Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, welcome to the Most Fantastic Show on Earth…
Three years ago, the Ban changed everything, outlawing certain forms of magic and bringing about the rise of powerful crime syndicates. Now, speakeasies in every city sell illegal charms and jinxes, and bootleggers traffic restricted potion ingredients across the country. But even in this changing world, the magic of the circus still acts as a wondrous escape and provides entertainment for all.
Jake Strickland owns one such circus, inherited after an accident ended his career as a rodeo dragon rider. He also inherited the circus’ financial troubles, but since the show became his, he’s slowly managed to turn it into a profitable business once more. Or at least, that’s what he thought.
When a dangerous mobster comes to collect an old debt, Jake resorts to desperate measures to get the money before a strict deadline. With lives and livelihoods at stake, he battles the clock, his responsibilities to the circus, and a longstanding personal grudge that has festered for years. Can he pay back the mob before it’s too late?
I received this book from the author for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are entirely my own.
In this mystical circus adventure, we encounter dragons, dwarves, and enchanters in the big-top as they try to keep their livelihoods from falling into the hands of a mob.
Calico Thunder Rides Again is an adventurous story brimmed with risk, danger, and a little bit of romance. Readers will find themselves easily enchanted with Calico Thunder and many of the other spectacles that can be found at Strickland’s Circus! It’s a wild ride from beginning to end and while the story itself is very predictable, it is a rather satisfying story that makes you feel good upon finishing it.
All of the characters were charming and I really liked how their different personalities worked together to create such a tight-knit group–much more like a family than coworkers. And I think that captured the spirit of a circus very well.
One thing I do have to say though, is I really wish Calico Thunder had been more of a focal point in the storyline. With her being on the front cover, and the title being named after her, I really thought the story was about her. It wasn’t until about chapter six that I realised that the book was actually about Jake Strickland and not the beautiful calico dragon; she was just a background character, an object of interest at the most. And that made me very sad. I wanted to watch her acts and be around her, so that made Jake seem very boring to me. But towards the end, I enjoyed getting to know Jake and Grace as they did everything they could to save the circus.
Overall, I think Calico Thunder Rides Again is a charming story that many adventurers would enjoy! I give it 4 out of 5 stars.
Content: There is infrequent and mild cursing present. Some implied [premarital] sex scenes in the form of mentioning “sneaking into each other’s rooms for late night meetings” and several non-detailed kisses. There is mild action and only a few mentions of blood, though not detailed. Trigger warnings include: Animal cruelty and abuse.