Dark Circus

Rated 4.20/5 based on 5 reviews
A traitorous fiance and a murderous stranger send straight-laced bookish Emmie Kirkwood fleeing into the 1870's London night fog. When a strange gas lamp appears at the side of the road, will it lead her to a place of refuge or a doom worse than what awaits her outside? Meanwhile, her would-be killer is still hot on her trail. A Gateway Roadhouse Chronicles steampunk suspense adventure novelette. More

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About Alex Vaugn

Alex Vaugn enjoys writing about strange and different places, and thrusting poor innocent ordinary characters right into them. When not writing, Alex valiantly attempts to ward off the attacks of Plot Bunnies and Idea Squirrels which inhabit the world around us. Alex admits to not always being successful.

Learn more about Alex Vaugn

Also in Series: Gateway Roadhouse Chronicles

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Voice Spider reviewed on Sep. 7, 2012

A short steampunk (sort of, see below) themed story, this tale was interesting and kept me glued to its pages until the very end.

Vaugn has created something that I hope they expand upon in larger and longer words. This tale only brushes upon what is a rich concept and one that could span a number of novels. Vaugn's attention to small details like how a lady should act in Victorian England is refreshing from steampunk women who run around without any care as to how society runs at that time period. It helps to keep the main character realistic and helps with reinforcing the Victorian themes.

That said, there is actually very, very little of a steampunk element to this story. Yes, there are one or two elements that are steampunk, such as the chef, but other than that, I wouldn't actually consider this steampunk at all. (or even clockwork for that matter) At least not how the genre is portrayed in most fiction. Instead, this is more along the lines of Dr. Who, Sliders, or similar dimension hopping story lines. If you are reading this for something steampunk, be prepared to be let down on that front.

Another element is the length. Yes, this is a novelette, and the story does fit well into that length. But it also means that a lot feels cut short. As mentioned above, the concept presented here allows for a lot longer of a work. I really hope Vaugn does something other than novelettes with this concept.

In the end, I really liked the premise of this story, the characters, and the general plot. I recommend it to anyone who watches the above mentioned shows, and hope that anyone out looking for a steampunk tale understands what they are getting into before purchasing this story.
(reviewed 3 days after purchase)
Madison Keller reviewed on Aug. 2, 2012

I really enjoyed this book. The plot is very simple - Emmie gets attacked at the circus, runs away, and takes refuge in a Roadhouse. My only complaint is that by the time you really get into the story, it is over.
(reviewed 6 days after purchase)
livyrdreem11 reviewed on May 5, 2012

The story is nice enough, yet has no direction, reads like a prologue onto something bigger.
(reviewed 32 days after purchase)
Independent Bookworm reviewed on March 12, 2012

I loved this story and was sorry when it was over. The plot was simple and straightforward but with enough twists to keep it interesting. The characters were believable, and the "aliens" just the way they should be: non-human. I am looking forward to a sequel.
(reviewed 81 days after purchase)
Kat Ross reviewed on Jan. 31, 2012

I read the whole thing during lunch and was so wrapped up in the story I forgot to eat.

The opening is a little slow, but once everything gets moving, the Dark Circus doesn’t stop. The descriptions of the characters and settings are clean and simple, giving you just enough information without getting bogged down.

I’ll admit that very little surprised me in the plot; it reads more like an old friend than a untried stranger. But that friend has a new outfit.

If I have a complaint, it is that I wanted the story to keep going. I wanted to know more, about the main character, the people chasing her, the tavern. Perhaps we will see more some day.
(reviewed 40 days after purchase)
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