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A Spectacle of Souls

(Circus of the Stolen #1)

3.32  ·  Rating details ·  114 ratings  ·  104 reviews
Caitlyn always thought she was just your average small-town waitress, but she’s anything but average. Suffering from frequent headaches and vivid daydreams, her oddities mask a secret hidden deep within her mind—one that could defeat even the cleverest of psychics.

When a mysterious circus arrives in town, Caitlyn is immediately drawn to it. While visiting the hypnotic show
Published July 7th 2020 by Bleeding Ink Publishing
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Average rating 3.32  · 
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 ·  114 ratings  ·  104 reviews

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Lia Carstairs
May 22, 2020 marked it as dnf
Shelves: e-arcs, fantasy
Thank you Netgalley and Bleeding Ink Publishing for sharing this book in exchange for an honest review.

DNF @ 31%
Ahhhhh I'm sorry but I just can't continue. I feel really bad. I wanted to love this book—especially when you look at that cover and description, but........I just couldn't get into the book. To me, it felt really dragged out and boring. The main character also came off bland and flat to me. I wanted to love A Spectacle of Souls but I just couldn't force my way through the book—tho
Laura ☾
Jun 03, 2020 rated it it was ok
*Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review *
1.75 stars
I wish I had better things to say about this, I really do. The description sounded so interesting - it sounded like Night Circus meets murder mystery, but instead this feels like a not-great fan fiction of the Night Circus?

The writing feels immature and very wordy for very little action, including needless dialogue, juvenile interactions (the first third of the book feels likewatching teen
Kenzie The Dragon Queen
1.5 stars | DNF

I couldn't manage to finish the book; it just wasn't for me. Out of respect for the authors wishes, I will not be writing a review, because I have no wish to talk about things I dislike or to hurt a person's feelings for no good reason.


I just got approved for this ARC by NetGalley! I’m so excited, this book seems super intriguing!💕✨
I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Not going to lie on bit guys. A Spectacle of Souls was just really weird and confusing. It didn't even help to have a buddy read this with me because we were constantly confused.. about the entire book. Plus, what happened towards the end was entertaining but it made no sense whatsoever.

In it, you will meet Caitlyn. I get that she's the main character.. but she basically does absolutely nothing the entire book. Not sure wh
Patty (IheartYA311)
May 27, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: won
The cover is beautiful and the summary pulls you in, but the writing is dull, occassionally cheesy, and is more tell than show. Too much eye rolling. Too many adjectives. The story started off with too many descriptions but I'm glad it didn't last too long. The pacing stumbled making some sections feel longer than necessary. I do think the appearance of the circus was described well though.

The MC was bland, and her instalove relationship earned eye rolls from me (hardy-har-har). Sometimes the w
May 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
A mesmerizing circus paired with magical abilities. What more can we want?
This book follows Caitlyn, a young waitress that always suffered from migraines and how her life drastically changes when she meets Daniel and his circus world.
I really liked both protagonists, which doesn't happen very often. I'd say that most characters are actually very well developed and felt real. The story flowed seamlessly and had me very intrigued.
I am very partial to any story with magic, a cruel dictator, and i
Sheila Goicea
Apr 07, 2020 marked it as 2020-tbr
Shelves: 2020-releases
Today is the cover reveal for A Spectacle of Souls!


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Kendra Cusworth
Jun 02, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2020-reads, arcs
dnf @ 60%

The concept of this book is quite magical. It promises mystery and being that it is “new adult,” I expected mature characters with a well developed plot and relatable dialogue. Unfortunately, I got none of that.
The characters who are post high school age act as if they are 15. The dialogue is cheesy and over the top. I know that sometimes dialogue is written that way on purpose, it’s intention to match the vibe of the book, but that’s definitely not the case here.
The author would some
May 27, 2020 rated it did not like it
I thank NetGalley and the publisher for providing me a digital ARC of this novel.

Actual rate: 1.50 stars

This is the worst rate I have given a book in a while, but honestly I was tired, and bored, and I had to force myself to keep reading this novel.
I try to be the most polite possible when writing reviews, but this time I have to admit the exact thing I thought when reading this book: this is stupid.
This novel felt like a Wattpad book, and not in a good way. It felt like a fanfiction written by
Jun 08, 2020 rated it it was ok
I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The cover of this book is really pretty and seems magical. Sadly the story does not really live up to it.

