Show Stopper
Set in a near-future England where the poorest people in the land are forced to sell their children to a travelling circus - to perform at the mercy of hungry lions, sabotaged high wires and a demonic ringmaster. The ruling class visit the circus as an escape from their structured, high-achieving lives - pure entertainment with a bloodthirsty edge. Ben, the teenage son of a draconian government minister, visits the circus for the first time and falls instantly in love with Hoshiko, a young performer. They come from harshly different worlds - but must join together to escape the circus and put an end to its brutal sport.

Show Stopper Details

TitleShow Stopper
Author
FormatPaperback
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJun 1st, 2017
PublisherScholastic
Number of pages400 pages
Rating
GenreScience Fiction, Dystopia, Young Adult

Show Stopper Review

  • Marochka
    April 11, 2017
    Я бы не назвала идею очень оригинальной: антиутопия, недалекое будущее, угнетение бедных богатыми. Да я такое в каждой второй книге видела.А вот та часть, которая касается цирка, довольно оригинальна. Почти все действия в книге происходят на территории цирка. Я таких антиутопий не то что не читала, даже вспомнить не могу. У меня большое подозрение, что эта книга первая с таким сюжетом. Тем не менее, в конце герои, наконец, покидают цирк, и, подозреваю, в следующей части это будет самая обычная а Я бы не назвала идею очень оригинальной: антиутопия, недалекое будущее, угнетение бедных богатыми. Да я такое в каждой второй книге видела.А вот та часть, которая касается цирка, довольно оригинальна. Почти все действия в книге происходят на территории цирка. Я таких антиутопий не то что не читала, даже вспомнить не могу. У меня большое подозрение, что эта книга первая с таким сюжетом. Тем не менее, в конце герои, наконец, покидают цирк, и, подозреваю, в следующей части это будет самая обычная антиутопия, если, конечно, автор не придумает что-нибудь еще.Я люблю антиутопии. Мне нравится погружаться в их «другой», непохожий на наш мир. И, пускай, я не любитель книг о цирке, эта история меня довольно быстро захватила, да так и не отпустила (что сказать, книгу я прочла за день, а она немаленькая).Не скажу, что в книге были какие-то крутые повороты сюжета. Он развивался довольно динамично, но «по прямой». Всё как всегда, так сказать, по накатанной дорожке: девочка из угнетенных, мальчик из угнетающих, встретились, влюбились, попробовали спасти себя (и, естественно, как всегда младшую сестру\младшего брата героини), заодно попробовали спасти мир.Интрига в книге одна: кого же еще убьёт кровожадный автор. Автор действительно никого не жалеет (конечно, не Дж.Мартин, но это, пожалуй, одна из самых жестоких антиутопий, что я читала). Но конец довольно ожидаемый. Хотя если бы я не знала, что будет продолжение (теоретически), наверное, опасалась бы за судьбы главных героев, автор и впрямь никого не щадит.Если бы продолжение было бы у меня в руках прямо сейчас, я обязательно бы прочитала его. Но, хоть в первой части и достаточно открытый конец, сразу ясно, что будет во второй: восстание, борьба против правительства и т.д., и т.п. Книга не заканчивается так, что хочется закричать: «Как это, а что дальше???» Например, когда в одной из самых популярных антиутопий нашего времени «Голодных Играх» Гейл говорит Китнисс в самом конце первой части: «Китнисс, нет больше Дистрикта-12», безумно хочется узнать, что значит «нет»? А как же люди? А как же близкие, родственники, друзья героев? Что вообще произошло? Здесь же все понятно. И если бы история завершилась на этом, было бы немного странно, но вряд ли кто-то стал бы возмущенно кричать: «Так что дальше?» В принципе, всем понятно, что дальше.Мир абсолютно не оригинальный, но очень жестокий. Думаю, автор и сама понимала, что мир мало чем отличается от других антиутопичных миров, поэтому и решила подпустить жестокости.Во всех антиутопиях какую-то (чаще всего большую) часть населения угнетает (и зачастую убивает) другая часть населения. Но обычно это делается с какими-то пояснениями, так сказать, оправданиями свои действий: те же Голодные Игры проводятся в наказание за восстание, в «Бегущем в лабиринте» Дж.Дэшнера правительство проводит над подростками эксперимент, дабы спасти остальное человечество, в «Уродине» С.Вестерфельда правительство уверяет всех в том, что делая людей «Красивыми» делает их счастливыми и т.д.