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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

REVIEW: Freeks by Amanda Hocking

Thanks to Netgalley for an ARC in exchange for a fair review.

Mara is used to the extraordinary since she's spent her youth as part of Gideon Davorin’s Traveling Carnival where supernatural gifts like super strength, levity and telekinesis are common. She long for the facets of an ordinary life--a place to call home and maybe even a steady boyfriend.

Times have been tough but things are looking up as the group heads to the small town of Caudry for a well paying gig. She meets a gorgeous guy, Gabe, and they enjoy spending time together until horrible things start happening around the Carnival.

A friend goes missing...

More are viciously attacked...

Even the tigers are unsettled and terrified.  Mara and the others realize a dark presence lurks and is targeting their group.

She eventually learns that she is on a deadline to learn a power she didn't even know she had in order to change the future and help her family and new love.

I'm a general fan of Hocking's work and have always been please to see her develop as a writer from her first self published works (My Blood Approves, Hollowland) to the publications of the Trylle, Watersong, Kanin series. What I liked what the play on the theme, setting and time period. The cover art is fantastic and eye-catching. Standalones are hard to find nowadays so that in itself will appeal to the right teen reader.

Another highlight is that there are times when the book is downright creeeeepy! There is always that fear of the unknown monster coming to attack in the night. I'll admit to having a few squirmy moments.

I still enjoyed this standalone but the narrative felt too rushed. Mara is an interesting character as is her progression toward discovering she has some powers of her own. However, the big reveal to hunt down the monster was introduced and resolved too quickly.

And wait [SPOILER]...there's werewolves too?!?  This really could have had more development for a continuation of the story or potential for a sequel or two.

Another problem I had with the characters and plot was the seeming nonchalance Mara and her group pay toward Blossom's disappearance.  For most of the story they forget about her and then BAM!...oh, wait story thread resolved. If I was Mara's friend, I'd be wary that something horrible would happen and no one would care to remember or seek help.

Final rating: 3.75 out of 5 stars

Follow the author on Twitter: @amanda_hocking

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