Freeksby Amanda Hocking
Published on January 3, 2017 by St. Martin's Griffin
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult
Source: Publisher (via NetGalley)
Book Depository / Amazon / Barnes & Noble
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 bodies 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.
When I first heard that Amanda Hocking was writing another book and that it would be about a supernatural circus…I was beyond excited. I had loved her Trylle series and I’m in the process of reading the spin off series to that. But going into this book with such high expectations is where I went wrong. Unfortunately I was sorely disappointed with Freeks. This book had SO MUCH potential and it just kind of fell flat. There wasn’t a large thing that made me not like Freeks, it was more like a collection of small things.
Mara’s relationship with Gabe for instance. It was so insta-love I almost couldn’t handle it. From the very beginning, the moment she laid eyes on him, you just knew they would be a thing. And she was so taken by him *instantly*. Now I get that she lives with a traveling carnival and she has to make her time count if she is going to hook up with any of the “townies,” but come on man…She was basically in love with him from the first glance. I also had a problem with the descriptions. Hocking used the same descriptors over and over again. It got old really quickly.
Another thing that I was disappointed in was the lack of supernatural elements. Sure you had Mara telling us what each member of the carnival could do, but there wasn’t a lot of showing. I guess that was my main problem with Freeks…It was all tell, no show. When I was a freshman in high school my English teacher engrained into our minds the phrase “show not tell” and that has forever stuck with me. It’s what I always look for when deciding if it’s going to be one of my favorites and Freeks just did not deliver.
I have to say that the last 20-ish percent was probably the best. We finally learn the secret Gabe desperately wants to keep a secret and we also find out what the creature is that has been attacking the carnival since they had arrived. The last few chapters is what I had been looking for when it came to the supernatural elements. There still wasn’t enough showing, and the battle didn’t last long enough for my liking, but it was definitely better than the majority of the book.
So I guess what I am trying to say is that, ultimately, I wanted more supernatural fighting and explanations and less of whatever Mara and Gabe were doing together. Their romance overshadowed everything. I wanted more of the secondary characters. I wanted their backstories. I just wanted more…feeling. While Hocking had an amazing concept, she didn’t deliver the way I had hoped she would. Maybe I’m feeling this way because it has been so long since I’ve read any of her books, or maybe it’s just because the execution felt so off…I don’t know, I guess you’ll have to decide for yourself if you choose to read it 🙂