This is one of those novels that paints a picture of the surroundings so well that you can easily imagine you are there. The difficulty lies with the story or the lack thereof. Not a whole lot actually happens, and too much time is spent on the backstory which isn't central to the plot. Don't look for supernatural, science fiction, or romantic elements because there aren't any. Just a straightforward tale about a teen who wants to join the circus with a few frills. I was expecting more seeing how this was published by Strange Chemistry, an imprint of Angry Robot. Perhaps the second book in this series will pick up the pace but I was left underwhelmed with this one.