ARC Review | Girl in the Shadows by Gwenda Bond


I received this book for free from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

26828513Girl in the Shadows by Gwenda Bond
Release date: July 5th, 2016
Publisher: Skyscape
Genre: Young adult, fantasy
Format: eBook
Source: Xpresso Book Tours

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Eighteen-year-old Moira Mitchell grew up in the shadows of Vegas’s stage lights while her father’s career as a magician soared. More than anything, Moira wants to be a magician too, but her father is dead set against her pursuing magic.

When an invitation to join the Cirque American mistakenly falls into Moira’s possession, she takes action. Instead of giving the highly coveted invitation to its intended recipient, Raleigh, her father’s handsome and worldly former apprentice, Moira takes off to join the Cirque. If she can perform alongside its world-famous acts, she knows she’ll be able to convince her dad that magic is her future.

But when Moira arrives, things take on an intensity she can’t control as her stage magic suddenly feels like…real magic. To further distract her, Raleigh shows up none too pleased at Moira’s presence, all while the Cirque’s cocky and intriguing knife thrower, Dez, seems to have it out for her. As tensions mount and Moira’s abilities come into question, she must decide what’s real and what’s an illusion. If she doesn’t sort it out in time, she may forever remain a girl in the shadows.

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Before I start, I didn’t realize this was the second book in a possible series by Gwenda Bond. Luckily for me, I didn’t have to read the first novel, Girl on a Wire, to enjoy Girl in the Shadows. The circus theme (and a few characters) connect the two stories, but that’s about it. I do, however, now want to pick up a copy of Girl on a Wire because if it’s anything like this book then I will be one happy reader! 🙂

So, as you may have gathered, I liked this book! The setting is what initially caught my attention. I can’t recall reading another book that revolves around a traveling circus. As you can expect with any circus, the book is full of colourful characters , plotting and mystery. The story is centered around Moira, an aspiring magician who just wants a chance to prove herself. However, things get a bit complicated when strange things start happening to her once she joins the famous Cirque American. Oh, and there’s romance courtesy of the adorable, knife throwing Dez. It really has a bit of something for everyone!

Besides being a book about the circus and magic, it touched on gender equality and discrimination. I felt really bad for Moira because there is nothing worse when your loved ones don’t believe in you, let alone them not thinking you can do something because of your gender. I didn’t know about how many real life female magicians were treated in the past. Out of curiosity I looked up female magicians from the past and was appalled by how they were treated. It makes Moira’s drive to succeed even more understandable.

The pace of the book was a bit hit or miss. At times it was page turning quick and near the end it kind of dragged on. The unevenness is really the only fault I could find while reading. The story though does a lot to get the reader through those low parts of the book. It honestly was quite interesting. I hated when I had to put it down! All I can tell you is that you NEED to read this book!


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9 thoughts on “ARC Review | Girl in the Shadows by Gwenda Bond

  1. I definitely wasn’t a fan of this book, but I’m glad to see that you enjoyed it. The unevenness truly was what bothered me the most because it permeated so much of what I would have found absolutely fascinating, from the circus itself to Moira’s drive to break the gender barrier, plus everything with Dita and her gender expression. I was hoping for the book to be more inclusive and actually have that conversation, but I finished feeling disatisfied and disappointed.

    Either way, I wholeheartedly respect your opinion, and hope you do pick up Girl on a Wire soon! It will be exciting to see how the characters grew from one book to the other. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This one sounds really interesting! Circus is always so mysterious and intriguing 😀 The setting and the whole gender restriction topic really makes me want to read this. I would suggest you to read The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. The pacing is also really slow though… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great review! I kind of love the idea of a traveling circus, and it would be a new sort of setting for me. I’m definitely going to add this to my Goodreads and check it out at some point. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

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