Monday, April 25, 2016

Ringmaster (Magic Carnival 1)

The magical Jolly Carnival is the only life Rilla knows--and it's falling apart around her. Just as she's thrust into the role of Ringmaster after her father's unexpected death, an old family friend turns up to challenge her birthright.

Her rival's sexy son Jack isn't helping, either. Despite being a greenhorn and an outsider, he's intent on charming everyone, convincing them all that Rilla isn't up to the task of leading them through these tough times.

But Rilla must also contend with another threat - the ongoing sabotage that has been disturbing their delicate magical balance and threatening to destroy the Carnival. All signs are pointing to an insider, making it impossible to know who to trust.

To save her beloved Carnival, Rilla must do everything she can to find the saboteur before they attack again. But if she takes her eye off the battle for Ringmaster- even for a second -she risks losing everything she's trained for her entire life.

-Goodreads

*****STARS: 5*****

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I am literally obsessed with this book right now. Every page and point and scene was so mind-blowing amazing like holy shitballs Batman. I have a fascination for carnies and anytime I stumble upon an author's work, my inner bookwyrm gets giddy with excitement. A few times I've been let down for different reasons, but I was not disappointed with this.

My #1 love so far is RS Black's Night series (she combines carnies with demons HELLZ YEAH) and I love Jaye's Magic Carnival series about as much as I love Pandora and her naughty, horrid shenanigans. If anything this is like the sunny version of what perverse love Black has got me addicted to. But I'm totally rambling about another book so I'm going to stop right now.

Amaryllis - Rilla - Jolly is a young woman who just lost her father, and suddenly she's given all these difficult tasks to tackle. She's a strong woman suffering through loss, so it's not like she's incompetent, but the fact that her own family were already thinking of hearing out a competitor for her birthright as Ringmaster was just-

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I just couldn't, with them. How dare they betray her like that??? They were supposed to be a tight family, yet there they were, saying she wasn't strong enough? Like, shit! She just lost her dad! Ya'll are scared and we get it, but sticking your head in the sand wasn't the way to go.

*sighs* But at the same time, they had some merit. Rilla was so concentrated on The Gift and was kinda spazzing around that, well, they did need a strong leader. They needed someone to bring them all back together from the loss of a Ringmaster and see that they did have hope. The people of Carnival needed someone to lift them, and for that I can forgive them their brash way of throwing her under the bus. I'm totally fine.

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The plot was interesting, mostly because it wasn't easy to figure out. At times I thought I had it down with the way some people were acting, but towards the end, a few tale-tell signs were there. It was equally as heartbreaking.

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WHY DID IT HAVE TO BE YOU WHY WHY WWHHHHYYYYYYYYYYY WHAT THE FUCK MAN WHYYY????

Jaye wrote this fan-fucking-tastically. I was involved in Rilla and Jack's day-to-day, and I totally cried whenever the loss of her father came up. :( Her low self-esteem and constant battle with relinquishing her hold on being Ringmaster was a bit of a strain and half the time I wish it'd been cut to keep down the depression and headaches, but I just skimmed it if it got too much. Cause seriously. There's only so much depression I can take before I'm clawing my own eyes out, wishing she'd grow a better vulva and woman up.

But it worked with her situation, showing that she was in a real pickle. The time couldn't have been worse for her to take over the carnival, so it made sense to see her come across all these road blocks. Didn't make it any easier, but it worked out in the end.

Now... Jack Knight.

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A++ for the sex Jackanapes

Jackanapes - Jack - Knight. His introduction was perfection. He's an outsider who wants nothing to do with the freaks his dad has yearned to return to, but I think my favorite part was falling for him because Rilla did. Through her eyes, I saw him get hotter by the chapter and- wow. haha. Seeing his disposition go through such change was just as entertaining as the plot, if not more (I'm a hopeless romantic). I loved how he fell for the Carnival as much as I love it, but most of all I just loved watching him change towards the carnies and Rilla. XD

He was a total sneaky little prick, turning the others against Rilla to gain his father a lead in the competition, but then we see that he's just uptight and horny (sorry haha) and mainly looking out for his dad and then it's like, "Can you blame the dude?" So of course it then becomes a tennis match because I can't tell whose side to choose but at the same time it morphs into something more than a mere 'who can piss longer' and it's like-

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Intense. Alluring. Pure entertainment. Magical. There aren't enough words to describe what this book is, or what it did to me. The writing was great in delivering the carny love, and the POVs of Jack and Rilly were a great way to get the whole experience. I loved seeing both sides to the story. Jaye gave the feeling that I'd always belonged, and at the same time, I got introduced to the crew right along with Jack. It really was like the best of both worlds.

The carnies all had their own personalities and got under my skin more than once, but it gave them depth. I certainly suspected a few of them as the saboteur. Christoph, Garth, Alf, Viktor, Tami, they were all parts of Carnival that really made things feel more real. But seriously, on top of the romance and the heartache and fear and anticipation, Jaye did the BEST at creating Carnival, the spirit of the carnies' home. It was one creative thing after another, making things more uniquely beautiful and magical and I just turned into a kid every time they put on a show. I fucking loved it.

This is a definite recommend. If you love carnies and fantasy and some good detective work, this book is fucking BAE. You will regret not reading it. The author's writing was great, I think I only found two technical errors (trust me, that's great right now) and the story kept me intrigued. My emotions were all over the place, but in the end, I was always left feeling like a punter. I did more than read a book. I was treated to a show, and I left the big tent with memories I'll not be forgetting in the near future.

Or ever.

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Happy Reading =^-^=

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