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Circus of the Darned

(Ben and Fran #2)

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  1,682 ratings  ·  70 reviews
I've given up all hope of having a normal life. As if things aren't freaky enough traveling around Europe with a group of witches, mediums, and magicians who make up my home-away-from-home (aka the GothFaire), now I also have to cope with a mysterious man who wants to steal my horse, and a time-travel counselor who insists I'm Cleopatra reincarnated.

I just want to go on a
Paperback, 182 pages
Published January 1st 2006 by Leisure Books
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4.03  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,682 ratings  ·  70 reviews

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Jun 19, 2009 rated it really liked it
I have so looked forward to this book for so long...

It was a cute book, pretty much picking up where we left off in Got Fangs. It was not quite as good as Got Fangs, but I still enjoyed it.

I loved all the old characters, and absolutely loved many of the new one's, particularly the Viking ones!! They have some really interesting date advice, everyone in this book seemed to have some kind of advice for Fran and her first date with Ben.

The book itself didn't seem to move as well as the first one
Lady Ozma
Jan 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This book is great because it throws just about everything under the sun into it. My favourite thing about this book centers around the main characters upcoming first date with her boyfriend. Now how you can have a boyfriend you've never been out with, we'll leave by the wayside. What is the most fun is that everyone and their Viking Ghost wants to tell her just how to have a great first date.

And the advice is PRICELESS.

I was in stitches.
Sepideh Sahebsara
Feb 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Nov 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Note: I did not read book 1; I picked this up at a book sale and didn't realize it was book 2.

Overall the story is very interesting. I could pick up nicely even though the base plot is a continuation. The exposition provided enough information from book one that I could understand the underlying relationships. The main plot for this book didn't quite tie up nicely in the end I I believe we will see more of Loki in the future.

I found the viking ghosts amusing.

Definitely fits the YA Paranormal gen
Jan 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved the Viking ghosts in the book. They kept me laughing all the way through!
Katie's books are always a fun read, and this was no different. the second in a series about Fran, her mom, and other folks in the Goth Faire.
Nov 07, 2008 rated it liked it
Circus of the Darned is the follow-up to 2005's Got Fangs?, the first book in the Goth series, and takes place in the same world as Katie MacAlister's Dark Ones series. The name Katie Maxwell is a pseudonym used by Katie MacAlister with her young adult titles.

Francesca "Fran" Ghetti has been traveling across Europe with her mom and the GothFaire for the last several months. Fran is finally beginning to realize that she'll never have a normal life she once craved. The traveling GothFaire and all
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Me for

If you like vampires, Vikings, Goth Faires, Valkyries, and people who believe that a young girl just might be the reincarnation of Cleopatra, then CIRCUS OF THE DARNED is definitely the book for you (but read GOT FANGS? first!)!

Fran is back, still traveling with her mother and new-found friends throughout Europe with the GothFaire. She's got a kind-of, sort-of boyfriend, Benedikt, who just happens to be a vampire. Oh, he also claims she's his beloved, but sinc
Dec 30, 2010 rated it liked it
This is this the second book in the Goth series by Katie Maxwell. This book was written a while ago and it doesn't seem like Maxwell (who also writes as Katie MacAlister) is going to write anymore books in this series. This book wasn't nearly as good as the first book.

Fran and her mom are still traveling with the Goth Faire. Fran has got some issues when she accidentally calls a group of Viking warriors into existence and then her horse disappears. She has to fix up all this mess and on top of a
Feb 08, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: series, from-library
This is a cute little book just like the one before it in the series. A light, pleasurable, fast read. Katie Maxwell is also known as Katie MacAlister, and I love how alot of her books are so fun. I like her subtle but definitely there humor. This is for teens, but adults can definitely appreciate it.

Fran is a girl with a special talent. One that she is embarrased of. Her mom is part of the GothFaire which travels around Europe. Fran encounters a three hundred year old vampire who recognizes he
Nov 16, 2014 rated it liked it
Okay so I really like this book. I love the characters, they are incredibly funny. Fran has so much personality and I just love the romance between her and Ben.

