasy, Mystery, Paranormal, Suspense/Thriller, Young Adult
Format: eBook, Hardcover
Amazon | B&N
Welcome to Gideon Davorin’s Traveling Sideshow, where necromancy, magical visions, and pyrokinesis are more than just part of the act…
Mara has always longed for a normal life in a normal town where no one has the ability to levitate or predict the future. Instead, she roams from place to place, cleaning the tiger cage while her friends perform supernatural feats every night.
When the struggling sideshow is miraculously offered the money they need if they set up camp in Caudry, Louisiana, Mara meets local-boy Gabe…and a normal life has never been more appealing.
But before long, performers begin disappearing and bodes are found mauled by an invisible beast. Mara realizes that there’s a sinister presence lurking in the town with its sights set on getting rid of the sideshow freeks. In order to unravel the truth before the attacker kills everyone Mara holds dear, she has seven days to take control of a power she didn’t know she was capable of—one that could change her future forever.
Bestselling author Amanda Hocking draws readers inside the dark and mysterious world of Freeks.
Freeks by Amanda Hocking is a standalone YA novel filled with suspense, danger, and the allure of the supernatural. Against the backdrop of a mysterious small-town and a traveling carnival, Ms. Hocking invites readers to a strange and intriguing world where everyone is more than meets the eye.
The story follows Mara Beznik and her friends and family of Gideon Davorin’s Traveling Carnival. Without any known supernatural powers like her mother or the other performers in Gideon’s sideshow, Mara has spent her life traveling from town to town amongst the extraordinary. Longing for normalcy, Mara is excited for a taste when she meets a local, Gabe Alvarado. However, what seems like a regular stop in a new town for the carnival soon turns into anything but, especially when something not at all normal starts attacking the sideshow performers in the middle of the night. Caudry is hiding something dark and sinister, and Mara only has a week to figure out what and how to stop it.
As I was reading Freeks, in my mind, I kept envisioning a mix of the tv shows Carnivale and Grimm, especially the latter once Mara finds out more about the power she didn’t know she had and her family’s legacy. I really enjoyed the paranormal mystery surrounding Caudry and the carnival, as well as, the building suspense as the characters faced their unknown threat.
Ms. Hocking does a wonderful job in her world-building and giving life to her characters. I liked Mara as a heroine. She was strong and relatable. I also loved the romance between her and Gabe. Furthermore, with an ensemble of more than ten characters, Ms. Hocking does a great job of giving each their own personality and providing backstories for some without the story losing its pacing or feeling overloaded with information.View Spoiler »My only qualm about the story was how fast the ending occurred. The final confrontation or big fight scene, after 371 pages of buildup and suspense, was only five pages long! To be honest, I don’t expect it to be like a dozen or more pages, but I was at least hoping for a bit more especially after all that happened. Other than that, I very much enjoyed the novel. « Hide Spoiler
Overall, Freeks by Amanda Hocking is a great YA paranormal novel that had me riveted from beginning to end. I happily recommend and look forward to reading more by Ms. Hocking.
(I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book I received from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my fair and honest review.)