4.0 on the Masq Scale. Sideshow in the Center Ring by @MarianAllen #scifi #bookreview

Cover links to Amazon.com

Sideshow in the
Center Ring

Written by Marian Allen

Genre: Science Fiction

Book Synopsis

Marian Allen invites you join comedy star Connie Phelan on a planet where slavery is legal. Connie has suffered an unfortunate cosmetic reaction, but she isn't going to let that keep her from her goals: outgrowing her clown identity, avoiding a love/hate relationship with her nemesis, and resisting the urge to do a good deed.

Sara S.'s Review

Sideshow in the Center Ring is a fascinating tale of Connie, a smart-ass comedy star who’s gotten it into her head that rising in the ranks of a socially elite group will make her happy. Or maybe she’s doing it not so much for the happiness, but rather as a “that’ll show ’em” gesture to everyone that spat on her when she was a nobody.

That’s one of the things I like about Connie. She’s got ghosts. She’s flawed, and damaged, and she’s got this idea about herself that conflicts with who she really is. She’s one of the most interesting characters I’ve read about in a while and that joy is only deepened as the story is relayed in her point of view. The voice in which the story is told is fun, witty, and endearing as we get to root for Connie to pull her head out of her tuckus and realize what’s really important in life.

On the downside, I feel this novel had something of a slow start. A lot of backstory was given in the beginning, telling of Connie’s childhood in Hell Alley and of her Aunt Bootsie. All of it was very interesting, and important to her character, but I do remember wondering at one point on when the story was going to start.

And then there’s Darryl, main antagonist and all-round slime-ball. I mean, yeah, I’m pretty sure the author meant to portray him as such a weasel. But reading about someone without any redeeming qualities feels like a missed opportunity for some fantastic love/hate conflict.

All in all, though, Sideshow in the Center Ring was a really enjoyable book. Well written and easy to read, I’d recommend it to anyone who likes sci-fi, character driven stories, and to cat lovers in general.

Review Disclaimer: Book provided in exchange for an honest review.

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