When I first read the blurb I had just finished the TV show Carnivale and was excited to read a story set in a similar time period and setting. Turns out I was onto it more than I realized. Except Issac and Ray appear to be based on Sophie and Apollonia, the mother-daughter psychic team. Not sure how I feel about all the similarities I saw, was this intentional fan-fiction? I hope so because there are several scenes that seem to be pulled directly from the show, and personally that was very distracting to me. Although if one hadn't seen the show, I don't think it would have negatively affected their reading enjoyment at all. I'm curios to read the author interview at Hearts On Fire.
It was beautifully written. Eloquent without being overly wordy. Fitting of the time period without being formal. The first paragraph is a wonderful example of what's in store for you in the rest of this novella:
"The great plain stretched bleak and brown, not a hint of the green, grassy color that had promised fruitful harvest and a profitable future to those who had been desperate enough to grab for it. Even the sky did nothing to dissipate the gritty dullness that shaded everything in those same sepia tones; that vast expanse above barely varied in color, and the dull illumination of the sun did the landscape no favors, highlighting every grit-filled wrinkle and scar of the struggling fields. Now it was little more than dust - dry, shriveled remnants of once lush and arable acreage dotted with the occasional farmhouse or small clusters of building that made something like a town, a wasteland scarred with the cross-hatchings of roads cut into the earth with the heavy tread of tires."
I'd recommend this as a wonderfully written fan-fiction, although I found the similarities distracting and think people who have not seen Carnivale will enjoy this more as a beautiful historical set in a 1920's carnival with interesting characters and a complex connection between our leading men.
Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review, reviewed for Hearts On Fire.