Title: Where the Carnies Are
Author: Kayla Curry
Genre: New Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy, Romance
Publisher: Kayla Curry
Release Date: April 22, 2014
Links: Goodreads ☆ Amazon ☆ Barnes and Noble ☆ Smashwords
Olive is having a very bad day. She caught her boyfriend cheating on her, she lost her job, and she stumbled into a portal leading to a secret carnival kingdom which she can’t escape. The good news is she meets an eccentric, but stunningly handsome knife thrower. The bad news is she can’t go home for another two months.
The world she lands in is full of sideshow characters, terrifying amusement rides and her biological parents’ past. She was born a carny, but raised as a normal human. Magic lives in her blood, but it hasn’t reached her heart. To find out who she really is, and why carnies are disappearing, Olive must deceive the king with the help of Alex the knife thrower.
Olive and Alex play a dangerous game with their emotions when they decide to have a fling during Olive’s stay. They both lead very different lives and being together would mean one of them giving up the life they've always known.
Tricks and traps are around every corner in this kingdom. Few can be trusted and Olive will need all the help she can get to make it through unscathed.
THE GIST: Olive is having the worst day of her life - her boyfriend cheated on her, she's lost her job, and now her car has broken down on the side of the road. Heading toward the lights of a nearby farmhouse, she stumbled through a gateway into a secret carny kingdom. Trapped for two months until the gate reopens, a knife thrower named Alex takes her in, teaches her about being a carny, helps her learn about who she truly is, and loves her with all his heart. Olive has a destiny prophesied before her birth that could mean the salvation or destruction of the world and people she's come to love.
WHAT I LIKED: Practically everything. I loved how the author was so descriptive about the carny kingdom. I could picture it so clearly in my head that I felt like I was there with them. All of the talents were really interesting and I liked seeing how even the most simple talent could help in a huge way. There were some really sad moments as the war raged that made me want to cry. And there is a surprise twist that I never saw coming toward the end. I was just drawn into the story of WHERE THE CARNIES ARE from the very beginning. I really want to read more about this world and it's people, so I hope that there will be more to come.
WHAT I DISLIKED: The only thing that I disliked a little was how fast Alex and Olive fell in love. BUT it's not without it's complications and dangers, so that made up for the almost insta-love romance.
Olive: Grew up in the outside world, but has very strong carny blood. Olive and her powers were prophesied to save the kingdom from the King, but if used wrong they could also be it's destruction. Falls in love with Alex, but worries that when everything is said and done, they will be torn apart.
Alex: A knife thrower. Felt drawn to Olive when she first came through the gate. He takes her in and helps her discover who she truly is. They fall in love, but his gift for never growing old is an obstacle they need to face in the future.
King Oscar: Was once best friends with Alex, but when he became king they grew apart. Plans to use Olive and her power for his own devices.
Queen Annika: She's more mysterious and dangerous than anyone realizes.
Madame Sergi: A fortune teller that Olive met in the outside world. She is a huge help in guiding Olive in the right direction she must take.
Lola & Leo: The tattooed lady and the pierced man. Been together for 5 years. They become fast friends with Olive and Alex.
There are so many other amazing characters in WHERE THE CARNIES ARE!
I can't say too much about King Oscar and his plans, since it would give too much away. But I will say that as a Charmer, he has the power to control carnies to his will. That is very dangerous - if you let the music in and dancer you're in his control, even tapping a finger or toe will do it. He plans to put Olive under his control to fulfill his plan, and that could mean the destruction of not only the carny world but the outside as well.
I felt that the romance between Olive and Alex, although a little rushed, was one of the sweetest ones I have ever read. I enjoyed seeing them together so much. One of my favorite moments was when they first went to the Carousel and the horse that chose Alex also chose Olive. You see, once a horse chooses you, no other will. You belong to that horse and that horse to you. So Alex's horse chose Olive too, and when the horses name was revealed, I couldn't help but smile. I'm not going to say what it is, though. The love, trust and devotion these two have with each other is just remarkable. I loved every second of it.