Friday, June 8, 2018

ARC Review: Carnival Magic

36036559Carnival Magic (The Castle in the Mist #2)

This companion to Castle In the Mist features a mysterious carnival, an ominous psychic, and a wind that whisks Tess and Max away from their vacation in South Devon, England. Which fantastical world will they find this time?

Tess and Max are back in England for another summer with their Aunt Evie–this time by the seashore in South Devon. And they’re incredibly excited about the travelling carnival that’s come to town. There are rides, games, acrobats, The House of Mirrors–and even a psychic, with a beautiful wagon all her own.

In a visit to the psychic’s wagon, while Tess is being hypnotized, the wagon seems to move. Before Tess can shake herself out of the hypnosis, before Max can do anything, they seem to be travelling–along with the rest of the carnival–too quickly for the two of them to jump out. But where are they going and what awaits them? Will they be caught in a world different from their own? And do the Baranova twins, acrobats who miss their sister almost as much as Tess and Max miss their family, hold the keys to the mystery?

Internationally bestselling author Amy Ephron returns with a companion novel to The Castle in the Mist and creates a magical tale filled with adventure, mystery, fantasy, family, and fun.

Praise for Carnival Magic

“Full of wonder and real-life enchantment, Amy Ephron’s Carnival Magic is a charming adventure that will make a believer out of anyone!” –Rachel Vail, author of Well, That Was Awkward and the Friendship Ring series.


*I received a copy from the publisher for review. This does not affect my review.*

I had high hopes for this book…Perhaps too high? I haven’t read the first book, though after reading this, I plan to, but the blurb sounded interesting. After reading some of the praise for The Castle in the Mist, I couldn’t wait to start this one.

It started slow, and I never really connected with the characters. Normally I would chock this up to it being a middle-grade book, but I’ve read quite a few middle-grade, and didn’t have a problem connecting with characters. This one just seemed…over simplified? As if the children reading were unable to draw conclusions of their own while reading.

I also never felt anything, from the first moment when Tess visits the zoo, and meets the tiger cub, throughout the story, I admit I was curious as to what would happen, but I never really cheered on the characters, or feared for their safety, or even felt saddened then they parted ways again.

That said, I did enjoy some of the side characters. Alexei, Anna, Tara, and Julian were all interesting, and I did care what happened to them, but still not enough to fall in love with this book.