My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This one was a decent YA story, not great, not terrible. It’s characters needed to be a bit more fleshed out but over all I liked it. Beatrix ‘Trix’ Ling is an orphan at a snobby boarding school (naturally) and of course everyone picks on her but she is a state champion wanna be in gymnastics, which only crops up now and again when necessary and we’re more often told about it than shown.
The school ends up going on a trip to the Circus Galacticus and only Trix can see special writing on the circus poster. Also of note, her parents were astronauts who died somehow leaving her with a ‘special’ treasure, a meteor rock. Trix wakes up to someone in the dorm room trying to steal this, a man named Nyl, who warns her away from the circus and its lying Ringmaster. After she fights him off, she wakes up with pink hair.
Naturally she goes anyhow and when he chases her, she ends up backstage and meets the oh so handsome Ringmaster (he has no other name). He invites her to join them and she goes. This is what bothers me a bit. It’s not just a circus. It’s a circus that is a living star ship and they’re all aliens and she doesn’t hesitate. Yeah life sucks at school but she never gives it a second thought. She doesn’t even go back for her belongings or even think about what she left behind (she has the meteor on her). This doesn’t seem particularly realistic and that’s always a problem with this sort of thing with the paranormal or aliens, either people over react or under react (and I’m not sure what a normal reaction would be but at least thinking it over might help).
Trix makes her first friend Nola (and we’re told this ad nauseum) a girl who’s special abilities are technology related. As Trix learns there WAS intelligent design to the universe (but it’s not God), the Mandate went through the universe messing with DNA so everything in the known universe looks human with the basic human colorings/races. The Tinkers on the other hand went through and put in variation of wild sorts. After millennia of warfare both groups have all but disappeared and a Core Government exists in the more civilized parts of the universe. Nyl, naturally is the unimaginative Mandate and Ringmaster and the Bigtop (the ship) and crew are Tinker-Touched. Trix is one of them, or so she believes.
Basically the Bigtop goes around the galaxy performing its acts and they recruit other Tinkers. Here’s where the world building gets a little weak. Why are they only teenagers (besides the fact this is a YA book)? What are they planning to do? Why did the outcasts break off from Ringmaster and the rest? Why is almost everyone on this ship rich to begin with (and are escaping the public eye before the Mandate (which is making a comeback) and the government (which is slowly becoming Mandate controlled) can genetically cleanse them? I’m betting some of these questions will be answered in the next book. Even though this story is complete onto itself (thanks for that) it’s obviously part of a series.
I did like the characters even if they did need more meat on the bone. Yes Trix is the loser/can’t fit in archetype but you do want to see if she fits in with the circus or is forced on her way. I did really like the fact that Ringmaster said something to the affect of you don’t expect to fit in somewhere. You have to MAKE your own place. It wasn’t a bad book. I’d get the next one if the library gets it.
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