Monday, February 15, 2021

Calico Thunder Rides Again

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, welcome to the Most Fantastic Show on Earth...

Three years ago, the Ban changed everything, outlawing certain forms of magic and bringing about the rise of powerful crime syndicates. Now, speakeasies in every city sell illegal charms and jinxes, and bootleggers traffic restricted potion ingredients across the country. But even in this changing world, the magic of the circus still acts as a wondrous escape and provides entertainment for all.​

Jake Strickland owns one such circus, inherited after an accident ended his career as a rodeo dragon rider. He also inherited the circus’ financial troubles, but since the show became his, he’s slowly managed to turn it into a profitable business once more. Or at least, that’s what he thought.

When a dangerous mobster comes to collect an old debt, Jake resorts to desperate measures to get the money before a strict deadline. With lives and livelihoods at stake, he battles the clock, his responsibilities to the circus, and a longstanding personal grudge that has festered for years. Can he pay back the mob before it’s too late?

Book source ~ BBNYA
5 November 2019
Fantasy | Paranormal
200 Pages
Buy links HERE

My Rating ~ 4 bites and a nibble

Jake Strickland used to ride dragons in a wild west show until an accident at 23 ended that career. When his dad dies he inherits his magical traveling circus. Literally magical. Though not as magical since the Ban and thus not as profitable. Jake finds out his dad ran it into the ground and it’s so far in the red Jake’s not sure he can raise it up again. But he digs in and after a lot of hard work and money to pay off debts, they are making a profit again. Until a mobster comes along and tells Jake his dad owed him a fuckton of money and he’s calling the debt due in full by the end of the month. Wut?! What follows is what a desperate man does to save the people he cares about.

This is one of those stories that eases you into the story and then carries you away. It’s not a flashy fast high speed chase. More like a slow slide into a nice hot bath on a cold snowy day. First, it’s about a circus. Then the author kicks it up a notch and makes it a magical circus. With illusions and mystical beasts including a dragon! Third there’s the Ban where most magic is against the law so charms and jinxes and things of that sort have to go underground. Next there’s some great characters and a look at how a traveling magical circus operates. Now, all of this is good stuff, but maybe a bit dry. However! Jake, owner of the circus, has just reached a goal he’s been working towards for three hard years and is finally in a good place. Well, that’s just not going to cut it, now is it? Enter the villain. And, oh boy, what a nasty piece of work this dude is. You’ll hate him.

Jake, all around great guy, is now desperate. And desperate people do desperate things. I have to say how much I felt for Jake. Stuck between a rock and, well, a bigger rock, he’s scrambling for most of the book to make the villain go away. It’ll break your heart. Assuming you have one. *squints at you* Anyway, I really thought this book was going to end on a big downer, but I should have had faith. The ending is awesome. Seriously. I have no idea if there will be a next book or not. It doesn’t really need one, but I’d definitely follow the characters into their next adventure. If you like magic, a circus, great characters, and a nasty villain then I highly recommend you pick this book up. I really don’t think you’ll regret it.

About the Author

T. A. Hernandez is a science fiction and fantasy author and long-time fan of speculative fiction. She grew up with her nose habitually stuck in a book and her mind constantly wandering to make-believe worlds full of magic and adventure. She began writing after reading J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings many years ago and is now is happily engaged in an exciting and lifelong quest to tell captivating stories.

She is a clinical social worker and the proud mother of two girls. She also enjoys drawing, reading, graphic design, playing video games, riding her motorcycle, and making happy memories with her family and friends.

I received this book to read and review as part of the BBNYA 2020 competition and/or the BBNYA tours organised by the The Write Reads tours team. My opinion is voluntary, unbiased, and honest.

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