Monday, February 10, 2014

Review Of Circus Of Lost Souls by Riley J. Ford and Rebecca Hamilton

You guys know me by now.

At least I hope so.

I love horror.

It's still a viable and vital part of literature, even if no one wants to admit that it exists.

So I was completely thrilled when I had the opportunity to read a book, by an author best known for her Romantic Comedy and another author best known for New Adult Parnormal, that could only be described as Horror/Thriller.

Horror/Thriller Hell yeah!

Riley J. Ford and Rebecca Hamilton are hot in their respective genres, but could they be hot in horror?

Uh...yes please! Circus of Lost Souls is H-O-T, off-the-chain, modern horror with a twist!

Check this out for a premise:

Cirque du Lune is killing off teenagers, but it's all part of the act.

Or is it?

As the body count rises with each performance, one girl at this renowned theater-based summer camp finds herself contemplating what's real and what's not.

What if it's not just a horror show, but a live snuff performance perpetrated by real-life, infamous serial killers? What if the murders . . . are real?

Awesome! But let's cut to the chase. What did I like about this book:

Characters: Myra Anderson is the perfect character to tell this story through. She has been indelibly affected by a trauma when she was a child. Fortunately, this takes the mysterious aspects of this book to a new level, because one is never quite sure if what they are experiencing as they read is being seen through the eyes of someone who is unreliable. Myra is very sympathetic and the authors did a great job of creating an unease in her that carried the story. Very believable side characters as well. In fact, this whole premise could have come off as a comedy if I didn't start to believe in what was going on. That is mostly because of the development of all the characters. Myra's boyfriend Bo, is another character, that though a side character, was very well-developed. Loved the characters, even the ones that cscared the crap out of me, like Ian, one of the tattooed carnival monstrosities.

Setting: This is where this story truly excels. Characters pull off the story, but it is setting that puts you in it. The circus felt so real. It was well described and I wondered if this was, in small part, a place that one of the authors had experienced, the summer camp feel, in a circus of the macabre type atmosphere. The place gave me the creeps. One part of the book reminded me of a book I read a couple of months ago called "The Association" by Bentley Little. That book creeped me out because of the strong ties to the setting. This one gave me that same feeling of otherworldliness. Creepy!

Chill factor: When a horror novel can give me the chills, it has done it's job. Sometimes I have to plod through books, hoping that they will get good. This book did exactly what it should have done, the tension kept building and building until I was just about to scream at the characters in the book "Run, run! Get your ass out of there!" Just enough creepiness. Just enough mystery. Just enough thriller. At one point, I was reading and killed 50 pages in what seemed like no time at all! Scary and compelling, with just enough of everything to keep me reading through the night and into the next day. Reminiscent of many movies I have liked, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Fallen, and a bunch more.

Altogether, Circus of Lost Souls is a bullet of a book that will stick with you for a while after you read it. Maybe you'll be looking at your friends to see if they have changed. Maybe they just aren't the same. It'll all be okay, nothing's wrong. Or is it?

Five very enthusiastic stars ***** !  Riley J. Ford and Rebecca Hamilton have orchestrated a scary, creepy story. I'm looking forward to what they have up their sleeves next.

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