One thing I don't like about it is that I started reading these books thinking that all books in the series was published but then I found out when I finished circus of the Darned that only two book was published. I need the rest of these books. I need a proper ending. I want to know what happens!!! I have to know if Fran becomes Ben's b
Dec 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ebooks
I really enjoyed the combination vampire, vikings and other sorts of Norse gods in this book. I'm very eager to read the next book of the series to see what happens!!! Love the steaming hot bath scene. Hilarious paranormal romantic comedy!!

(view spoiler)
Nov 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: vampire
Second book- I wish the third were out already, because there is a lot left to wonder! Yet again, a good number of spelling mistakes- more use of languages- love~ it! Once more some discontinuity- if you read them one after the other, you'll understand how. Once again, everything gets over-ridden with the style of writing and the great characters! Hate the cliff hanger though. Also don't like the fact that Fran is written as a little of an airhead. I also don't like a certain part of the ending ...more
Cindi (cheesygiraffe)
Jun 26, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011-read
Fast and fun teen paranormal romance. I LOVED the Viking ghosts. The best part of the book. They made me laugh a lot. Fran still isn't ready to be Ben's Beloved. Which is good because she is only 16. Ben will just have to wait patiently for a few years so Fran can grow up. The book ended with a little bit of a cliff hanger. It looks like Katie thought she was going to write more in this series and she never got the deal to do it.
Good thing she still has the Dark Ones series. Because that's where
Nov 18, 2008 rated it liked it
The book was going along just fine and then it ended. What I mean by that is the action was going and then boom, the pages ran out. No, it wasn't a printing error. Just a lot of build-up and very little pay off. Fran got rid of the Vikings much too easily, didn't really need to do much to deal with Loki, and didn't even get to her date with Ben. Plus, it's not clear what Loki has taken from her. *sigh* Obviously the book calls for a sequel (or a third book since this is the second), but from loo ...more
Helen Bishop
Oct 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Fran is at it again. This time she mistakenly raises a Viking army. The ghosts of this Viking army are indebted to her and seem to make things worse in her attempt at being normal. Also thrown into the mix is the theft of Fran's horse. She seems to have angered the Viking god Loki in trying to keep the horse form him, and now must battle a god. Throw into the mix Ben the vampire who claims only she can save his soul. All she wants to do is have a normal date with him and not be bombarded with al ...more
Basically everything I said about the first book applies here as well. I laughed a lot, especially with the recurring scenes where Fran kept getting terrible dating advice from all the people around her. The ending was a bit underwhelming though. Certain aspects were wrapped up way too quickly and others weren’t resolved at all. I was just left in this weird limbo where I didn’t quite know how to feel about everything. The author decided to make an adult spin-off book with Fran and Ben after thi ...more
Maja  - BibliophiliaDK ✨
Nov 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, ya
To begin with I was disappoint, I have to admit that. I felt that I'd read it before, in one of Katie MacAlister's books (Maxwell and MacAlister are the same woman, if you didn't know that already) and that annoyed me. I had read the whole 'group-of-annoying-ghosts' before in a 'Dark Ones' book. But somehow the book managed to get urned round and feel completely new to me. And then it became a pleasure to read. A good and easy YA book, perfect for a little light reading.
Diane ~Firefly~
The sequel is even more fun than the first. The ghosts are my favorite.

What I enjoyed:
* The ghosts. They were a lot of fun.
* The mythology.
* I like how Ben dealt with Fran this time.
* Nice to find out more about Tesla.

