Give Me a Circus with griffins
Calico thunder rides again
by t.a. hernandez
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, welcome to the Most Fantastic Show on Earth…
Three years ago, the Ban changed everything, outlawing certain forms of magic and bringing about the rise of powerful crime syndicates. Now, speakeasies in every city sell illegal charms and jinxes, and bootleggers traffic restricted potion ingredients across the country. But even in this changing world, the magic of the circus still acts as a wondrous escape and provides entertainment for all.
Jake Strickland owns one such circus, inherited after an accident ended his career as a rodeo dragon rider. He also inherited the circus’ financial troubles, but since the show became his, he’s slowly managed to turn it into a profitable business once more. Or at least, that’s what he thought.
When a dangerous mobster comes to collect an old debt, Jake resorts to desperate measures to get the money before a strict deadline. With lives and livelihoods at stake, he battles the clock, his responsibilities to the circus, and a longstanding personal grudge that has festered for years. Can he pay back the mob before it’s too late?
Calico Thunder Rides Again by T.A. Hernandez is an adventure book that I did not know I needed. It has Dragons, circuses, and gangsters. While I don’t often read books suitable for the under 18 audience, Calico Thunder Rides Again is well written enough to excite and entice readers of all ages. As a participant in the BBYNA tour, I was given an opportunity to check out this story; it appeals to all the things I like. So, I dived in, and I was so glad I did.
As I mentioned, Calico Thunder is a book that is written for a younger audience. But while the writing style has more youthful themes to it, I come from an intense love of grimdark; it still was descriptive and engaging. The description of the circus with its kaleidoscope of colors and cacophony of sounds seemed fantastic. I could practically smell the popcorn.
I was engaged with the characters right from the get-go. It has frenetic pacing at times, which added to the situation that Jake found himself in. I routed for Jake as an underdog the whole time. Even well-timed bits of laughter and jokes helped lighten the mood just enough so that you don’t take it all too seriously.
Calico Thunder Rides Again is a fun story, and it is rather obvious why it was a final in the competition. I am glad that I had a chance to read something out of my standard repertoire, and the story did well for me.
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A Bit About The Tour
I received this book to read and review as part of the BBNYA 2020 competition and/or the BBNYA tours organized by the @The_WriteReads tours team. All opinions are my own, unbiased, and honest.
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Elizabeth Tabler runs Beforewegoblog and is constantly immersed in fantasy stories. She was at one time an architect but divides her time now between her family in Portland, Oregon, and as many book worlds as she can get her hands on. She is also a huge fan of Self Published fantasy and is on Team Qwillery as a judge for SPFBO5. You will find her with a coffee in one hand and her iPad in the other. Find her on: Goodreads / Instagram / Pinterest / Twitter