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★★★ 3.5 Bizarre Stars ★★★
WARNING: This is a disturbing tale! It is for fans of bizarre, adult horror. There is graphic violence, strong language, and sexual scenes. Readers beware!
What exactly is wrong with this circus? There are demonic, flesh-eating clowns, murderous midgets, there is a fat lady with some peculiar tastes (to put it mildly) and there is an old man with one hell of a secret. Old Pa keeps a trunk with some very special souvenirs. When a stranger joins up who has second sight (among other talents) the old man's son gets nervous.
If that isn't enough, there are a lot of very strange beings not to mention a succubus or two and some beings from hell!
:: 3.5 Bizarre Stars ::
I first picked up this book because of the creepy cover- yes, many covers draw me to books. I also thought that the books descriptions was interesting and right up my alley for a good, scary read for Halloween. While I did enjoy a lot of parts: it took place in the early 1900’s, it involved a circus, and had some creepy cannibalistic clowns, some were just too drawn out.
Lets get to the good stuff: the book has some really creepy pieces. Cannibalistic clowns, demon midgets, and scary women who fly as creatures in the night. Joe- the man who lured the main character Fred to the circus also has some sort of powers that will delight horror fans. Not only this, but each and every one of the characters are complex and essentially become who they are due to their past. Some had been beaten and scarred while others themselves committed monstrous acts (acts they were running away from). Therefore, I really liked how author Carole Gill was able to bring about the complexities of these characters. Readers may even feel a bit sorry for them after understanding why they behave the way they do.
On the other hand, many points of the story were really slow to me. For instance, giving some of the characters background information could have been done better and not drawn out throughout the chapters. I think I would have been more shocked had the author just told us what was wrong with Joe in the beginning. It left me questioning him way too much throughout the story and this in itself distracted me. I was also not a huge fan of the ending. I feel like the author moved from one disturbing idea (the premise of the circus) to something so different that it didn’t seem plausible (or like it fit) into the story.
Over all though the story is pretty disturbing and has some pretty sickening scenes that made me cringe. Moreover, it wasn’t a completely original story, but the way the author tells it does make it stand out from some others. If you’re a book lover looking for a gross, messed up read then I would recommend it. It’s not too long and it does have some real creepy parts. For those with a weak stomach and those who are easily offended by blood and gore I would stay away from this one.
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