В данной книге правительство не скрывается. Оно откровенно ненавидит «Отбросов» и абсолютно открыто пытается их всех уничтожить. К ним относятся хуже, чем к животным, за убийство «Отброса» не только никто не получит наказание, наоборот, за это еще и вознаградят. Самое точное определение для изгоев в этой книге – назойливые насекомые, от которых очень трудно избавиться. Здесь, если «Отбросы» в цирке выступили так, что ни один из них не упал с каната, никого не съело дикое животное и никто заживо не сгорел, шоу провалилось.Сами детали мира не слишком прописаны, так как мы видим мир глазами двух подростков: одна не видела в жизни ничего, кроме цирка, а другой – ничего, кроме элитной школы и шикарного особняка. Но мир настолько ужасный и мрачный, что, пожалуй, читателю прочих деталей и не нужно.Если честно, не скажу, что я жестокий человек, но мне понравилось, что автор не пишет «воздушную антиутопию» вроде «Разрушь меня» Т.Мафи, в которой, по-моему, за три книги ни один персонаж не умер. В жестокости здесь просматривается некая правдоподобность, так что оно того стоит.Книга написана от лица двух главных героев. И история чередуется, порой, буквально каждые три секунды. Абзац от лица героини, абзац от лица героя. Две строчки от лица героини, две строчки от лица героя.Обычно я люблю такие книги, где мы видим историю сразу с двух сторон, но в этом случае меня такое повествование, скажем так, напрягало. Я буквально не успевала переключиться. И если в русском языке хотя бы понятно сразу, от женского или мужского лица повествование, то в английском, как известно, с этим туго. Помню в третьей части серии М.Ходкин «Мара Дайер» в финале была целая глава, где главные герои-рассказчики сменялись через каждую строчку. Не только меня такое повествование тогда не порадовало.С героями автор, на мой взгляд, подкачала. Они меня абсолютно не впечатлили. Во-первых, я их просто не понимала. Весь сюжет книги – три дня, о чем неустанно нам напоминает автор. Она сама словно удивляется от лица героев: и как за три дня я мог(ла) так влюбиться и полностью изменить свой мир? Вот и я задавалась этим вопросом. История любви героев не просто нелогичная, она откровенно бредовая. С чего мальчику из «Чистых», сыну одной из самых ярых противниц «Отбросов» в правительстве влюбляться в девчонку, которую он лишь однажды видел, с которой даже не говорил. Он пожертвовал абсолютно всем ради девчонки, которую действительно просто однажды видел. Но тут еще ладно, он видел, как она выступала, возможно, взыграли его шестнадцатилетние гормоны… А вот она… она его даже не видела толком, не говорила с ним, не знала, из какой он семьи. И, все так же удивляясь короткому сроку их знакомства, автор после одного их разговора пишет от лица обоих: «Не знаю, как так вышло, ведь прошло всего три дня, но я тебя люблю». Я уже тем более не знаю, как так вышло. Ну я могла бы еще поверить в то, что они нравились друг другу и поэтому начали ради друг друга всем жертвовать, может быть, они бы подружились, может, их объединила бы ненависть к их жестокому и несправедливому миру… но любовь? Вы о чем?В общем, все поступки героев (ну, ладно, почти все) глупые и нелогичные, на мой взгляд. Про эмоции их даже сказать нечего.Да и характеры такие странные: девчонка, вроде как, вся такая мятежница, за словом в карман не лезет, никому не доверяет, ненавидит «Чистых», и влюбляется вот после одного разговора.Ну, если закрыть глаза на поступки героя, у него характер, вроде как, прописан более-менее: добрый, немного романтичный и наивный паренек.Если говорить о книге в целом, несмотря на ее недостатки: любовь до гроба после одного разговора за три дня, нелогичное поведение героев и некоторую «антитопичную шаблонность», мне она понравилась.Читалась она легко и быстро, сюжет, несмотря, опять же, на стандартное развитие как в любой книге-антиутопии, хорошо сдобрен оригинальными подробностями и все той же атмосферой цирка.В книге, определенно, есть динамика: герои никогда не сидели на месте и не думали по 40 страниц о своей нелегкой судьбинушке. Им просто было некогда (по сюжету же всего 3 дня прошло, а сколько человек автор за это время загробила, сколько событий произошло). В общем, от книги с самого начала и до конца оторваться было сложно.Не скажу, что она вошла в список моих самых любимых книг, да и выделить я ее из сотен книг, которые обычно читаю за год, не могу, но я, определенно, не пожалела потраченного времени.
