Flesh Circus by Lilith Saintcrow
Jill Kismet #4 (Urban Fantasy)
Cover - The look of the complete series covers is pretty good, overall. It's stark yet dramatic. Only thing is, with the black/blue and white theme, my grandson decided to help me by coloring in the face. he's ever helpful.
I went on a Jill Kismet reading marathon last month - reviewed one of the books, then forgot to review the rest. As a whole (having read the complete series last month) I loved the Jill Kismet series. Yet while I enjoyed Flesh Circus very much, I didn't love it as much as the other books. I still think this was a very good book - lots of action and suspenseful moments. It's just that the last book was so completely full of actions and kickassery, that it's hard to top.
In Flesh Circus, a traveling troup visits Jill's city. Only this isn't your average circus (or is it?) it's more of a circus that attracts those with darkness in their hearts or souls. Those that are most likely to trade pieces of themselves for a bit of power. So while in town, Kismet has to keep an eye out FOR them, protect them while she's protecting the innocent of her city. It's convaluted and twisted and of course Jill would rather kill them all, but that would only bring down the wrath of demons.
Except that there's something strange going on. Suddenly there are possessions and zombified corpses running around and killing people and those that Jill usually protects people from. Somebody is using voodoo to get at the circus workers.
And there's something about this circus -
I mention this in each of my Saintcrow/St. Crow reviews - the words. Her words paint this almost 3D picture in my mind of each scene. For instance, the circus. Not only is there descriptions (though not page after page of these) of the workers and ambience, but the music is almost a complete side character. The music, the changes of the music, rising and falling of the melody with mood and atmosphere changes is noted with every scene that takes place within the circus. It's the same with the charms in her characters' hair, or the scar on Jill's wrist. These aren't things that are just mentioned once in a while in passing, they are a real part of the story and frequently "speak". One of the reasons I enjoy Lilith Saintcrow's books so much.
It's also very apparent that Saintcrow does her research with religions and beliefs. Flesh Circus gives us a touch of the Voodoo rites, the gods and doing's.
Everything added together made a very interesting, action packed read. One thing about Saintcrow's books - Once I start one, I can count on being engrossed from beginning to end.