Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Greatest of Ease

Published: December 10th, 2012
The Daring Young Man (Mumbo Jumbo Circus # 2)
By: Jane George
Paper Grove Publishing
ISBN-13: 9780985130701

Sixteen year-old Dante Delgado is staring down the barrel of a gangbanger's gun when he's surprised by the arrival of a clown on a unicycle.

Dante hates clowns. He hates everything to do with the circus. He once dreamed of being one of the few trapecistas able to do a quadruple somersault in the air. Then a tragic accident took his parents, their circus, and his ability to fly. But when faced with the choice between the circus or a bullet, he jumps on the clown's shoulders and rides off to an even more mysterious adventure involving Dia de los Muertos, two dangerous girls, and the nemesis of the tiny, magical Mumbo Jumbo Circus, the evil Las Vegas spectacular, Cirque Patron.

     Dante Delgado has given up on circus life after the death of his parents, his brother's desertion, the ruin of his hand and the loss of their small family circus.  Now he works jobs only given to illegal immigrants and associates with lowlives.  Then a clown appears when he needs to be rescued and Dante is swept into the magical world (with it's very real problems) of the Mumbo Jumbo Circu, including all of its colorful members.  Dante is drawn in against his will when his dead Grandmother promises the Ringmaster their family's Big Top in exchange for making Dante whole again - but he only has a few days to do it!  Throw in romance, betrayal, and the possibility of a fresh start and you get the adventure of a lifetime.  Can Dante find himself again and save the Circus in the bargain?  Or will the evil Cirque Patron destroy Mumbo Jumbo once and for all?  Recently I read The Mumbo Jumbo Circus for the first time and really loved it.  I truly fell into the world of the circus and all the magic (and heartbreak) involved in it.  This book picks up where the first one leaves off, using a new main character to continue the story.  Dante was definitely a teenage boy, with his stubborn resistance to accepting his new situation and inability to see beyond a pretty face.  But he also had a heart bigger than Texas and a strong sense of loyalty, which endeared him to me enough to keep going.  My main disappointment was the way that the relationship between Wally and Evan fell apart.  I think that my favorite new character in this one was the mysterious water creature/girl, who shows Dante what's most important in life.  The conflict with Cirque Patron continued, throwing in an interesting twist of alternate dimensions (time travel?) through one of their tents.  Kind of unexpected to me, but cool all the same.  The interaction between Dante and the Pickled Punk (my fave character EVER) was hilarious and made me laugh.  I was slightly disappointed by the way he and the Ringmaster were out of commission for most of the book.  Overall, a good follow-up to the first book in the series.  I am really excited to read the third one and find out about Chandi, the tiger girl from Cirque Patron.  I would recommend it to fans of the first book and the young adult fantasy genre in general.
VERDICT: 4/5  Stars
**No money or favors were exchanged for this review. This book is now available in stores, online, or maybe even at your local library.**

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