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  • KatieBookQueen
    June 22, 2017
    Reviewed at: http://www.queenofteenfiction.co.uk/Show Stopper is told from the POV of both Ben and Hoshiko, two very different characters in a dystopian world where people are split into Pures and Dregs. The Pures consist of those who are considered 'Pure English' whilst the Dregs are immigrants. Ben is a Pure, privileged from birth and living better off than most due to his mother's high position in the government. Hoshi is a Dreg who was taken away from her family in the slums and made to perf Reviewed at: http://www.queenofteenfiction.co.uk/Show Stopper is told from the POV of both Ben and Hoshiko, two very different characters in a dystopian world where people are split into Pures and Dregs. The Pures consist of those who are considered 'Pure English' whilst the Dregs are immigrants. Ben is a Pure, privileged from birth and living better off than most due to his mother's high position in the government. Hoshi is a Dreg who was taken away from her family in the slums and made to perform in the circus, a deadly show that doesn't shy away from killing Dregs for the entertainment of the Pures.This book is very dark, and very terrifying. The attitude that the Pures have with regrads to anyone who is different to them is honestly horrific to read, and the worst part is that there are genuinely people out there in our world today who would share some of those opinions. This story's commentary on racial diversion is so important because whilst it may seem out there and exaggerated, there is a dark reality behind it. The way that this split is explained makes a situation like this feel so believable, and it makes you shudder just thinking about it.Whilst I expected this story to be creepy, I wasn't prepared for just how grim it got. The way the Dregs are treated, even by the circus ringmaster who is also a Dreg, is stomach-turning. It's such a horrible world to read about, and yet I couldn't stop reading. I was completely sucked into Hoshi's struggle, and Ben's realisation that his life as a Pure is nothing like he thought.Ben's side of the story was interesting because the world and the lifestyle he knew was crumbling down around him. Seeing him come to his senses and finally open his eyes to the horror that was going on around him was one of the few points of triumph in this story. Whilst I enjoyed his narration, it was Hoshi's side of the story that made Show Stopper such a compelling read for me. She had a huge amount of determination and strength that made it impossible not to root for her. The relationship she had with Greta and Amina, others in the circus, was touching and provided some of the more lighthearted scenes in the story.There was romance between Ben and Hoshi, which I expected, but it develops very quickly over the course of a few days. Instalove is something that I really don't enjoy in YA, but when it comes to this story, I understood the need for things to move as fast as they did because no one has the benefit of taking their time with anything. I have to mention that this book is very dark to the point that it felt emotionally draining at times because of how many negative events occur. But it was necessary for the plot and to show us all what the world within this book is truly like. It's definitely not for the lighthearted! I'm interested to learn more about this world, and the steps the society within it took to get to the point they're at now. There's so much more to learn and I'm excited to find out what happens next.
