The Circus Infinitus Stories Volume 1 by Ethan Somerville

The Circus Infinitus is, as the title here suggests, all short stories about a circus that is more advance than many of the era – the era being Victorian times and yes the tales are all told – bar one – in Victorian England. it should also be said that the circus has a more steampunk appeal to it, while it also touches upon the supernatural as well, so people who enjoy both those genre’s would do well to have a read of this book to see how it goes.

Here’s a copy of the blurb for you to read, taken from Goodreads:

‘This book features the following short stories:

“Welcome to the Circus Infinitus” – an introduction to the mysterious Circus Infinitus and its unique cast of characters.

“Madam Zazuma” – penniless aristocrat Elizabeth Montrose turns to the Circus Infinitus for help to escape from a loveless arranged marriage.

“I Want to Join the Circus” – a small boy decides to run away to join the Circus Infinitus.

“The Monocle and the Morality Police” – Queen Victoria decides the Circus Infinitus is a corrupting influence on the people of London and charges Sir Hubert Fotherington and the IntelliGent with the task of shutting it down.

“The Haunted Funhouse” – Take a tour through one of the Circus’s attractions.

“Maxiumum Terror” – inside the Maze of Mirrors, don’t look too deeply or you might see the darkness inside your own soul.

“A Week in the Life of Victoria-7” – Introducing the Lady with the Seven Faces.

“Goril-Ho-Tep” – Amuna the Mummy leads an expedition into the British Museum to steal a mummified ape.

“Fool’s Errand” – Cousins Reggie Jefferson and Bart Sabbath both desire the ancient artefacts of King Arthur’s Fool, stored within Professor Abbacus’s laboratory – for entirely different reasons.

“A Week in the Life of Violet” – Victoria-7 tries out the Immortality Machine in an attempt to break her curse, and makes herself human once more.

“Gremlins” – After arriving in the United States for the first time, the Ringmaster must seek help from the Zero Corps to save the Circus from an infestation of insectoid monsters from the Immaterium.’

This is an enjoyable book to read, it’s the one’s I like most because we see all the characters that are important interact with each other, yet we also get some alone time with them too, we learn how they think, there hopes and fears ect, it’s a nice change from the fluff I have been reading, each story has it’s own twist, yet still connects nicely with the main tale that is also being weaved as it goes along.
Essentially this book could easily become a comic, in fact it would probably work a lot better as a series of comics than a book, due to the amount of detail being told and being able to see the characters would be brilliant.

My one complaint about this book is the last story, ‘Gremlins’ this is pretty much where I got fed up of the book and found it a bit too uneven. It felt a bit jerky when reading and essentially it ran so smoothly when it was in England, but when it went to America it just; essentially; feel apart, people didn’t know what was going on and yet they seemed to be fairly informed before.
It might just have been a bad reading of certain characters on my own part of course, but aside from that tale, I did enjoy the book and it’s twist on circus’.

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