Y’all. What in the h*ck was this about. The cover screams one genre while the actual story was something completely different. In the end, this was just not for me.
I’m not giving a short recap because I’m not even sure what this story was truly supposed to be about. I thought it was a Wild West type story but instead it was a badly written steampunk-futuristic-carnival. I did not sign up for that at all. The story did start out in the West with gunslingers, stage coaches, and whatnot, but it did not last more than 30 pages. It quickly – and I do mean quickly – morphed into a futuristic Wild West with robots and a corrupt government. Mind you, it was not explained how or why the world became the way that it did, it just did. Don’t ask questions because you won’t get answers.
The story did continue to get stranger and much more disappointing as it went on. The MC was taken in by a traveling carnival and she was forced to become an act. Apparently options for a young girl in that time were very slim with the main option being a baby-making factory. I am not lying when I say that. It was said so many times that a girl/woman was often sent away to have babies. Again, it was not explained why this was such an ordeal (the inability for couples to have babies and whatnot) so don’t ask questions. You have to just scratch your head an accept it.
Ignoring the fact that very little was explained about the setting of this story, the main character was one of the greatest reasons I did not enjoy this story. Her name alone made me want to punch walls: Pity. That’s right – Pity. It is short for Serendipity. Of all of the possibilities she could have gone with, she chose… Pity. What in the ever loving h*ck. She was so far from what I expected her character to be it made my head spin. The cover clearly shows her being an all around bada$$ and being able to handle herself. In the story that could not have been farther from the truth. She basically was scared of her own shadow. She was painfully immature and was living in the shadow of her mother who was a bada$$. She was always mentally psyching herself up to do a show or whatever, but in real life she was meek and cowardly. She could talk a mean game but she just could not ever back it up. It was maddening.
I think there was a a romance within the pages of this book but I couldn’t bring myself to care about any of it. I really had no clue what was going on or why I should even care. The plot was not very clear, the world was not developed at all, and the characters were not flushed out. How can I care about a story that isn’t pieced together well?
I am an avid audiobook reader so when I say this, it is because it played a significant factor as to why I did not like the book as much as I hoped. Yes, the points listed above are on that list, but there is one more: the audiobook narrator. The narrator was just not the right voice for this story. I believe I knew what she was trying to convey as a narrator but she clearly hit the mark. She was just not good with an accent and I’m not even sure it was necessary for this story. I don’t know when producers will understand that a narrator can truly make or break an audiobook.
I had such high hopes for this book but walked away absolutely disappointed. This was not the story I wanted nor was it one I cared about. I did give it a shot but it let me down in every way a book could let me down.