I don’t normally post such large cover images with my reviews, but how could I not give this cover by James Jean the attention it deserves? But of course it’s what’s inside that counts does the story match that fantastic cover?
I’ve had a mixed experience with Annette Curtis Klause so far, I was left cold by Blood and Chocolate, while The Silver Kiss, wasn’t perfect, but was much more enjoyable. Thankfully, Freaks continues the upward movement in my enjoyment of Curtis Klause’s writing.
“When a boy’s first romantic interlude is with Phoebe the Dog-Faced Girl, he feels the need to get out into the world and find a new life.”
So, begins the tale of teenager, Able Dandy. Able lives with his parents, performers in freak show. Being seventeen and the only ‘normal’ person in their little community, Able feels a bit of a freak himself. The call of adventure begins to call, and when a circus stops to visit nearby, he takes the opportunity to escape, but not before being given a leaving gift. Could the scarab ring he receives have anything to do with the dreams that begin soon afterwards? And just who is the woman who beckons him in those same dreams?
Able’s adventures, doesn’t go anything like he expected, when a fellow runaway causes him to change his plans, and the woman in his dreams seeming guiding him ever closer, Able does get much of what he wanted, when he set out, but in far different ways.
It’s a wonderful little coming of age tale, and while Able is already a throughly decent chap, who probably didn’t any lessons about, the misconceptions about the life and community he comes from, Klause explores those misconceptions for us the reader in a manner that perfectly suits the book and is never patronising.
Able does however learn something about friendship, loyalty and the importance of doing what is right.
Klause, also manages to weave in a sweet romance involving an ancient Egyptian curse! What more could you want from a book?