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  • SJH (A Dream of Books)
    March 9, 2017
    4.5 stars. ‘Show Stopper’ by Hayley Barker was a really unique and original read. I whizzed through it pretty quickly because it was gripping and fast-flowing and hard to put down. There were two things that I particularly enjoyed about the book. The first was that the author has chosen to base the concept for the story on the divide which is apparent in today’s society between natural born citizens and immigrants. The twist on this, is that she has depicted a near-future society where immigrant 4.5 stars. ‘Show Stopper’ by Hayley Barker was a really unique and original read. I whizzed through it pretty quickly because it was gripping and fast-flowing and hard to put down. There were two things that I particularly enjoyed about the book. The first was that the author has chosen to base the concept for the story on the divide which is apparent in today’s society between natural born citizens and immigrants. The twist on this, is that she has depicted a near-future society where immigrants have become so reviled that they are called ‘dregs’. Their lives are not valued, they have been ostracised and pushed aside and in some cases, their children have been taken from them. In comparison, the ‘pures’ consider themselves to be the best of society and as the ruling class, they treat the ‘dregs’ as nothing more than servants or a tool for their own entertainment. I thought this was such a brilliant story idea as it’s so topical and explored at its most extreme. The second thing that I loved about ‘Show Stopper’ is the fact that most of the action is set in the circus. There just aren’t enough stories which use the big tent as a back-drop and yet it’s something that always really attracts me towards a book. Barker’s circus is a place where dreg children are taken and made to perform for the entertainment of the pures. They are given little food, kept in squalid conditions and seen as expendable commodities. If their deaths provide an evening’s entertainment then so be it. The way that the story wove between the two perspectives of Ben, a pure and Hoshiko, a tight-rope walker was fantastic. I particularly enjoyed the scenes with Hoshiko who is at the mercy of the circus ring-leader and although physically beaten down, never lets her will to live and her desire for freedom, die. Ben is fascinated by Hoshiko and through her, his ideas about right and wrong, freedom and liberation, begin to change. It’s Hoshiko’s relationship with some of the other circus performers though that I especially enjoyed reading about. They have become a family in response to being taken away from their own flesh and blood. If the thought of a YA novel set in the circus isn’t enough to whet your appetite, then I can tell you that this is also an imaginative and unique read which is wonderfully written and a treat to dive into. Get your hands on this book as soon as you can!
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  • Laura
    June 19, 2017
    Originally posted on:> http://www.laurapatriciarose.co.uk/20...Show Stopper was a book that I heard about way back in January! I was really intrigued to where the story would go and what the relevance of the circus was. This is set in a near-future England where the poorest people must watch their children be taken by a travelling circus and not just any circus, a deadly one. These people are known as the Dregs- literally the dregs of society, whereas the ruling class are know as the Pures, p Originally posted on:> http://www.laurapatriciarose.co.uk/20...Show Stopper was a book that I heard about way back in January! I was really intrigued to where the story would go and what the relevance of the circus was. This is set in a near-future England where the poorest people must watch their children be taken by a travelling circus and not just any circus, a deadly one. These people are known as the Dregs- literally the dregs of society, whereas the ruling class are know as the Pures, pure and white and good. Ben is a Pure and has been brought up to believe that the dregs are inhuman and a drain on society, that is until the Circus comes to town. Ben instantly falls for Hoshiko, one of the performers in the circus. Ben quickly realises that the circus has more menace than he was led to believe and as his and Hoshiko's world's collide, can they come together to end this draconian society.I found Show Stopper a huge and pretty horrifying eye opener. It was an incredibly tough read and I now desperately need something to boost my mood. The scary thing about this book is that you can picture it happening, maybe not with a deadly circus, but something similar. With the huge divide in todays world between natives and immigrants and also ethic minorities and the racial hatred that exists between people, Hayley has heightened this in a world where they have literally become the dregs of society and are of no value to anyone else. It is not a world that I would ever want to be a part of on either side of the coin.There were quite a few instances where I thought the gory detail was a bit unnecessary. It's very clear what the message is that the author is trying to get across and the shock and horror is there already without the gore, but then I guess it is there to show you the extreme. Another scary thing is that it isn't too far from events that have already happened in history. I just think for a YA book, more could have been left up to the imagination.Although you will find yourself flinching in a lot of places and for myself wanting to tear my eyes away from the page, but not quite being able to as you want to know what will happen, this was a pretty gripping read. Hayley has written this to shock you and shock you she has. I now want to go out and be nice and loving and caring to everyone I meet.
