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Circus of the Unseen

Written by Joanne Owen

Books of the Month Fantasy / Magical Featured Books for 11+ readers Featured Books for 13+ readers Thrillers

LoveReading View on Circus of the Unseen

November 2014 Book of the Month

Excitingly different and weirdly wonderful, this feels as though evocative tastes of Grimm’s Fairy Tales and Eastern European folklore have been vividly blended together into a modern yet completely unique tale. After the death of her grandmother, Rosie has an accident and finds herself in the curious world of the Unseen Circus, ruled over by Mother Matushka. Mother Matushka is an absolutely fascinating character; capable of being both loathsome and compassionate, she is chillingly unnerving to say the least. The storyline is based on Rosie and the impossible decision she has to make, the author cleverly reveals snippets of information to the reader, at times she leaves Rosie in the dark and you find yourself wanting to shout out a warning to her. The ending has a surprise in store making this, an already memorable, gorgeous tale, unforgettable.

Liz Robinson

Circus of the Unseen Synopsis

Staying alive isn't easy in the world of the dead. After an accident at her grandmother's house, Rosie is transported to a strange and sinister world populated by a cast of carnivalesque characters who reside in the Circus of the Unseen. Reigning over them is an old woman called Mother Matushka, who guards the threshold between life and death and has extraordinary powers over all around her. This is an in-between world, a bizarre and trapped existence, but Rosie is not like the others here. She seems to be hovering between the world of the living and the world of the dead, and even seems to have the power to challenge Mother Matushka. Can Rosie escape Mother Matushka's formidable rule and a world in limbo? And can she solve another mystery - one that lies at the heart of her grandmother's life?

Circus of the Unseen Reader Reviews

Kids love to read and so in addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.

  • Amelie Chatham, age 12 - 'a mysterious, thrilling adventure that makes you want to die right there in your doorway...This book totally gripped me and I could not put it down.' Read full review >
  • Lucy Minton, age 11 - 'A mystifying book which I truly recommend.'   Read full review >
  • Sophie Bridges, age 11 - 'This book is very interesting and I like it because I like books with adventures and this book is a big adventure.'   Read full review >
  • Tamsin Hindley - 'A very modern and exciting fairy tale - full of interesting ideas and gripping characters.'   Read full review >
  • Jennifer Bridgeman, age 9 - 'The Circus of the Unseen is absolutely amazing. I really enjoyed it, I just couldn't let go of it.'   Read full review >
  • Destiny Maraj, age 13 - 'An excellent novel.  The characters were all very alive and the development of the story was ingenious.  I loved it!'   Read full review >
  • Eloise Mae Clarkson, age 12 - 'This book has action, adventure, folk tales and mystery...The plot was unguessable and the ending had a twist.'   Read full review >
  • Sam Harper, age 10 - 'A fantastical book which pulls you into a strange world packed with mystery and excitement. A great alternative read!'  Read full review >

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781471401145
Publication date: 06/11/2014
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781471401145
Publication date: 6th November 2014
Author: Joanne Owen
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 304 pages
Suitable for: 11+ readers, 13+ readers
Genres: Fantasy / Magical, Thrillers
Recommendations: Books of the Month, Reviewed by Children

About Joanne Owen

Joanne Owen’s lifelong love of reading and writing began when she was growing up in Pembrokeshire, and very much wished that witches (and Mrs Pepperpot) were real. An early passion for culture, story and folklore led Joanne to read archeology and anthropology at St John’s, Cambridge, after which she worked as a bookseller, and led the UK children’s book buying team for a major international retailer.  Joanne has written several books for children/young adults. She’s now a fulltime reviewer, workshop presenter and writer, working on YA novels with a strong ...

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