by Gena Showalter
I hadn’t read a Showalter book before but some folks swear by her. This was good, a demented circus with otherworlders (aliens) in a freakish menagerie, the ring leader is dabbling in black magic and has become evil and twisted. The daughter is his precious and only he can punish her…but he does so violently and with great cruelty.
Awesome, right? Mostly.
I kept wishing for more of something. The first chapter was awesome and horrible and gut-wrenching. I was seriously a little freaked out because if the whole thing was that hard it would be a crazy intense book. But while the backstories of the main characters were richly detailed, the story in this book is good, but not as great as it could be. The plot is quite simple, Solo is in a cage most of the time. We mainly stay with Vika and Solo who is trapped in a cage, Vika is the daughter who takes care of the menagerie and Solo is the otherworld assassin who was captured and sold to the circus. He has to win her trust to help him escape. Somehow they have all this alone together time, in a cage where anyone can wander by though she gets punished if found out. So, things were a little wonky. BUT, they have some interesting internal stuff. He likes her, she likes him, trust is difficult.
It is a good vs evil type book. Once you allow evil into your heart and soul, you fall and become dark and twisted. There is little redemption. Each chapter starts with various sentences from the bible, probably to hit home about good vs evil.
The romance was nice, a little bit beauty and the beast. He has done and survived horrible things and she is innocent, except for the beatings she has had to endure from a person who should supposedly protect her. Needless to say, they both have issues. The adult sexy times are restrained on the part of the author. You know they have a nice time but you can tell they love each other because they don’t kiss and tell the reader. So, you don’t have to be that embarrassed reading this book with your boss or in-laws in the room. 🙂
So, I enjoyed a lot of parts of this book and I am glad I read it. There are some crazy characters and we need to find some missing people who will be part of book #2. I like the world, I like the aliens and that the characters are emotionally fleshed out and I hope that the next book allows a little more action, maybe some snarky dialogue (which I hear Showalter excells at, but was missing here) and tension between the two main characters. I give this book 3.5 stars that grow and change colors when emotional.