Okay, this book seemed a bit cheesy. The romance between Caitlyn and Daniel was the typical insta attraction that seems pretty prevalent nowadays. I do prefer when it isn't love at first sight. Also, Caitlyn has no common sense (neither does Vanessa). Although Cirque des Voles would have been really fun to visi
Lauren Stoolfire
Jun 24, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy, romance
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

DNF'd @ 16%

A Spectacle of Souls by Jessica Julien sounded like it was going to be right up my alley, but it just wasn't working for me. It's supposed to be a New Adult fantasy, but it comes across as much younger in tone. Also not much of anything happened during what I did read. Plus, I didn't care enough about any of the characters to keep reading.

MK ( Makayla)

A Spectacle of Souls starts off strong with magical intriging scenes . I love the scene where Kaitlyn and Vanessa go to the circus for the first time .From then on I felt a pretty strong Caraval vibe when all the 'magical' treats were handed around .

I soon found myself engrossed in this sparkling new world , and unable to put it down . I hoped this would be the next Caraval ,but that was not to be . Somewhere after the halfway mark I struggled to retain interest . The plot didn't really seem
May 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thank you Bleeding Ink Publishing and Netgalley for giving me the chance to read and review this E-ARC. I will be posting this review on my blog (, Instagram (@abookishstar), Barnes and Noble, and Amazon nearer to the release date.

I loved the overall concept and plot of A Spectacle of Souls by Jessica Julien. Normally, it takes me a week to finish a book. Whereas, with A Spectacle of Souls, I was able to complete it within 72 hours. It took me about five or six chapter
Jun 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thank you to Netgalley for allowing me to read an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review!

I thought there would be a more intense and better mystery to this book, but it still kept me intrigued.

There were quite a few predictable moments and some of the dialogue seemed repetitive and not needed. I didn’t really connect to the characters much either.

If there is going to be another book, I hope we have better character development and more of a mystery that pulls us in! I still enjoyed
May 16, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 10-and-11
Thanks to Xpresso Book Tours for providing a digital ARC of A Spectacle of Souls in exchange for an honest review!

I've read a lot of YA about shady magical circuses, but for some reason I feel like I rarely see that in a realistic-fic so that was really fun! I really liked the first act of a Spectacle of Souls. It does an excellent job of introducing us to its characters and mysteries. My interest dwindled more as the plot continued but that was mainly because of a shifting focus towards the pro
InD'tale Magazine
Rating: 3.5/5.0

Overall, a thoroughly creative and enjoyable walk on the dark side.

Read full review in the 2020 October issue of InD'tale Magazine.
May 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Let me start out by saying that if I could give this story more than five stars I absolutely would. Usually, when I start reading and progress through a story like this there are some things that I'm not really sure about or like. However, with this, story I actually can't think of one thing I didn't like about it. This story takes you on a wild ride that doesn't let you get your breath and by the end leaves you gasping. The story starts out with young Caitlyn Stoker happily living her mundane l ...more
Meg K (fiction_gryphon)
Jun 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thank you Bleeding Ink Publishing for granting me access to a NetGalley digital ARC of this book. I'll admit, "A Spectacle of Souls" took me by surprise! In a lot of ways, the atmosphere of this story reminded me a lot of Stephanie Garber's "Caraval", but with a distinctly darker, more twisted and paranormal-centric tone...

In this first book, we follow Caitlyn Stoker, a young woman plagued with migraines who works as a waitress in a local diner in her hometown. Caitlyn and her best friend Vanes
Tonya S.
Jun 14, 2020 rated it it was ok
Enchanted circus.... Repressed psychic powers.... Mysterious cute boy... Enigmatic Ringmaster? SIGN ME UP! I was so excited to read A Spectacle of Souls. Until I actually read it. Caitlyn is a waitress in a one stoplight town, with no opportunities. She has a spunky, sexy best friend named Vanessa, and an on-again, off-again crush named James, who works with her. Her life is good, if a little boring. The only bad thing in her life, other than the monotony, is her paralyzing migraines. But after ...more
Jun 30, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
Thank you to the publisher for giving me a free ARC to read via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I DNFed this book at 43%.

