Author: Genevieve Valentine
Publisher: Prime Books
Publication Date: 10th May 2011
Format: E-Book - EPUB
Genre: Steampunk / SpeculativeSource: ARC via NetGalley
Come inside and take a seat; the show is about to begin . . .
Outside any city still standing, the Mechanical Circus Tresaulti sets up its tents. Crowds pack the benches to gawk at the brass-and-copper troupe and their impossible feats: Ayar the Strong Man, the acrobatic Grimaldi Brothers, fearless Elena and her aerialists who perform on living trapezes. War is everywhere, but while the Circus is performing, the world is magic.
That magic is no accident: Boss builds her circus from the bones out, molding a mechanical company that will survive the unforgiving landscape.
But even a careful ringmaster can make mistakes.
Two of Tresaulti’s performers are trapped in a secret standoff that threatens to tear the Circus apart, just as the war lands on their doorstep. Now they must fight a war on two fronts: one from the outside, and a more dangerous one from within . . .(Goodreads Synopsis)
I have struggled all morning to decide how to rate and review this book. Why? Because I loved and hated it at the same time.
What I loved was the amazingly beautiful prose that captured an almost poetic quality at times. This book was beautifully written and the prose was a joy to read.
However, I found the presentation somewhat distracting and detracting. There is a story to this book, but you really have to fight to find it at times amidst constant jumps in the timeline and narrator switches that leave you struggling to work out who is 'speaking' when. Often it only becomes clear several paragraphs into the chapter.
I don't mind jumping from past to future, but in this instance it felt disjointed and awkward. It was a real shame as the storyline (when it appeared) was good, the characters interesting and likeable and the prose, as I already stated, gorgeous.
Had the book run a little more smoothly, I would not have hesitated to award this book four stars, or maybe even five. As it is, I have given it three stars as I think the book has great promise but falls short in a couple of areas.
Even so, this book is worth checking out if you are a fan of steampunk or if you enjoy books with something a bit different to offer the reader.