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  • Bex
    May 22, 2017
    This book was so action packed – I was on the edge of my seat the entire time I was reading. It’s the kind of book I can imagine being a really gripping thriller film, the sort that has you peeking through your fingers whilst you watch. I particularly enjoyed Hoshiko’s performance scenes – they were very well written, and got even more intense throughout the book. Also, Show Stopper was super gory – something I was not expecting in the slightest. And although gore isn’t usually my thing, I found This book was so action packed – I was on the edge of my seat the entire time I was reading. It’s the kind of book I can imagine being a really gripping thriller film, the sort that has you peeking through your fingers whilst you watch. I particularly enjoyed Hoshiko’s performance scenes – they were very well written, and got even more intense throughout the book. Also, Show Stopper was super gory – something I was not expecting in the slightest. And although gore isn’t usually my thing, I found that it simply added to the action-packed, suspenseful feel to the book.Now, onto character relationships. I will be honest and admit that as a couple, I wasn’t hugely sold on Hoshiko and Ben’s love story. I thought they were both great characters, but this was a case of instalove – a trope I generally do not mind reading, but I feel that amongst everything else happening in the book, there was not much opportunity for them to get to know each other, so their intense feelings for one another didn’t feel very grounded. That said, I really adored Hoshiko and Ben’s loyalty to each other and the other characters. I also loved the close-knit family Hoshiko, Greta and Amina were, and I found their interactions heart-warming. In general, the characters in this book were super emotive. I absolutely despised the ringmaster Silvio, and just like the other characters I adored Greta – which I think is exactly how Hayley wanted the reader to feel!You can read the rest of my review here: https://myshelfandmyself.wordpress.co...
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  • ChelmsforDave
    June 23, 2017
    Wow- what a read, I'm hooked and can't wait for the sequel.The characters feel real from chapter 1, and the story keeps you guessing throughout.The tense scenes were written particularly well.This is certainly a "binge-book"- with the story keeping you gripped and keep turning the pages way past the hour you were meant to be going to sleep!
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  • Jane
    June 24, 2017
    A seriously good read, couldn't put this book down. I think Barker is going to be a recognisable name in the future, can't wait for the next book! And hoping that the perils and dark suspense of the circus gets translated onto the big screen soon!!!
  • Faye Louisa
    June 24, 2017
    An amazing book, which captures you from the very beginning. Although predominately a YA book, this will appeal to grown ups alike and has some political themes running through it which are very topical at this current time. If you like Harry Potter, you'll love this!
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  • Louise
    June 27, 2017
    Loved this book. Please Hayley write the next book, I need to know what happens next.
  • Amy
    June 23, 2017
    Great book! I really enjoyed this even though I'm not a young adult! Fast paced, original and great gory bits.Highly recommended.
  • George North
    May 20, 2017
    I read this book as an arc and loved it. Also Hayley Barker taught me creative writing at school so I knew her. One of the best destopian reads ever. Very well written.
  • Zaide
    June 27, 2017
    I was so excited for this book and rushed to buy it on release day (have you seen the cover? Seriously? It’s freakin gorgeous. I have serious cover-appreciation for this). I love anything circus-related and with a tagline like The deadliest show on earth how could I resist? Unfortunately, I hadn’t realised how much of a dystopia this was going to be. What I expected to be a deadly, nail-biting circus read became something much bigger and darker.Now, don’t get me wrong, I did like the concept. I was so excited for this book and rushed to buy it on release day (have you seen the cover? Seriously? It’s freakin gorgeous. I have serious cover-appreciation for this). I love anything circus-related and with a tagline like The deadliest show on earth how could I resist? Unfortunately, I hadn’t realised how much of a dystopia this was going to be. What I expected to be a deadly, nail-biting circus read became something much bigger and darker.Now, don’t get me wrong, I did like the concept. In the world of Show Stopper society has been split into ‘Pures’ who are pure-English born citizens, and ‘Dregs’ who are the immigrant non-English born citizens. The Pures have become angry and resentful towards the Dregs over the years to the point of treating them like they don’t matter, like their lives are worthless, they won’t even touch them because they believe they are ‘contaminated’. The Dregs are forced to live in slums and many are forced into work (which is more like slavery) or are taken as children to places like the circus where it is just a battle to survive. The idea behind this was really interesting but it was very dark and