Thursday 1 December 2022

Book Review: The Invisible Circus by Lindsey Bakken

The Invisible Circus by Lindsey Bakken book cover

AD* | The world as you know it, but with a dash of the fantastical.

When Michelle (Mikey) leaves home to work a circus job for the summer, she dreams only of shaking the depression that haunts her. But she gets more than she bargained for after a freak accident leaves her with the power to turn invisible.

Desperate to carve a future for herself as a performer, eighteen-year-old Mikey must learn to control her dark emotions and mysterious gift. But not everyone is glad to have a new performer, and Mikey must balance being “other” in a world dominated by flashy promises and hidden secrets.

Between a suspicious death no one talks about, guys vying for her attention, and her boss’s hidden agenda, Mikey has her work cut out for her.

As her life and power spiral out of control, she’ll have to choose carefully who to give her loyalty - and love - to.

The Invisible Circus brings all the fun of the circus - but it also brings out the circus' darker side. 

The main character Mikey is multi-faceted and difficult to read, which makes her inherently more real. She wants to make something of her life and make her mother proud, but she's also full of grief and regrets about the past. It's a mixed bag, but a great contrast to her new life in the circus.

An awful lot happens in this book. Yet despite this, the pace of the story is relatively slow and it's difficult to stay engaged. This isn't a page-turner, and while the story itself is interesting, it could have been broken down better to keep the reader with the story as it moves forwards. So much happens that you need to be given time to fully digest the events before the story hurtles onto the next plot point. This makes it difficult to connect with the characters and fully understand the significance of what is happening at key moments. 

Some parts of the story are also repetitive, such as the descriptions of Mikey's training which start to blur together after a while. This is a shame as cutting some of the repetitive sections would have provided more opportunity to expand some of the other components of the story which felt rushed. One big example is the meteor strikes - integral to the plot but barely mentioned at the start of the book.

The Invisible Circus ends on a cliffhanger which is a great hook to grab the reader for the sequel. Now that the world, characters, and Mikey's power have all been established in this first book, I have high hopes that the sequel will be able to build on this foundation and create a really strong second book.

Rating: 3 stars

The Invisible Circus is available to buy now.

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* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

Will you be reading the book? Let me know in the comments below!

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