Author: Amanda Foody
Published: July 25th 2017 by Harlequin Teen
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Mystery
Sixteen-year-old Sorina has spent most of her life within the smoldering borders of the Gomorrah Festival. Yet even among the many unusual members of the traveling circus-city, Sorina stands apart as the only illusion-worker born in hundreds of years. This rare talent allows her to create illusions that others can see, feel and touch, with personalities all their own. Her creations are her family, and together they make up the cast of the Festival’s Freak Show.
But no matter how lifelike they may seem, her illusions are still just that—illusions, and not truly real. Or so she always believed…until one of them is murdered.
Desperate to protect her family, Sorina must track down the culprit and determine how they killed a person who doesn’t actually exist. Her search for answers leads her to the self-proclaimed gossip-worker Luca, and their investigation sends them through a haze of political turmoil and forbidden romance, and into the most sinister corners of the Festival. But as the killer continues murdering Sorina’s illusions one by one, she must unravel the horrifying truth before all of her loved ones disappear. (Goodreads summary)
“Wicked, Wicked to the core, The city will burn forevermore”
This book was INSANELY good! I received it in my August Once Upon A Book Club box and the gifts that came with it just made reading it sooo much better!
Sorina and her “family” are so interesting. Sorina doesn’t have eyes but she can see and create illusions for others to see. She creates her own family, a grandfather figure, a sister thats also a best friend, funny bickering little brothers. These illusions perform in a Freak Show in the Gomorrah Festival, all having their own odd talent to add to the show. Our story starts out with one of her family members being murdered. This is obviously a problem for more then one reason. 1. Murder 2. Illusions can’t be murdered. Or can they?
Lets talk about the Gomorrah Festival itself. While it is indeed a traveling festival it is also a traveling city with a rich dark history. I loved the vivid descriptions of the festival and the different shows and booths. Gomorrah is split into two sections, there is Uphill where Sorina’s freak show performs and then there is Downhill where the darker more depraved shows and booths reside. There is a sharp contrast between the two and it was interesting to see it through Sorina’s eyes, someone who has lived with the festival almost all her life and yet she rarely ventured into the Downhill.
Sorina herself was a very strong character. She loves her family dearly, even though they aren’t truly real and she will stop at nothing to keep them safe. The craziest thing about her wasn’t her illusions, SHE HAS NO EYES! Yet she can see! The sight of an eyeless face unnerves most people so she wears masks almost all the time. It was so interesting to learn about her abilities as an Illusion Worker through her thoughts, her description of their strings pooling around her feet as she manipulates them. Crazy descriptive writing on Foody’s part!
I loved the mystery of this book. It was the perfect blend of mystery and magic! It kept me guessing right up until the end. The twist really got me! It was so hard to put it down at times! I am now eagerly awaiting Amanda Foody’s next novel Ace of Shades she did so well with this debut novel I can’t help but have high hopes for the next one!
“The smoke is part of Gomorrah’s legend: once upon a time, we were burned to the ground. But we did not die. Instead we kept burning, kept moving, kept growing. The smoke surrounds us, even if we no longer burn.”