What could have been better:
* What was going on with Ben's friend?
* There didn't seem to be any consequences of the end conflict. (view spoiler)
* Fran just seems to stumble into the answers.
EscaPe iNTo thE PaGEs
May 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book was very funny and housed a different take on Vampires than the other ya vampire books I've read. The main character Fran is a psychometrist, or she can touch things and feel their emotions or history. She lives with a traveling Circus and her mother is a witch. This second story featured Viking ghosts that were really funny and even a few gods. Its a quick read and kept me engaged for a good few hours. If there were a sequel, I'd read it:-)
This is the second book on Ben and Fran, but could be Dark Ones 1.20.
This book keeps on the courtship of Ben over Fran. Fran still wants to be normal, even if she lives in the middle of "freaks" where she is accepted.
I love Dark Ones, but this series is getting a bit on the overloaded side. And this book, besides the "vampires", has ghosts (not new in this series), but then it adds Norse gods. In a nice way, but it starts to add to the amount of magic in this series.
This book is worthless - I really didn't like anything about it. It's similar to Katie MacAlister's Dark Ones book "A Girl's Guide to Vampires", but even lower brow, and written very young. (That series is itself a spoof of Christine Feehan's Carpathians series - I'm guessing that a Goth themed fair is somewhere in Feehan's series, which would explain these two books.) I read few dozen pages and gave up. I'd rather watch bad TV than finish this book.
Kari Ramadorai
Dec 10, 2010 rated it really liked it
As far as teeny bopper, don't fit in, romances go, this one is light and sort of fun. The character is solving a mystery while living in a circus. She falls for a vampire and wouldn't that just beat all if he didn't love her back? She's waaaay too young for anything racy. This is a cute book for younger girls.
Just as Fran is getting used to life traveling in the Psychic Fair, she suddenly becomes the leader of a group of Viking ghosts and her vampire sort of boyfriend comes back. Oh, and her mom totally freaks over the whole vampire thing. Well, you know how it is.

I think I like this one a snitch more than Got Fangs?. They are both fun and the romance is just enough, not gooey YA romance.
Sep 30, 2011 rated it it was ok
Second book in the series and still has some typos. I didn't enjoy it as much as the first book and I got a headache from rolling my eyes so much. But still, it's a fast read and I wish she would give a conclusion to their relationship in the third and last book. I don't think she's going to continue the books though.
Got Fangs?, Circus of the Darned and In the Company of Vampires belong together and I advise you to read all three of them in chronological order. If you are confused, Katie Macalister wrote the Ben and Fren books as Katie Maxwell, because they are a different genre than the Dark Ones series. But the story takes place in the same world.

read: 08.03.15
Michelle Tempted By Books
Another prequel to "In The Company of Vampires" and also the conclusion of "Got Fangs?". Fran is more familiar with the Moravian world but still can be a bit daunting to read about. Typical teenage troubles abound as well as the troubles with Benedikt. Not to mention a whole host of issues at the GothFaire. This story has plenty of action and is a lot of fun.
Merlene Dunbar
I wasn't convinced that a book 2 could have been better than the first but this literally blew me away. Fran and Ben has improved on their awesomeness as a couple that doesn't understand each other and the vikings, they had me thinking vikings were more than blood thirsty pillagers. I laughed all through this book and even threw in a very rare 'awwww'.
Dec 16, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: vampire, ya, magik
Not the best ending, and with no hint of another in the series, that leaves me a little disappointed. Maxwell did say she's starting a new paranormal series for adults based on some of the characters in this series. I hope she writes more of these, though...I want to see Fran become Ben's beloved.
Feb 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
Loved it. i cant believe the i am going as far as to say that this one was better thn the first one by far. Katie is a wonderfull writer that has an awsome ability to create spellbounding charactres thant you love and that you want to hear more of
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Katie Maxwell is a pseudonym of Katie MacAlister .

Katie MacAlister is a Seattle-area author of fiction and non-fiction. Her most popular titles are historical, contemporary, and paranormal romance. She also writes Young Adult books under the pseudonym Katie Maxwell and Mysteries under the pseudonym Kate Marsh.

About Katie

as long as she can remember, Katie MacAlister has loved reading. Growing up i

Other books in the series

Ben and Fran (3 books)
  • Got Fangs? (Ben and Fran, #1)
  • In the Company of Vampires (Dark Ones #8)