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?
Calico Thunder Rides Again is a beautifully magical read that packs in all the feels with great dose of action and adventure. I’m a huge fan of the historical era of the 1920’s and this story perfectly blends the feel and look of the time with the many fantastical elements. The two are woven seamlessly together and I loved how care was taken to ensure that the magics fed into the environment.
Jake is a wonderful character and his situation is made all the more heartbreaking by the fact that he has worked so hard to make everything right. He has earned so much trust and respect from his team and also his patrons, it’s a wholesome environment full of love and care, especially for the magical creatures including the dragon Calico Thunder! He takes everything in his stride as best he can and has the wellbeing of others at the front of his mind at all times. Grace is equally wonderful as the carer of the magical creatures and her and Jake make a great team as they attempt to save the day as plans inevitably never quite come together.
The circus is a vibrant environment and the author paints a wonderful picture of the circus acts and also the interactions behind the scenes especially with the circus’s resident diva! It’s a fast paced story leading up to an exciting conclusion that will certainly tug at the heartstrings but ultimately leaving you with a feeling of soaring like you’re dragon riding yourself!
I received this book to read and review as part of the BBNYA 2020 competition and/or the BBNYA tours organised by the @The_WriteReads tours team. All opinions are my own, unbiased and honest.
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