difficult to read, I would hate to live in a society where people are this cruel and treat others so badly. There were quite a lot of bits in the story that were so difficult to read, so much so that I had to take small breaks because it got a bit too intense at times.I loved the bits in the Cirque, they were so imaginative and descriptive that I got completely sucked in. The characters there were also the best, their personalities were more fleshed out and I liked them a hundred times more than the Pure characters. The relationship between Hoshiko, Amina and Greta was so lovely, and even though they aren’t blood sisters they had a stronger sisterly bond than that of blood-related sisters in some of the other YA books I’ve read (yes Caraval, I’m looking at you here). Hoshiko was a fantastic MC. She was strong, gutsy, brave. She had me rooting for her almost from the first chapter. I was less keen on Ben. He was a bit bland and just didn’t seem to have any standout personality traits. He also starts the book off painfully naïve and it took me a long time to forgive him for this.The romance between Hoshiko and Ben felt incredibly rushed. It’s such a massive case of insta-love (and my rating lost a star because of this). I did quite like their connection but it would’ve worked so much better for me as a friendship. I wouldn’t have objected to it becoming a romance in the sequel once they knew each other better. The storyline itself was interesting, but it felt a bit stretched out. The whole book takes place over around a week (I think) and I feel like some of it could have been trimmed down to get the plot moving quicker. Ben’s chapters in particular dragged a lot, he didn’t really do much and didn’t interact with many people and I found that I was disappointed by the alternating chapters because I was more interested in Hoshiko’s POV. There are a fair few deaths in the book and some gorier bits later on that some reviewers haven’t been keen on. As a bit of a gore fan, I found these parts to be pretty low-key and tame, but if you’re not a fan then they might be uncomfortable for you. Some of the deaths were sadder than others (view spoiler)[ some are circus performers who you don’t really know, so you aren’t too attached, but Amina’s death in particular hit me pretty hard because she was one of my favourite characters. (hide spoiler)] and occasionally it felt like people were killed off for the sake of getting an ‘oh my god’ moment, rather than actual story progression. Generally I did enjoy this, the concept was great and the glimpse into the world of the dangerous Cirque was brilliant, but it was lacking in some areas for me. I wanted more character development, more plot (over a longer time-period so it didn’t feel as rushed), more characters that I could connect with. There were also a few things left unaddressed (view spoiler)[ Ben’s brother Francis gets no comeuppance for getting their housekeeper Priya killed over nothing, or generally for his absolutely awful personality (hide spoiler)] but I suppose these may be resolved in the sequel. If I’m honest, I might read the sequel if I see it going cheap, but I’m unlikely to rush out to buy it.
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  • Kelly
    June 30, 2017
    Show Stopper by Hayley Barker is a young adult dystopian future title with stunningly pretty cover work by Lian Drane. I received this book as an ARC from the publisher Scholastic. Set hundreds of years in the future the story takes place over a few days in ‘The Cirque’ which is a circus using ‘dreg’ children. Effectively ethnic minorities and different ethnicity, these children live a dangerous existence in either their drab cell like accommodation or on show in the circus arena for the enterta Show Stopper by Hayley Barker is a young adult dystopian future title with stunningly pretty cover work by Lian Drane. I received this book as an ARC from the publisher Scholastic. Set hundreds of years in the future the story takes place over a few days in ‘The Cirque’ which is a circus using ‘dreg’ children. Effectively ethnic minorities and different ethnicity, these children live a dangerous existence in either their drab cell like accommodation or on show in the circus arena for the entertainment of ‘Pure’s’ who are believed to be the native superior race. The events in this book take place when the travelling circus comes to London, the main seat of government power.One of the main characters is Hoshiko the tightrope walker and main attraction of the cirque who comes across not as a pessimist or an optimist but a realist. She knows how she’s trapped and she doesn’t pretend to be some strong courageous kick ass heroine. But she is fiercely protective of her ‘family’ especially Amina, her gentle older mentor who seems to be her substitute mother, and Greta, her 6 year old protege who is only an infant really, and that need to stay alive to protect and support them is what keeps her going. Her opposite main character is Ben the son of one of the most influential ‘Pure’s’ in government who really seems a bit of a wet flannel to start off with. To be honest I’m not sure he really deepens much in the book but he does become more aware of his society's flaws and how something needs to be done and of course you can’t help but have a soft spot for him when he falls so completely for Hoshiko. Other circus