Oh Annette Curtis Klause. How I LOVED Blood and Chocolate all through my teenage years–it’s still actually one of my all time favorites. Definitely one of the greatest werewolf books of all time in my opinion. That’s why I was SO disappointed with Freaks: Alive, on the Inside!
The story is set in 1899 and follows Abel Dandy, a “normal” 17 year old boy born to circus freak parents. They live and perform in “Faeryland.” (This mislead me into believing he lived in a land of fairies–he doesn’t, it’s a midget town). Abel decides he wants to leave his circus and pursue his knife-throwing act in a bigger show. So after a palm reading from a tiny fortune teller, he sets off.
What he doesn’t realize is that there’s a seedy underbelly to many traveling shows, and a tagalong friend puts both of them in danger. And the “older foreign lady” he is predicted to fall in love with is A LOT older than anticipated.
I get the idea Klause had and the direction she was trying to go. I really enjoyed the Egyptian theme, but I hated Abel’s voice. He was a horny 17 year old boy, but the vernacular sounded like a goody-two-shoes little kid. And the names! Oh my lord. So lame. Besides Abel Dandy, we have: Billy Sweet, Ruby Lightfoot, Willie Northstar, Mr. Bopp, Dr. Mink, Mr. Marvel… The list goes on. If the book was more tongue-in-cheek maybe it would’ve worked better.
I would’ve totally guessed this was Klause’s first novel, not one of her more recent. Skip it.
2 dog-faced boys of 5