Monday, October 29, 2018

Review: Sleight (AVRA-K #1) by Jennifer Sommersby

Sleight by Jennifer Sommersby
(AVRA-K #1)
by Jennifer Sommersby
April 3, 2018
400 pages

Goodreads     Indigo

Goodreads Summary:
Growing up in the Cinzio Traveling Players circus, Genevieve Flannery is accustomed to a life most teenagers could never imagine: daily workouts of extravagant acrobatics; an extended family of clowns; wild animals for pets; and her mother, Delia, whose mind has always been tortured by visions—but whose love Geni never questions. In a world of performers who mystify and amaze on a daily basis, Delia’s ghostly hallucinations never seemed all that strange . . . until the evening Geni and her mother are performing an aerial routine they’ve done hundreds of times, and Delia falls to her death.

That night, a dark curtain in Geni’s life opens. Everything has changed.

As they reel from the tragedy, the Cinzio Traveling Players are also grappling with the circus’s new owner: a generous, mysterious man whose connection to the circus—Geni suspects—has a dark history. And suddenly, Geni is stumbling into a new reality of her own, her life interrupted daily by the terrors only Delia used to see. As the visions around her grow stronger, Geni is not sure who she should trust or love. Worst of all, she’s starting to question whether she can trust her own mind.

A thrilling and mysterious novel that captures the magic of the big top itself, Sleight is a high-flying fantasy that will enchant readers.


To celebrate Canadian authors, Jamie @ Books and Ladder has been hosting an event called We Canada Read on her blog. I wanted to participate this year and was excited to discover that Sleight was not only written by a Canadian, she's also local to me! I jumped on the chance to read it.
Sleight is not a small book but for the most part I really enjoyed the story. The descriptive details were beautiful and helped me visualize the circus life. Even the unpleasant memories and the supernatural encounters were vivid. Though on occasions the story dragged the imagery to the overall story channeled a mystical experience.

I sympathized with Genevieve a lot. Not only did she lose her mother but she's thrust into an unimaginable position with no prior knowledge. She didn't fall apart but stayed strong. Her constant questioning was a little repetitive but her confusion, resentment and especially the raw fear felt very authentic. Geni had some awesome people in her life to help alleviate some negativity.

The circus crew was a big supportive family to Genevieve but Baby, her almost father, gets a special mention. I'm so impressed with this guy. His fierce loyalty and protective instincts rescued Geni from numerous dangerous situations. He's as fatherly as they come. Even when it came to boys ;) There's a small budding romance that was cute to see.

Much of the mystery in Sleight revolved around knowing who Genevieve’s enemies were and how to keep them away. Since the possibilities were laid out from the beginning there wasn't much detective work to do. That was my biggest issue with the book. The villain was so easily identified it took away any tension I held. I wanted to be shocked by the reveals but they were slightly predictable. I know some readers prefer knowing but I personally like being able to guess.

I'm hesitant to continue the series because of its slower pacing and writing style but at the same time I do want to know what happens next. I'm curious enough that I've added the sequel, titled Scheme, to my TBR. Hopefully the pacing will pick up and the story will deliver!

3.5 Cats
*I received an Advance Reading Copy of this book from a friend in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and not affected in any way.


  1. It sounds good overall. We don't get too many circus-themed books nowadays so it's always great to see a glimpse of it once in a while. Sorry it was a bit slow for you, though.

    1. Thanks Joy! If you're interested in a circus-centered story I recommend Caraval by Stephanie Garber. Beautiful imagery <3


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