author: Amanda M. Lee
series: Mystic Caravan #4
published: 30 July 2017
publisher: WinchesterShaw Publications
genre(s): cozy mystery, paranormal
source: Kindle Unlimited
buy/shelve it: Amazon | B&N | BookBub | BookHype | Goodreads
Look out Sin City, here comes the Mystic Caravan Circus.
The city that never sleeps has something lurking in the darkness and Poet Parker can’t decide if it’s friend or foe. The rich history of the area comes into play when research uncovers a mine disaster more than a hundred years in the past … and a tragic outcome that still haunts the locale to this day.
Between dust storms bringing forth a creature with glowing red eyes, screams in the desert and Poet’s increasing conviction that they’re not alone, the team has their hands full. That’s on top of the fact that Max decides now is the time to make his move and get to know his son – who also happens to be Poet’s boyfriend – in a new light and the unwelcome realization that Luke has seemingly become obsessed with gambling.
Poet’s attention is split in numerous directions, although Luke’s quagmire is closest to her heart. She wants to help her best friend, even as he spirals out of control. He’s not the same best friend she’s spent the past few years loving, but she’s determined to get him back … even if it means facing off with some of Las Vegas’ most perilous residents.
The mystical world of the circus is due to collide with the dangerous underbelly of the gambling world and the two sides might not be as far apart as they initially assume.
When the dust storm settles – and the final battle is upon them – more than one person will be in danger … and Poet will have to make a hard choice to protect those she loves while sacrificing someone else to the unending darkness.
It’s the ultimate game, but money isn’t the only thing at risk.
- my review
- a few notes
Luke is really at the forefront of this story, with Poet. He is spiraling out of control, in no small part because of his changing relationship with his best friend. And when she steps in to try to help him, he doesn’t it take it well. Things go badly quickly. Poet has her hands fill with Kade and his ongoing issues with his father, Luke and his newfound struggles, and the ever present problem with rogue paranormals and evil.
While still good, this one didn’t drag me in as much as the others thus far. The jealous best friend thing with Luke and Poet is getting a little old, and it feels a juvenile. Their dynamic… it’s almost as if their relationship halted them as teens. Poet is fine with Kade, on her own, or with the others. But with Luke, it’s as if she devolves. So I didn’t love that. And it was often hard to be sympathetic with Luke.
But one of the bright sides was Raven, which was unexpected. After embracing the role of secondary villain in the previous books, she was much more interesting and likeable. Max, too, as he finally came out of hiding abd began it interact more with the rest of the Mystic Caravan people. Loved that!
content warning: ❗some graphic violence❗
POV: 1st person
keywords/phrases: circus, monsters, magic
cover notes: perfection
- 2023 Craving For Cozies Reading Challenge