**WARNING: This is for people who have already read this book. There will be spoilers! If you do not want the book’s wonderful surprises to be ruined, read my review of the book, read the book, then come back to read our chat. Thank you!**
Amber: So let’s start with overall thoughts of the book. It was a hard one for me to get through just because of its length and the amount of detail. Once I could focus on it, I could appreciate the detail and the world-building that the author did. But it was definitely tedious at times. I felt like I could have used more story and less description. What were your thoughts?
Melissa: I agree with that completely. I’m really not super into tons of words. Even my own writing I seem to be pretty concise. So some of the details in a long drawnout descriptions are tedious for me as well
Amber: I was also confused at first about what was happening. We aren’t really given background information. We experienced things as the characters did. What did you think of that writing approach? To me, it felt like I was an observer of all of these events over the course of a century.
Renee: What was confusing to me was the jumping all over the place in the timeline. I think that was increased by the fact that I was reading it as an ebook where it’s not as easy to flip back and forth between chapters to keep track of the dates.
Amber: Yeah, I had to flip back and forth a lot too. But even with that, it was still confusing.
Renee: And then it kind of left you hanging at the end too.
Amber: I thought it was interesting that at the end they had an email address, which showed me that it was at least close to the present day, even though the last chapter doesn’t have a date with it.
Renee: Yes I found that interesting too.
Amber: I’m curious what you both thought of the man in the grey suit. I thought he was a jerk until one of the last chapters when he talked with Widget. Then I could see why he did some of the things that he did.
Renee: I still think he was jerky. He got mad because his student had differing opinions and so he ruined all these lives. I don’t know, I think that’s crappy. Who knows how many challenges they had and at the very least one person dies in each challenge. Not to mention the collateral damage like the one sister.
Amber: That’s very true. But I thought that Celia’s father was always much worse though. He would cut Celia’s fingers over and over so that she would perfect her healing skills!
Renee: Oh yeah that was awful. They were both awful.
Amber: What did you think of the relationship between Marco and Celia? It was the exact opposite of a love at first sight type of romance. It took several decades for anything to start…
Renee: Yes, but I love how they like can’t help but be together. I love that kind of love. I’m upset they didn’t let us know what happened with them really.
Amber: Yeah, me too. All we know is that they are in a weird state similar to Celia’s dad and that they are tied to the circus. Do you feel bad for Isobel at all?
Renee: Yeah I wanted to know if Celia and Marco were able to be together in that state. Could they undo it To me, I didn’t really see where Marco led Isobel on. I mean he took her in but there wasn’t ever anything physical between them. I didn’t get any vibes other than close friends.
Amber: I think in Isobel’s eyes, everything she was doing was for him. I thought they did kiss and were a couple until the circus started?
Renee: I must have missed the kissing. I did get the sense she had feelings for him but I don’t ever remember getting the feeling that he was leading her on or even that he returned her feelings.
Amber: I wonder if it was because of the “charms” he could put over people. I got the impression that he could kind of persuade and manipulate people’s thoughts and feelings. That’s why Chandresh was so messed up. Marco was always messing with him.
Renee: Yeah, I got that sense. I definitely feel like he used her for gain in the game but I didn’t see the romantic part.
Amber: She’s like that crazy girl that thinks after a hook-up they are together forever. Then when she finally realizes that’s not the case, she loses her mind and ruins everything, haha.
Renee: Yes! Exactly.
Amber: What did you think of Bailey? I could see where the story was going with him, but I didn’t see him as an interesting enough character to take over the whole circus. Maybe its just because there were so many characters, it was hard to really get to know any that well.
Renee: I liked him, actually. And I liked his thing with Poppet. I wish they had expanded more on that because the parts with him and her and with Celia and Marco are the ones that piqued my interest the most. What I found kind of discordant is how he could take it over without having magic. And who was going to run all the attractions? Marco’s were powered by the bonfire but Celia powered hers herself so that was confusing to me.
Amber: I think Celia was teaching Poppet and Widget how to control some of the things.
Renee: Yeah, I think so too.
Amber: So who do you all think would win if the competition hadn’t ended through a loophole?
Renee: I don’t know. Part of me feels like they were too evenly matched. And the other part saw that Celia was getting tired and couldn’t last much longer, whether she gave up and let him win or just gave out altogether.
Amber: But it was interesting that she actually had magic and it seemed like Marco just learned his by using charms. To me, that seems like Celia’s power was stronger. Plus, I felt like she was controlling so much more. However, it was impressive that Marco could control things without even being near the circus
Renee: Yeah, they definitely had different types of magic.
Amber: So what are your final thoughts on this book? Would you recommend it to someone else?
Renee: While parts of it were interesting it was very hard to get into and I probably won’t read it again and wouldn’t recommend it to someone.
Amber: I would recommend to someone who really enjoys descriptive books and world building. I’m more of a plot person, not description. I think I would have liked it a lot more if there was more substance to the plot. But I actually did really enjoy it. It was a change from the types of books I usually read. Thanks for joining me! I am looking forward to next month’s book chat!