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Freeks: A Novel Hardcover – January 3, 2017
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From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Tired of living in a strange and paranormal world, all Mara wants is an escape from the carnival sideshow she's known most of her life. She thinks she might have it in a boy named Gabe whom she meets at a party when she arrives in town. Unfortunately, there is a gut feeling among many in the sideshow that something sinister is lurking. After her friends and fellow carnies are attacked by a mysterious beast, Mara must embrace the part of her identity she's tried to hide, make use of her otherworldly abilities, and save those she cares about. Hocking has crafted an interesting cast of quirky characters and a unique spin on a carnival freak show setting. The variety of supernatural creatures, from the familiar werewolf to a different take on necromancers, will delight fans of paranormal romance. The protagonist's struggle with her identity provides needed grounding in a story that largely requires readers to suspend disbelief. Some awkward pacing and heavy-handed foreshadowing make major plot points predictable far before their reveal. The climax and the conclusion, though, are ultimately quite satisfying. VERDICT This fun paranormal romance, wrapped up in a circus-tent setting, is recommended where the genre and the author's books are popular. Hand to fans of Twilight and MTV's Teen Wolf.—Kristee Copley, Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, Washington, DC
"Mara is strong, independent, and pragmatic...and her family of misfits is falling prey, one by one, to a beast that is stalking the campsite, bulding to a battle-driven reckoning. This standalone novel will keep readers hooked." --Publishers Weekly
"An interesting cast of quirky characters, a unique spin on a carnival freak show setting...and the variety of supernatural creatures will delight fans. This fun paranormal romance, wrapped up in a circus-tent setting, is recommended." --School Library Journal
“Amanda Hocking always has interesting, intense and beautiful storylines. This trilogy is a must-read for people looking for something a bit different. We have a beautiful heroine ... and trolls! Trylle fans will also love the crossover of their favorite characters and seeing them interact with Bryn. All in all, Bryn's story is engrossing and will keep readers clutching their books and e-readers.” ―USA Today.com
“Hocking is a paranormal YA favorite, and her latest does not disappoint. Readers will feel transported by this beautifully written story. There's adventure, heart and thrills. Protagonist Bryn is filled with such power and determination, she will do whatever it takes to follow her dreams -- and her heart. Hocking's latest will have no trouble keeping the rapt attention of thrill-seekers and romantics alike.” ―RT Bookreviews on The Kanin Chronicles
“Returning to the troll world of her Trylle trilogy, Hocking explores another tribe of trolls in this first book in the Kanin Chronicles. The novel's lingering questions and the author's knack for cliffhangers are reason enough to anticipate the next installment.” ―Publisher's Weekly on The Kanin Chronicles
“With a thrilling climax and a haunting resolution, Frostfire brings us back to the world of the Trylle with a bang. Fans of Hocking's previous titles won't want to miss it. I can't wait to see where Bryn's story takes us next!” ―The Teen Bookworm on Frostfire
“Drawn in from the first page, this was an exciting, action packed story with intriguing characters and an extremely enjoyable plot. If you're after a great read, be sure to pick this up.” ―Head Stuck in a Book on The Kanin Chronicles
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Top Customer Reviews
From the summary of the book, I thought we would follow the carnival and there would be a little mystery about an animal or something that is causing problems in the town they travel too. And for three fourths of the book that is what we are lead to believe, but the last fifty pages or so, the story just starts getting strange. It veers off in a direction I did not see coming and not in a good way. Don’t get me wrong, I love paranormal and mysteries, but this book just took a detour that did not really fit with the rest of the story and actually made me dislike it by the time I reached the end. There were too many things happening and the core of the story is lost in all of the random side directions the plot took.
The writing was okay, but not the best. I felt like issues were skimmed over that could have been flushed out more and the ending wrapped up too quickly and with too many unanswered questions. I really wanted to like this book, and for a while I was enjoying it, but the ending just left me disappointed. I don’t think I will be looking into this author anymore after this simply because I did not enjoy her style or book as much as I had hoped. The material for a good book is there, it was just not executed well.
The sideshow atmosphere is creepy cool, and Hocking gives us a terrific cast of weird and wonderful characters. Don’t be surprised if as you read, despite the perils, you sort of wish you were part of this traveling carnival.
And, of course, there’s the dangerously hot boy – emphasis on the dangerous – who may just be too good to be true.
Mara is very likable. While she falls a little too quick for hot-boy-with-a-secret, you sort of get the appeal and you find yourself hoping for the best, while expecting the worst.
Note that the book is a little bloody (though I would have liked more) and there’s just enough action.
Now, the only thing that kept this from a full five stars was that I was a little disappointed in the ‘why’ of everything that happened. I felt like it needed more build up and history.
But this was one of those fun and fast reads that I really enjoyed. There should be a book two. If so, I’m on board.
• Advance Reader Copy provided by Net Galley.
Author: Amanda Hocking
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Genre: YA Fantasy, YA Paranormal
**I received a copy of the book free from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review**
This review can also be found at my blog at TeacherofYA dot Wordpress dot com
First of all, love this cover. Totally gets the vibe of the book. Then again, all Hocking's books have amazing covers. I'm a big fan of hers. When I was asked to be part of the blog tour, I jumped at the chance. And I hadn't even read the book yet.
I knew I would love it. I just knew.
Let me just dive into the premise so you can see how cool this book sounded to me...
So Mara travels around with her mom and her mom's boyfriend Gideon during the spring of 1987 (I was four years old, btw, so I feel really old now). They are a group of carnival workers and "freaks." However, the freaks in this show aren't exactly just run of the mill people. When the money gets low, they load into the Winnebago and travel to Louisiana where a friend and old sideshow member suggest they can make some major money. And the one thing Mara and the other carnival workers need is money....even though once they enter the town, they can almost feel a creepy presence in the town.
Mara mainly just helps her friends and family as she has no gift. Her mother is a Necromancer and can speak to the dead. Gideon can see the future. One friend is a pyrokinetic whiz, and another can self-heal. They are perfect for Gideon's Traveling Sideshow...but Mara has no gift.
While in the town, Mara meets Gabe, a handsome townie. And though their relationship cannot last, as she is only passing through, Mara and Gabe get closer than they should.
Then the attacks start.
A mysterious beast is attacking the carnival worriers. No one can get a good look at it, but the workers' lives are in danger. However, they can't leave because their contract stipulates they stay for so many days. And they are flat broke. So they do what they can and try to be wary. Mara is a little distracted by Gabe, who seems to have secrets of his own. One thing for sure: she doesn't want Gabe to know she works for the carnival.
But as more people get hurt, the people of Gideon's Traveling Sideshow start to wonder: what is going on in this small town in Louisiana? And why are the carnival workers a target?
Could Gabe be a part of the evil that lurks in this town?
I liked Freeks a lot. I wish it was a series. I wouldn't mind learning more about the freak show and the people in it. Alas, it is a standalone, so I give it ★★★★☆. Which means a pretty awesome!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
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