The Immortal Circus: Act Two by A.R. Kahler
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
The Immortal Circus: Act One left me with so many unanswered questions and such a dizzying cliffhanger that despite my annoyances I went right ahead and read Act Two. To be fair, this was likely due to my already having downloaded the series and having the second book readily available more than needing to answer those burning questions. In any case, The Immortal Circus: Act Two was marginally better.
In this continuation we find out more about Vivienne's past through many detailed flashbacks. I enjoyed these, as they were the only bits of the book where I could get any actual information about what was going on. With her powers starting to spiral out of control, Vivienne and her now "boyfriend" Kingston go on a vacation to return to her home where hopefully they can find the reset button and fix the mess they're in. In this book, Viv pretends as much as possible that the events of the first book didn't happen: no murders, demons, or wars occurred. The important thing now is for her to get her memory back! Little do she and Kingston know that their ringleader, master, and fae queen Mab has been planning for every possible thing that could happen and they will only get screwed over some more; all according to Mab's plan. Vivienne still emotes little or not at all, and she is still constantly getting jerked around. Her romance with Kingston remains nonexistent, no matter how much she tries to remind us that they are an official couple, and more characters who were supposed to be "normal" before are now discovering they have magic powers! We don't really see any of these, but supposedly they exist.
Meanwhile, I was finally desensitized to the pain of the first person narrative or A. R. Kahler got better at writing it. Either way, this book wasn't such a chore to get through. Kahler's descriptions of the circus, the magic, and the backgrounds are still fantastic. The characters didn't become more complex, though. There were times we added devil horns and fiendish mustaches to some of our cardboard cutouts, but that's about as complex as they got. The plot crept forward briefly. I started reading the third book, but I don't think I'll finish it. I can't describe how much I wanted to like this series, but without character development this is all just fluff. Fluff gets boring after a while.
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