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A Circus of Brass and Bone

(Circus of Brass and Bone #1)

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  31 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Now available in Kindle Unlimited!

Want to join the circus?

In desperate times, who needs a circus?

A traveling circus must struggle to survive a post-Civil War apocalypse. If they can defend themselves against a starving populace, if they can outwit and outperform the factions that have seized power, if they can fight off ravening monstrosities … they might find the answer.

Paperback, 319 pages
Published January 15th 2015 by Bimulous Books
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Average rating 3.65  · 
Rating details
 ·  31 ratings  ·  11 reviews

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Dan Porcher
Oct 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
What is it about steampunk and zombies? Not a big fan of zombie stories but as zombie stories go this is a good one. (As my grandfather used to say "If you like this kind of story, this is the kind of story you like.")

It's well written and well imagined. Good world building with a sense that you're only seeing a small tip of a complex world.
Margaret Taylor
Full disclosure: Abra's a friend of mine. I'm going to give this book an honest review, though.

Do you have a morbid sense of humor? A Circus of Brass and Bone is great for that. A troupe of circus performers, on a return trip from a tour in India, arrive in Boston Harbor only to discover the end of the world happened while they were at sea. The book's cast of misfits have to figure out how to live in a world where people want to know where to buy all the dead bodies, not watch a circus.

What I li
Jan 02, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, ebook, self-pub
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.

There is a vast cast of viewpoint characters, and I think at least one narrator is completely undescribed and unnamed, but I'm not entirely sure about that. It would be easy, with so many moving parts, for it to seem chaotic, but the author manages to exert enough con
Jun 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway.

This was my first foray into steampunk, and I loved it! Full disclosure: I’m a shipper, and Abra SW has an amazing way of weaving chemistry and charm into every character interaction. There is something for everyone, because there are so many amazing characters. This book was sweet, loving, cute, grotesque, violent, horrifying, exciting, unique, mysterious, and you should read it! It reads like it could be the first in the series, even though all threads a
May 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways
I enjoyed this book a lot! It was very imaginative and had an interesting take on your typical apocalypse story. The world it was set in was very original and the plot was really compelling! However, I would've liked to see more from the monsters in the book. That being said, if the author ever made a second book in the series I would definitely read it! ...more
May 22, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Conrad Zero
Jan 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Full Disclosure: I know Abra and we are both members of the Minnesota Speculative Fiction Writers Group. I pre-contributed to the book publishing cost and appear as a bit character in the story.

Crossing a steampunk (aetherpunk?) version of The Stand with Carnivàle, 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.

“In such desperate times, what use is a circus?”

Full Rev
William Tracy
Sep 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. The mystery of the circus combined with the mystery of the disaster propels the story along, especially in the second half. I had a little problem getting into the book, as the first half is a little disjointed from the second, and some of the characters disappear afterward. The story is still fun, and there is some great worldbuilding going on that gets revealed throughout the story.
Mar 01, 2015 rated it did not like it
I got about 40% of the way through and couldn't convince myself I could be bothered to finish it. The writing is good enough but the choice to tell the story from a large number of points of view doesn't help it move along and I never cared enough about any of them to worry about what might happen to them. ...more
Feb 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
See my review at Cannonball Read. ...more
Holly Geez
Mar 17, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, sci-fi, steampunk
It had its moments of intrigue, but it left more questions than it answered, especially after the bonus story. She has a great voice, though.
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Abra SW spent several years living abroad in India and Africa before marrying a mad scientist and settling down to live and write in Minneapolis. She specializes in dark science fiction, cheerful horror, and modern fairy tales. Writing as Abra Staffin-Wiebe (on Goodreads at, she has had short stories appear at publications including and Odyssey Mag ...more

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