Mara and her mother who is a necromancer have been traveling with Gideon Davorin’s Traveling Sideshow for years and a life on the road is the only one Mara knows. Those in the sideshow are family to Mara with most having some sort of powers just like her mother’s but Mara herself hasn’t experienced any such thing yet herself. With the show really hurting for money when an offer that almost seems too good to be true comes along in a strange little town called Caudry, Louisiana they have to take the job. After arriving everyone begins to experience odd feelings and a dark vibe that seems to come from the town itself.
Mara decides to take a walk their first night in town to get some air and finds herself meeting some of the local teenagers and makes a connection with Gabe. Mara doesn’t want to admit to being a part of the show but Gabe also seems to carry his own secrets but the two begin spending time together.
Meanwhile, back at the camp when the sun goes down the sideshow performers seem to be being stalked but some sort of animal. When people Mara loves continue to get hurt she needs to find the strength inside of her to fight whatever it is that is attacking her friends.
Freeks is one that I had really high hopes for when I picked it up but it fell a bit short in my opinion. There are a few things I found that may have been done a bit better to have me really jumping up and down for this read. First being set in the 80s the book really lacked giving very many things throughout to show this decade as the setting which was a little disappointing. The pace also seemed very slow throughout the first three quarters or so as the story and relationships are being set up but then when all the true action and revelations happen it all seems so rushed at the end.
The relationship between Mara and Gabe really seemed to be a bit lacking to me also. They meet and make out and the reader is supposed to believe that it must have been love at first sight I suppose. Mara herself definitely doesn’t make a great role model with immediately making out with the first boy she met but she also seemed to contradict herself a bit while contemplating her frequents moves, she seems to have had other relationships but seems surprised Gabe would like her as if she hadn’t had a boyfriend before…. just a bit back and forth with very little to get me invested in their story.
In the end I still liked this one a bit as it reminds me of the campy horror movies that I’ve always been a fan of and it’s a shame that with a few tweaks here and there I probably would have really loved the story.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.