Freeks by Amanda Hocking
Author: Amanda Hocking
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy>Paranormal
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Release Date: January 3, 2017
Goodreads Synopsis: In a world of magical visions and pyrokinesis, Mara just wants to have a normal life. But is that possible?
Mara has become used to the extraordinary. Roaming from place to place with Gideon Davorin’s Traveling Carnival, she longs for an ordinary life where no one has the ability to levitate or predict the future.
She gets her chance when the struggling sideshow sets up camp in the small town of Caudry and she meets a gorgeous local guy named Gabe. But before long, Mara realizes there’s a dark presence lurking in the town that’s threatening the lives of her friends. She has seven days to take control of a power she didn’t know she had in order to save everyone she cares about—and change the future forever.
Jen’s Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
REVIEW: I was drawn in by the cover of this book right away and then I read the synopsis and I just knew that I had to read this novel. Freeks, which yes is spelled differently due to two jerks taunting some of the members of the carnival and adding graffiti to Gideon’s motor home.
“What?’ I asked, but as soon as I reached him, I saw the problem. Spray painted in neon green on the side of Gideon’s trailer was one word: FREEKS. It wasn’t even spelled right, but I’d come to learn that the people who usually defamed our trailers very often had poor spelling. No matter how many times I heard it hurled at me, it never hurt less, and it never felt any less angry or cruel.”
I loved how the supernatural was incorporated into this novel, adding a touch of magical whimsy with most of the acts in the carnival having real abilities such as, necromancy, superhuman strength, levitation, mind reading, pyrokinesis, and tons more. Not only did they have strong bonds in the carnival with these talents, but they are truly a family who help and stand by each other when things become crazy and deadly. Well most of them do, but who can blame them especially when some of them had small children to take care of.
Let’s not forget the love that is formed between Mara and Gabe. To some it might seem like it moved along a little too quickly and sometimes it did seem that way. There was little to build up with them in such a short time that Mara was going to be in town with the carnival, but even so I was very pleased with it. Gabe has secrets of his own and as their story-line progresses it makes more and more sense how they quickly created that connection between the both of them. Of course it helps that Mara was drawn to him right from the beginning (mystical feels and all).
“His eyes weren’t enchanting because of the rich color, but because of the wicked glimmer to them. Somehow, even when I was outside and too far away to really see, I’d noticed that gleam– a promise of something a little sinful and dangerous– that made my heart pound loudly. As he looked at me now, I felt my pulse quicken and heat flush my skin.”
And the danger that begins to plague Mara, and everyone at the carnival, is something far more sinister than any of them ever imagined and it makes her doubt almost all in Caudry. There is something that seems to be toying with them and slowly but surely marking its victims for gruesome ends. I felt like the one at fault for the creepy happenings being allowed was a little obvious, but the thing at the center of the occurrences was not easily known. So, it was a mix of feels for me and partly why my rating wasn’t a full five stars.
Even though I found a few flaws with this read, there were way too many good things about it to let that really affect my rating. I loved the mystery of the city and the buildup to what was afflicting them. I very much loved Gabe and Mara’s characters, along with Gideon and Roxie, quickly becoming my favorites. I could see all of it, night time when the carnival came to life, the people that made it what it was, the shift and constant change of the day events to night ongoings. It was all magical and couldn’t get enough of it.
“As soon as I stepped out of the Winnebago, with the door creaking shut behind me, I heard the sound of the carnival. The music came from the midway–happy-go-lucky circus tunes from speakers set up along the booths–but mixed with that, I could hear laughter and talking. It was already under way, which meant I was very late.”
Freeks is definitely a novel that will be added to my collection. It had everything I was looking for and an added touch of the supernatural that made this that much better.