Review: Freeks by Amanda Hocking

Monday, January 23, 2017

Freeks by Amanda Hocking
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: January 3rd, 2017
Rating: 4 Stars
Source: Publisher
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 400

Summary (from Goodreads!):

Welcome to Gideon Davorin’s Traveling Sideshow, where necromancy, magical visions, and pyrokinesis are more than just part of the act…

Mara has always longed for a normal life in a normal town where no one has the ability to levitate or predict the future. Instead, she roams from place to place, cleaning the tiger cage while her friends perform supernatural feats every night.

When the struggling sideshow is miraculously offered the money they need if they set up camp in Caudry, Louisiana, Mara meets local-boy Gabe…and a normal life has never been more appealing.

But before long, performers begin disappearing and bodies are found mauled by an invisible beast. Mara realizes that there’s a sinister presence lurking in the town with its sights set on getting rid of the sideshow freeks. In order to unravel the truth before the attacker kills everyone Mara holds dear, she has seven days to take control of a power she didn’t know she was capable of—one that could change her future forever.

Bestselling author Amanda Hocking draws readers inside the dark and mysterious world of Freeks.

Going into this book, I didn't really know what I was expecting. I have never read anything by Amanda Hocking before, but have definitely heard good things. So I didn't really have high or low expectations for this book, but for some reason I was not expecting to like this one as much as I did. I never actually read the whole synopsis when I requested it, it had me at 'necromancy'.

Also, that cover is so neat.

So this book takes place in March of 1987 when the traveling sideshow rolls in to Caudry, Louisiana for a ten day show that is supposed to really bring in a lot of money for everyone. This is a nice change because before this show, no one in the carnival seemed to have two pennies to rub together.

Mara has lived with this traveling sideshow for basically her whole life. Her mother is a necromancer and serves as the carnival's fortune-teller. Mara doesn't seem to have been gifted with any supernatural abilities so her jobs usually consist of set up and tear down, errands, and cleaning up tiger poop.

I really liked Mara. She loves the sideshow and everyone in it, but it seems like she would love nothing more than a real house and a permanent address. In fact, after arriving in Caudry, after helping set up, she takes a walk by herself to check out the town and ends up at a house party and most of her thought process revolves around the house and whats in it.

This is the party where she meets Gabe and his sister, Selena. They come from money. They dress nicely and live in a house that is basically a mansion. They have nice cars. The party Mara wound up at was Selena's 21st birthday party. I really liked Selena. She's always so nice whenever she shows up in the book.

Gabe is also a great character. He seems really chill and sweet. He and Mara end up making out in his bedroom the night they meet and I was all about that. It's not really supposed to go any further than that because Mara will only be in Caudry for 10 days, but over that short period of time, Gabe and Mara really get close. They have a lot of ups and downs and secrets that they don't want to share with each other, but they make it work and I loved it.

I really loved most of the other characters in this book too. Gideon is the one that started the sideshow as a way to help people with abilities feel like they belong somewhere. He's so protective of everyone in the carnival and he's like a father figure to Mara.

Okay, so when the carnival arrives in Caudry, all of the people with extra senses can feel that there is something really off about this town. Even Mara can feel something is off. Shortly after arriving in the town, their camp begins to be stalked by some kind of creature and some of the performers are attacked. So this book has kind of a mystery/thriller feel to it while they are trying to figure out what it is that is hunting them.

I love how brave Mara is when it comes to this creature that's stalking people. It seems like when someone is hurt or being attacked she is usually one of the first people to run out to try to help. She doesn't really have too much of a care for herself in these situations, she just wants to help the people she loves. I appreciated that about her.

If I had to say that anything bothered me about this book, it would just be the fact that it wasn't really as brutal as I was expecting it to be. The last paragraph of the synopsis made me feel like the bodies were gonna start piling up in this book, but really there's not a lot of death. There are some brutal maulings, but not as bad as I was expecting.

And another thing is just that no one really seemed as broken up over the deaths that do happen as I felt like they should have. It's just kind of like, "Oh, this person died, boo hoo, let's move on." I feel like people should have been sadder than they were.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book! If you like yourself a good mystery or books about carnivals and their 'freeks', you will probably enjoy this book. I'm not usually one who actually loves supernatural/paranormal twists to books, but I thoroughly enjoyed this one!


  1. Great review! I also really enjoyed this book and I agree what you said about Mara; I also loved her character :)

    Amy @ A Magical World Of Words

    1. She was so fun. I am so glad that I ended up getting a copy of this book because I probably never would have bought it for myself!

  2. I'm glad you like this one, Cyra. I recently read it, and I was just meh about it. I thought the same thing as you about how casual they were about people dying, especially at the very end with a certain character. Like, what? You'd be a lot more sad than that. C'mon! Lol. I also thought the romance was a little insta-lovey. But, on its own, I did like the make-out session in the beginning. It was nice to see a female character do that and it not be a big deal, you know? Have you read her Trylle series? I really like that one. The spin-off is also great!

    1. I havne't read anything else by Amanda Hocking, but I would like to! And THAT death is the one that made me go, COME ON YOU WOULD BE SAD! I agree that the romance was insta-lovey, but I guess I could see why! I was SO here for the make out session in the beginning!! I wish you had liked it more!!

  3. I love Amanda Hocking so definitely putting this on my TBR!!

    1. I hope you love it Katy!! It was such a fun read!!


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