Cover Image: Blood Circus

Blood Circus

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Member Reviews

I read an ARC copy of Crimson Circus from NetGalley and Blackstone Publishing. Thank you for this opportunity!

I have a lot of mixed feelings about this book.

First, what is this book about? Set in a dystopian book after what seems like global warming and capitalism has eradicated most of the livable world, Ava now lives with her adopted family, wishing she was a normal girl, but kept sheltered and on a vegetarian diet where everyone else is allowed to eat the meat of monsters that look and almost think on a level of humanity. One day, a bully targets her, and after a wolf saves her, he accuses her of having the same color eyes as the monsters.

She runs away, only to be captured by these monsters and brought to their "Circo" where with a bunch of other girls, where she plays in their "Games" where only three of them can win, and losing means death, but winning means learning more about yourself and the world around you.
Honestly, once I started reading, I couldn't put this book down. It truly captured my imagination. The world was vibrant and well thought out. Ava might be a little ridiculous, but she's a teenage girl, and she rides the line of annoying but undesirable perfectly, and I loved her even at her most annoying. While I also got where her twist in character was going, I wanted to read how it was going to be revealed.

That said, some parts of the book did rub me the wrong way. There seemed to be a slight message against medicine, but this could have been partly because of the twist, and also a simple statement that eating better is important. Also, I couldn't help but roll my eyes at the plotline of the trans character. I understood why she in the book couldn't use the gender pronouns they preferred as the society she was in meant she couldn't appear "different", but the way her storyline played out seemed so old-fashioned and pandering that it just seemed a little tone-deaf. Also, how the creature was depicted was less than ideal. The idea that they're so "enlightened" while they're also doing these trials, some of this is explained as it is because of misogyny, but it hit a little like "maybe you should slowly introduce your children to the wild instead of throwing them into the wild after pampering them, that seems cruel". There were a few other things, but those were the big things that brought down my enjoyment and brought me out of the book.

That said, the book kept me engaged. The amnesia thing was well explained through how food was used to keep people from completely remembering everything in their life so that we could be opened to new information about Ava's past. The trials were fascinating and brutal and wonderful, and I loved the different personalities of all the different girls and all the twists at the end, and I look forward to the sequel of this book.

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Don't let the title or whimsical cover fool you like it did me. I'm disappointed this has nothing to do with an actual circus…

I'm also let down by the uninspired nature of it all. This story just feels so recycled to me. For a debut novel, I want to see something new and original and fresh. I don't want to read a 100th iteration of the Hunger Games, even if it does have an alien-like twist to it.

I think younger readers will probably enjoy this because it does try to be edgy and they might find that cool. But as someone who has better and more mature versions of this kind of story (and also as someone who was hoping for something different in general), this just didn't work for me, unfortunately.

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Really awesome book from start to finish. Gripped my attention right away. The cover is gorgeous and eye catching. I would recommend this book to my peers and followers.

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Okay, first, this is not a circus book like Night Circus or Caraval with all the glitz and performance and delights. If you are looking for those, this is not your book. BUT, if you are looking for brutal, gory, competition like Hunger Games, then yes I will recommend this one. Readers will need strong stomach for this book because it has vivid details of the gory scenes.

I have those expectations while starting this book, and not disappointed per se as it took an entirely different turn. The somewhat near-apocalyptic vibes is strong, and I love that this book carried underlying messages of preserving natures and about consuming habit, also about having blind faith and willingness to look from both sides of the story. The world building is immersive, the suspense and challenges were gripping, it's almost impossible to put down.

I love Ava as leading character, especially her relationship with Wolf! I get that this might be the first book in a series, a lot of things going on, but I wish she showed to display a stronger personality like Wendy or even Elizabeth had. To be fair, she was in a situation she could only follow her instinct, but I hope that in the following book we will get more about her personality as she discovers who she really is and what is she going to do about that. Same goes to Diablo (although maybe because we didn't get enough pages of him haha)

Overall, it was a strong debut! Excited for the next book!

< Review copy received via Netgalley for an honest review >

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WoW! What a total shocker! For me anyway. Was not expecting to enjoy this as much as I did.
But Victoire came rushing into my life like a ton of bricks and took me completely by surprise.
Blood Circus by Camila Victoire was addicting and wonderfully brilliant debut.
Her writing is flawless and so beautiful.
The characters are fun and the atmosphere is encompassing. Ava was an incredible character I truly enjoyed reading her story and being sucked into her world.
The world-building was amazing. I could almost feel it all around me, it was so immersive.
Everything was perfect: the characters, the world-building, the plot!

“I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.”

Blackstone Publishing,
Thank You for your generosity and gifting me a copy of this amazing eARC!
I will post my review to my blog, platforms, BookBub, B&N, Kobo and Waterstone closer to pub date.

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I'm not a fan of books that revolve around the circus, but I thought I would give this chance. I am so glad I did because it was amazing. I had the perfect amount of suspense, magic realism and fantasy elements. This is a 100% 5 Star book!

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