Thursday, November 17, 2011

ARC Review: Circus Galacticus by Deva Fagan

Circus Galacticus
Author: Deva Fagan
Publication: Harcourt Children's Books; None edition (November 15, 2011)

Description: Trix can deal with being an orphan charity case at a snotty boarding school. She can hold her own when everyone else tells her not to dream big dreams. She can even fight back against the mysterious stranger in a silver mask who tries to steal the meteorite her parents trusted her to protect.

But her life is about to change forever. The Circus Galacticus has come to town, bringing acts to amaze, delight, and terrify. And now the dazzling but enigmatic young Ringmaster has offered Trix the chance to be a part of it.

Soon Trix discovers an entire universe full of deadly enemies and potential friends, not to mention space leeches, ancient alien artifacts, and exploding chocolate desserts. And she just might unravel the secrets of her own past if she can survive long enough.

My Thoughts: This is a story about the universal desire to be special and have a place in the world. Trix's parents told her she was special. But after their deaths she found herself a charity student at a snobby boarding school and her "special" translated into "freak" in that environment. She is unhappy and has a very uncertain future.

Trix has always dreamed of the stars. So when a traveling circus offers her a chance to travel among the stars, she doesn't hesitate to leave her unhappy, dead-end life on Earth for adventure "out there." But space isn't the paradise she had imagined. Once upon a time there was a war between the Mandate who wanted everyone to be the same and the Tinkers who fostered creativity and being unique. The Tinkers are gone now but there are still people born with those gifts - like defying gravity and being able to interface with technology. Many of them have found their way to the Circus Galacticus. And the Mandate is still going strong trying to "cleanse" those with Tinker gifts.

Trix is being pursued by an agent of the Mandate even as she tries to fit in with the crew of Circus Galacticus. She has a gift from her parents that she has sworn to protect that the Mandate seems to want. But that isn't all, they want her too.  She makes friends and finds a place in the circus. Her roommate Nola is a Tech who is magic with technology. She feels accepted and welcomed. She also gets to know the Ringmaster who is somehow bonded with Circus Galacticus and who Trix really admires.

When Nola is captured by the Mandate and the Ringmaster wants to go through diplomatic channels, Trix knows it is up to her to rescue her friend. She travels with her rival Sirra and Jom, a boy who has a crush on Nola, to the Mandate prison where Nola is being held. 

The story is filled with adventure and self-discovery. It is about dreams and working to make the dreams come true. It was a wonderful story to read. I highly recommend this one to all readers. 

Favorite Quote:
"Wait; back up. So you're saying you're aliens? I don't...I can't..."

"Of course you can," says the Ringmaster. "Is it so hard to believe there might be something more out there?"

"No. I mean, my parents always said there was. But...." I flap my hands, unable to express just how different this all is from the sleek rocket ships and wise visitors from the stars that figured in my bedtime stories. "A circus?"

"You would have preferred an invasion fleet? Flying saucers and death rays? He gives me a cheeky grin. "Come to the show. You won't regret it."
I received an eARC of the book from NetGalley and a print ARC through the Amazon Vine Program. You can get your copy here.

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