performers are mentioned in passing with some fleshed out but the only other real character in the Cirque with substance is Silvio. Silvio is the circus ringleader who effectively has these children trapped. He is responsible for ensuring they perform shows that entertain and that they die at just the right moment and in just the right way to bolster the pure’s feelings of superiority and satisfy their blood-lust.The action pretty much starts right from the get go with the book opening with the moment that Ben and Hoshiko ‘connect’ but then going back to when the circus comes to town. Right the way through the book we alternate between Ben and Hoshiko’s point of view which are helpfully indicated at the top of each chapter. The Halloween night performance really ups the ante with everything getting even darker (and we didn’t think it could to be honest) than before and then ending perfectly for a sequel. Hopefully that means Ms Barker has been commissioned for book 2? The theme of this book just jumps out at you right from the get go… Once race setting itself up as above others. Smacks of the Nazi’s but also the BNP or the National Front. “They took our jobs, drained our healthcare system and claimed our benefits, bringing a huge wave of violence and crime with them.” Over the last 12 months there have been many news reports on our televisions and in our newspapers saying pretty much those words about ethnic minorities in our country. Is it so unbelievable that the society portrayed in this book could grow out of that in a few hundred years? With the wrong people in power and the right fuel to the fire it is scary to realise it could. Which is why it is important for young adults to read this book. They don’t have the benefit of remembering the holocaust and how comments and attitudes such as these can spiral out of control. They need to see that these opinions are not just throwaway remarks but have real danger in them. Yes this is fantasy and yes this is a dystopia but my God, could you see where this is going!I really enjoyed this book. It made me uncomfortable and stop and think at various points but was also a bit of a lovely love story in itself. I would recommend this book to young adults although probably to the older end of the range as there are some particularly graphic descriptions which might not be so great for a 12/13 year old? Saying that, I don’t believe in censoring books and you do have to take the individual you're recommending to into account. Anyone who enjoyed The Hunger Games or the Divergent or Maze Runner books will enjoy this book and I for one can’t wait to see what Hayley Barker produces next.
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  • Andrew
    June 21, 2017
    I write this not as a YA but somewhat older, as I won this proof copy in a draw run by the publishers and Foyles.I'm sorry but I was not appreciative of this dystopian novel despite interestingly set in a circus. I would not be pleased for my ya to read this mixture of extreme and graphic violence with 'innocent' love. The main characters were young teenagers who were eventually out-classed in intelligence by an 8 year old (as if!) having been totally dependent for comfort by the female lead.Als I write this not as a YA but somewhat older, as I won this proof copy in a draw run by the publishers and Foyles.I'm sorry but I was not appreciative of this dystopian novel despite interestingly set in a circus. I would not be pleased for my ya to read this mixture of extreme and graphic violence with 'innocent' love. The main characters were young teenagers who were eventually out-classed in intelligence by an 8 year old (as if!) having been totally dependent for comfort by the female lead.Also has smatterings of all that is wrong with today's society (Pure breds v immigrants) and even Nazi persecutions. Not nice!Yes, it was a page turner but to skip a lot of repetitive descriptive emotions. Nice use of short, mainly alternative chapters from the two main characters (now somewhat a common style) helped with the page turning!Maybe I'm out of touch with today's YA but buyers should be aware. A sequel? I hope not!
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  • Zarina
    May 7, 2017
    I was really looking forward to reading this book as it sounded somewhat similar to Caraval, the best book I read in 2016. Unfortunately, while the dystopian future it's set in is an interesting one, I found all of the characters too unlikeable, and the situations they ended up in, described too extreme and gory to enjoy it. I definitely understand the author's intentions but sometimes you don't have to detail everything to get the horror of a situation across, instead there should've been more I was really looking forward to reading this book as it sounded somewhat similar to Caraval, the best book I read in 2016. Unfortunately, while the dystopian future it's set in is an interesting one, I found all of the characters too unlikeable, and the situations they ended up in, described too extreme and gory to enjoy it. I definitely understand the author's intentions but sometimes you don't have to detail everything to get the horror of a situation across, instead there should've been more of a focus on character development to make this an engrossing read from start to finish.
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