"'Circus' is a steampunk fantasy piece told in a period voice. It has a thick Dickensian accent and the affectations of Christie, Shelley and Austen. It's sparking conversations you'd expect at a dinner party where Katherine Dunn, Cormac McCarthy and Kurt Vonnegut had a little too much wine. It's imaginative modern literature.
"The story itself is a layered mystery set back a bit on an alternate timeline, when the Industrial Revolution was as much about magic as it was steam. It's a dark, supernatural and altogether bizarre examination of the human condition and it remains true to form for a post-apocalyptic novel: It's also a class commentary that asks how we'd adapt to a world in which society, with all its benefits and ills, suddenly and violently imploded.
"independent creators have long been lauded for their talent, ambition and vision. All of which Abra SW has displayed in abundance with this novel."
- Rob Callahan, "'A Circus of Brass and Bone' a sea change for indie authorship," Vita.mn
Full review here: http://www.vita.mn/crawl/288793281.html
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"The fact that she can really write is icing on the cake."
- Scott Lynch, author of The Lies of Locke Lamora
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"One of the most mesmerizing parts of watching a circus is that everything is always in motion, falling or rising, and there is no still place to rest your eyes and untangle how the magic is working. This book is something like that.
"Read if: You would love to read about circus freaks, espionage, war elephant golems, intrepid female ship captains, monkeys finding true love, and the authentic smells of large cities. "
- Heidi Waterhouse, Goodreads
Full review here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1150797169?book_show_action=true
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"the world has a texture and a past that appeals even as it appalls ... The characters have a lot of bad stuff happening to them, but they retain both agency and their moral sense. The darker scenes never devolve into hopelessness or pointless gore."
- Marissa Lingen, Novel Gazing Redux
Full review here: http://www.marissalingen.com/blog/?p=694
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"I havenít stayed up until the wee hours of the morning to finish a book since I was in my 20s. A Circus of Brass and Bone [...] kept me up most of the night reading...
"...A Circus of Brass and Bone is delightful in its intertwining of steampunk (via magic), travelogue, escape story, and much more."
- Cannonball Read 7
Full review: http://cannonballread.com/2015/03/where-were-you-when-the-world-ended/
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"What I like best about the book is that it doesnít take itself too seriously. Itís nominally steampunk, but the punk-y elements are woven seamlessly into the background. (Look at me! Look at me! Iím wearing a corset! is thankfully nowhere to be found.) Most of the time, Brass and Bone bears more resemblance to Shaun of the Dead than The Difference Engine. And then at times the book gets very serious and punches you in the gut when you werenít looking."
- Margaret Taylor, Steam Trains and Ghosts
Full review: https://steamtrainsandghosts.wordpress.com/2015/03/02/a-circus-of-brass-and-bone-by-abra-staffin-wiebe/
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"Crossing a steampunk (aetherpunk?) version of The Stand with Carnivŗle, A Circus Of Brass And Bone is a rag-tag exploration and adventure by a cast of colorful circus characters in an alternate reality turned upside-down by calamity and devastation."
"...definitely wins the Ubercool tag here.
"Her story gets the Arts of Darkness Shadow of Approval award."
- Conrad Zero, dark fiction author
Full review: http://conradzero.com/dark-fiction-review-a-circus-of-brass-and-bone/