If the wonderfully illustrated cover wasn’t enough to get you to pick up “Spartacus and the Circus of Shadows,” surely the plot will.
From the very first page, you are thrown into the crazy world Spartacus finds himself in after deciding to rescue his mother from the circus that kidnapped her.
The author manages to keep the main character grounded and believable despite all the outrageous things that happen to him. It’s definitely a fun adventurous ride. There were some subplots that dragged the pace. The story would have felt less frustrating without them.
Also as a Portlander, I enjoyed “visiting” the places I was familiar with (here and around Oregon)- especially when Spartacus found himself in a library.
I didn’t like the ending. I don’t want to give anything away but it just felt unfinished. In that sense, I guess the book is a great reflection on life- that we don’t always get what we expect. With that being said, if there were additional stories featuring Spartacus, his mom, and some of the other characters, I wouldn’t mind reading them.
I’m not a reviewer or anything, but I wanted to support this book to support local talents- from the author Molly E. Johnson, illustrator Robin E. Kaplan, and publisher RainTown Press. So when Molly gave away copies on her Facebook page for review purposes, I jumped on the chance. I also enjoyed seeing how writers were employing social media to reach out to readers.