I wanted to like this book really badly, but it just didn't work for me. I didn't connect with any of the characters, and, worse, I didn't care about Caitlyn (the main character) or any of the others. I found the characters to be one-dimensional.
The whole magic/psychic aspect confused the heck out of me. It was not well explained and it didn't make any sense.
I ha
Jul 15, 2020 rated it it was ok
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

This book sounded so great when I read the description, but with books out there that are so hugely popular that revolve around circuses, it’s hard to top some of them. This one was good, but I feel like there was SO MUCH going on and yet not enough happened.

The pacing was weird at times and it jumped between characters too often without the “voice” of the character changing- nothing was really in first pers
Samantha Hastings
May 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
The story is as luscious and creepy as the cover suggests.

Two friends attend a circus only to discover that it is more than it seems. The ringmaster wants Caitlyn to join and he’s not taking no for answer. She has an unrealized supernatural power that could change everything.

Twisty and violent, this story accomplished everything a circus should. It entertains, horrifies, and surprises. And the end confrontation is worthy of a round of applause.
Jun 10, 2020 rated it it was ok
This book was pretty confusing. I felt like abilities weren't explained and the spirit world made little sense. I also didn't care for Caitlyn, it seemed like she was helpless for the majority of the story and stood by while people were being murdered. The "voice" kept telling her she was stronger than the Ringmaster and could beat him, but he bested her again and again.

I did think the powers people had were cool and would have loved more explanation on how they work, how people get them, and h
Apr 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Welcome to A Spectacle of Souls! This is an amazing read that leaves the reader wanting more! The reader zooms through the pages of this book alternating between wanting to know what will happen next and never wanting the story to end! This reader went through it so fast that I immediately opened it up again and started reading it over to see what I may have missed the first time!

This book gives us the magical world of the Ringmaster and his circus. The circus gives the illusion of masterful fea
Jade  theelderbooks
May 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Circus story fascinate me but they're usually a hit or miss with me. I entirely disliked The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, so I went into A Spectacle of Souls hoping I would enjoy this circus story.

The beginning bugged me a little to be honest... We meet all the characters rather quickly, and there is a lot of useless talk. The first pages gave out the biggest weakness of the book : its writing style. I thought the writing to be very shallow. We understand the author wanted to characterize
Jun 07, 2020 rated it did not like it
I DNFed this book at about 30% of the way through. If you were looking for something similar to Caraval or The Night Circus then turn away as you will not find what you are looking for here. It is very poorly written with flat characters, an insta love, two supposed best friends who seem to do nothing but make personal and critical remarks to each other, and a flimsy plot that lacks any substance. It reads like it was written by a teenager and has been allowed to be published as a poor first dra ...more
Cherilyn Martindill
May 18, 2020 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 02, 2020 rated it it was ok
This book has an absolutely stunning cover and a premise I was interested in: Creepy Circus. That’s unfortunately where it ended. The writing was over-written, descriptions went on forever. I didn’t really connect to the main character and her best friend seemed more like a caricature than a real person.
There were phrases used that no teenager would actually use and the romance felt rushed, there was nothing holding me onto it. I wanted to like this book but it was a bit of a slog to get throug
Jun 04, 2020 rated it it was ok
I was excited when I read the synopsis of this book.

Unfortunately, the book didn't live up to my expectations. It wasn't very interesting and I never connected with any character.

I was given a free ARC and I am leaving my honest review.
Miss Kindly (Sanna)
May 21, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya-fantasy, arc
Thanks to Netgalley and Xpresso Book Tours for giving me an eARC to review!

Welcome to the Cirque des Volés! You may quite literally don't believe your eyes... And maybe you shouldn't.

Caitlyn suffers from headaches and strange visions which she believes to be the effects of chronic migraines. But can that really explain the voice that sometimes speaks to her in her mind? When a circus comes to town Caitlyn marvels at the impossible wonders with the rest of the audience. What she doesn't know is t
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Born in the picturesque state of Washington, Jessica Julien is the marketing director of a boutique publishing company, a stay at home mom, wife, and wanderluster. When not drafting marketing plans or doing laundry, she spends her time writing young adult and new adult novels focused on the paranormal and supernatural inspired by her love of all things dark and twisty. With her vivacious imaginati ...more

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