Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Book Review: Circus of the Unseen by Joanne Owen

Title: Circus of the Unseen
Author: Joanne Owen
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Genres: Young adult, Fantasy
Format: Paperback
Publication Date: November 6th 2014
Pages: 199

Synopsis (Goodreads): After an accident at her grandmother's house, Rosie is transported to a strange and sinister world populated by a cast of carnivalesque characters who reside in the Circus of the Unseen. They are reigned over by an old woman called Madam Matushka, who guards the threshold between life and death and has extraordinary powers over all around her.

This is an in-between world, a bizarre and trapped existence, but Rosie is not like the others here. She seems to be hovering between the worlds of the living and the dead, and she is a challenge to Madam Matushka. Can Rosie escape Madame Matushka's malevolent rule and a world in limbo? And can she help resolve another mystery - one at the heart of her grandmother's life?


My rating: 3 / 5 ★

Picked up this book for two reasons: 1) Its gorgeous cover; 2) Dark circus concepts intrigues me.

Circus of the Unseen is a rather light read thanks to its short length, with a subtle touch of darkness in it. To be honest, I was expecting a much darker theme for the story, perhaps something that could send chills to my bones (note: I read the book at 3 A.M.), unfortunately to my slight disappointment, there wasn't enough dark elements to it. The plot feels rather flat and we never actually get to know Rosie personally, except for the fact that she's too curious about her grandmother's past.

But I do like the setting and idea of the circus; I believe I enjoyed the minor characters and wished that their characters had more exposure than just how they ended up at the circus instead. I would have loved to know more about Madam Matushka especially. There were not many scenes of the things that they do at the circus either, making it to be rather dull when it could have been a wonderful part of the story.

There are also a few unnecessary characters, or perhaps characters that are supposed to make a point in the story but the author seemed to forget so. For instance, the boy that came to see Rosie before she "fell" into the circus– I mean, who is he? And he even has a sister, which probably only said a sentence or two. I could not see the point of their characters at all. And there were not much being mentioned about Rosie's own sister either. I know she's just a minor character, but her presence could have been made better.

Overall, it was a quick read and a rather enjoyable one too despite its shortcomings. The idea of it was wonderful, and I do like the author's writing style, but it could have been better if the story is extended just a little bit more so details can be added into it. The ending was not quite agreeable to me (I definitely would choose my family first, no matter what), but I guess it is better for Rosie to accept what has happened to her. There are matters that you could not control in this world anyway.


Till next time ♡ Love, Aishah Humaira'


PSD Colouring (base) -


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