Girl in the Shadows by Gwenda Bond (YA)


I received a copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

18 year old Moira Mitchell grew up in the shadows of Vegas’ stage lights while watching her father’s career as a magician soar.   Moira wants to be a magician too, but her father is dead set against it.   When an invitation to join the Cirque American mistakenly falls into her hands, Moira takes as a sign to go prove to herself and her father that she can be a magician.   When she arrives, she discovers that her particular form of magic may be more real than the usual tricks and illusions.

Girl in the Shadows is a novel set in the world of Girl on a Wire, rather than a direct sequel.   some characters from Wire appear here, a welcome callback to the book.

Moira is an interesting protagonist, determined as she is to become a magician in a male-dominated field.   Dez, a cocky knife-thrower, provides some humour and energy to the narrative too, particularly in his early scenes when Moira meets him at the Cirque American.

The main attraction of this book is the mystery element, as Moira tries to find out if there is a link between her new-found magic and a group of con-artists who are notorious among the older members of the circus.   Gwenda Bond sets up several gripping sequences, helped undoubtedly by the array of dangerous apparatus that happen to be lying around, like a tightrope, a huge Ferris wheel and fire.

Girl in the Shadows is an unusual read but an enjoyable one, mainly because of the setting of an old-fashioned circus in the modern world.



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