Circus Mirandus by Cassie Beasley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Closer to a 3.5.
Sometimes comparisons for books can be a bit of a death knell right from the start. At a conference I was at recently, this book was quickly one of the more popular options both for the excellent cover treatment and the very obvious comparison to being The Night Circus for kids. The Night Circus was a truly wonderful read, and while Circus Mirandus is solid in its own right, the comparison is only sort of apt.
At its base, the tale is about a magical circus that a child's grandfather speaks of. All sorts of wild and wonderful things happen there, and the master of ceremonies still owes the grandfather a miracle to boot. The kid seeks out to find the circus and get some answers as a result.
For kids, this will be a fun and interesting fantasy, especially for those into circuses and magic. Adult readers of middle grade will probably find the tale lacking a bit, but some of the magic and mystery really works out well. That the comparison to Night Circus exists is ultimately the problem, as the expectations that are set up here just cannot be met in this instance.
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