About the book:
For fans of Caraval and The Greatest Showman: a quest for fame and fortune in a stardust-powered empire brings debt, scandal, and danger in spades.
The Electrical Menagerie, one-of-a-kind robotic roadshow, is bankrupt.
Sylvester Carthage, illusionist and engineer, has the eccentric imagination the Menagerie needs to succeed creatively — but none of the people skills. Fast-talking Arbrook Huxley, meanwhile, has all the savvy the Menagerie needs to succeed commercially — but none of the scruples.
To save their show, Carthage & Huxley stake everything in a royal talent competition, vying for the once-in-a-lifetime chance to perform for the Future Celestial Queen. In this stardust-and-spark-powered empire of floating islands and flying trains, the Menagerie’s bid at fame and fortune means weathering the glamorous and cutthroat world of critics, high society, and rival magicians — but with real conspiracy lurking beneath tabloid controversy, there’s more at stake in this contest than the prize.
Behind the glittery haze of flash paper and mirrors, every competitor has something to hide… and it’s the lies Carthage & Huxley tell each other that may cost them everything.
I had no idea what to expect from this book, but I seriously devoured it!
Mollie Reeder has crafted a cast of characters you can’t keep yourself from becoming emotionally involved with. Each character is both damaged and redeemed, lovable and frustrating. Carthage and Huxley are a fabulous pair, a kind of steampunk Oscar and Felix. And I now have a special place in my heart for Dominic (I honestly never thought I’d find a robot loveable, but…) Okay, not every character is loveable—her villains and red herrings are properly villainous, but still done well enough that you’re left guessing who really is behind everything till nearly the end of the story.
And the idea of a traveling circus made up of illusions and robots? Genius! I so enjoyed reading about Carthage’s fantastical demonstrations and all of the work that went into each one. While it was completely fictional, it still gave me a new respect for both the art and the intelligence of illusion.
Overall, The Electrical Menagerie was a very entertaining read, and I look forward to the next adventure in the Celestial Isles. I’d highly recommend you grab your own copy 🙂