The Electrical Menagerie is one of those books that captivated me from the very beginning. The voice was the first thing that got my attention. The characters quickly came alive for me. Carthage and Huxley are so different, and yet so compatible. Carthage the inventor and tinkerer and illusionist and performer who came from circumstances that could have entirely broken him. Huxley the organizer, the businessman, the logical one, with a surprising past. I could connect with both of them and loved seeing their interactions. The depth of their characters really impressed me. The rest of the cast was unique and interesting as well.
And the story world....
The story world. Oh, my. Steampunk with a twist of sci-fi. Trains running on rails through space. Holopaper. Steampunk-style automatons that run on electricity. The genre mash-up was perfect. And all of it centering around a circus-like competition for entertainers. The book's description says it's for fans of The Greatest Showman, and honestly I hadn't even seen that description when I read my advanced copy, but that is exactly what came to mind for me. Not a knock-off, though. Not by any stretch. The Electrical Menagerie is completely unique, but it definitely has the atmosphere of The Greatest Showman (minus the musical numbers, of course). It's got that fun for all ages feel, too. The main characters are adults, but the book is appropriate for middle grade and up.
I am so looking forward to more books in this series! And I know without a doubt I'll be reading this one again.
The official description:
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 risk everything in a royal talent competition, vying for the chance to perform for the Future Celestial Queen. In this stardust-and-spark-powered empire of floating islands and flying trains, a shot 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'm not alone in loving this one:
"Dazzles from start to finish. In Carthage & Huxley, Sherlock & Watson fans will find another dynamic duo whose ready wit and sizzling banter (and inevitable personality clashes) never fail to delight. You'll be calling for an encore performance." Gillian Bronte Adams, author of The Songkeeper Chronicles
"The stuff that fandoms are built on." Kyle Robert Shultz, author of Beaumont & Beasley
Mollie’s first job was with a major theme park, where she operated a roller coaster, fixed parade floats, and helped Scooby-Doo put on his head. Now, Mollie is a movie producer and the author of character-driven science fiction/fantasy novels for adults who never outgrew imagination. Her favorite things include Jesus, dinosaurs, and telling cinematic stories that blend glitter and grit.
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Enter the Giveaway:
Explore the world of The Electrical Menagerie by entering to win this Celestial Isles prize pack, which includes: "High Victorian" playing cards by luxury playing card company Theory11, handmade galaxy mug by DeVita Designs, Science & Engineering Themed Pocket Notebook Set by CognitiveSurplus, and a tin of Electrical Menagerie themed tea (over a $50 value)! (US only.)
And continue following the blog tour:
Monday, June 4thBook Spotlight – Sarah Ashwood’s Newsletter
Author Interview – New Authors Fellowship
Review – Finding Kat Heckenbach
Tuesday, June 5thReview – Seasons of Humility
Book Spotlight – Fairies, Fantasy, and Faith
Wednesday, June 6thGuest Post – H.L. Burke’s Blog
Character Interview – Kyle Robert Shultz
Review – Bold Reads
Thursday, June 7thReview – Inspired Chaos
Guest Post – J.L. Mbewe
Review – Scriblerians
Review – The Bibliophile of Beaverton
Friday, June 8thAuthor Interview – Bethany A. Jennings
Guest Post & Review – The Elven Padawan
Author Interview – Shannon A. Hiner
Saturday, June 9thAuthor Interview, Character Interview & Review – Katelyn Buxton Books
Review – K.M. Carroll, Author – fun, fantastical escapes
Character Interview – The Book Sprite
Monday, June 11th
Blog Tour Wrap-Up – Unicorn Quester