7 July 2020 Saskatchewan, Canada

A Spectacle of Souls (Circus of the Stolen #1) by Jessica Julien

Author:Jessica Julien
Publisher:Bleeding Ink Publishing
Buy:Amazon|Barnes&Noble|Indigo Canada|Book Depository
"Caitlyn always thought she was just your average small-town waitress, but she’s anything but average. Suffering from frequent headaches and vivid daydreams, her oddities mask a secret hidden deep within her mind—one that could defeat even the cleverest of psychics. When a mysterious circus arrives in town, Caitlyn is immediately drawn to it. While visiting the hypnotic show, she meets a seer who warns her of a gruesome future and urges her to stay away. But soon, Caitlyn finds herself ensnared in the show and the Ringmaster himself. Recognizing Caitlyn’s powers for what they are, and believing they are the ones he has been searching for, the Ringmaster is determined to claim them as his own. Trapped within the circus and the Ringmaster’s devious grip, Caitlyn realizes that to escape the seer’s foretold fate, her only choice is to fight. Banding together with Bevier, an imprisoned psychic, Meg, an eccentric seamstress, and Daniel, a handsome magician, Caitlyn falls into the Psychic Realm to thwart the Ringmaster and stop the show before they succumb to his control and are trapped forever in his spectacle of souls."

Thank you Bleeding Ink Publishing and Netgalley for giving me the chance to read and review this E-ARC. 

I loved the overall concept and plot of A Spectacle of Souls by Jessica Julien. Normally, it takes me a week to finish a book. Whereas, with A Spectacle of Souls, I was able to complete it within 72 hours. It took me about five or six chapters to get fully invested in the story but, after that, I was hooked. I kept wanting to know what would happen next in the story. I also found the romance, between Cat and Daniel, to be cute. 

I liked the idea of a circus that is run on illusions and the workers' supernatural ability. Past YA books have shown readers that the circus can be a mysterious and fantastical setting. The circus has this grand appeal of being unique and exploring the world. I would say that A Spectacle of Souls has a darker feel to it. This book, based on the characters' ages, almost feels more New Adult than Young Adult. I don't think we ever learn Cat's age but, based on a conversation with another character, I am guessing around 20-21. Daniel, I think, is around 24 years old. The only complaint I have is that I wish the circus workers' abilities were given more page time. I would have liked to learn more in depth about the troupes' abilities before the climax of the novel. But, that being said, I thought Cat's ability and how it is connected to a different realm was something new and refreshing. I also felt the author brought the Cirque des Vol├ęs to life. I would have liked a little more description in the surrounding areas (ex; the scene where they were driving to the next tour stop). 

I enjoyed the overall storyline of A Spectacle of Souls. I am curious to see how book 2 will turn out in this series. The middle half and the ending were what intrigued me most about this story. The beginning, for me, started off a bit slow. It took me, as I said earlier, about five or six chapters to get into the storyline. The writing flows pretty consistently throughout the novel. There were a few times when I noticed more of a "telling" than "showing" approach. I also noticed a few times where other characters' point of views were present during other characters' narration. This left me a bit confused, at times, of who was telling the story. Especially when each chapter would tell you, with the character's name, who was narrating the story. Also, I would have liked Cat's visions to be described in more length and description.

Daniel was, by far, my favourite character in this book. I shipped his and Cat's romance from the start. Did I think his feelings, and overprotective nature towards Cat, developed a little too fast? Yes. But I am ok with that!! I also loved the friendship between Vanessa and Cat. 

How old is the Ringmaster? I'm guessing he is in his late twenties to mid-thirties. I would have liked to know this piece of information while reading the book. At first, I found the Ringmaster to be cliche evil. He came off, at first, as being evil without a cause. However, as the plot progresses the readers learn more about his motivation and backstory. 

The ending wraps up pretty neatly with the events of the first book. For a minute, I was wondering how this would turn into a second book. But the author was cruel, haha, and left us, readers, with a cliffhanger/big question. 

Overall, A Spectacle of Souls was a fun read. The storyline got me hooked, and the ending left me curious for more from this author.

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