Review: Dream Eater's Carnival

Dream Eater's Carnival

Leslie Anderson and David T. Allen
Desperate for adventure, the headstrong Leisl abandons her sterile cathedral life for a mysterious traveling carnival. Surrounded by vibrant energy, she finds a sense of belonging among the troupe of tarot readers, jugglers, acrobats, con artists, strong men, and an ill-tempered flame-breathing goose. 

Although she embraces her new life, Leisl is unable to shake a strange sense of unease. There is more to the reclusive carnival owner than meets the eye. Soon she learns that his fantastic performances are not all illusion. There is dark, terrible magic at work. 

If Leisl isn’t careful, falling from the tightrope may be the least of her problems. 
Dream Eater's Carnival is a short prequel to the Bitlather Chronicles series and is Leslie and Dave's debut novella. 
Bitlather Chronicles is an epic arcane steampunk series set in a fantasy Victorian world.
Click below to purchase from Amazon:

Dream Eater's Carnival: A Bitlather Chronicles Novella

My Review

I really enjoyed the characters and the aesthetic of this world. It was a lot of fun with constant surprises. I wasn't crazy about how abruptly it ended, but since it flat out says it is a "prequel" in the description, it is obviously meant to make me want to buy the rest of the series ... and it did, but the series isn't out yet. Tsk. 
The piece is wonderfully atmospheric with a great mix of realistic grit and dreamlike haze. There were a few moments where I chuckled out loud and a few more where I felt actively anxious ... I still want to know what happened next, but at least it wasn't a huge cliffhanger (no one is about to die or hanging off of a literal cliff). It probably would've been less of a let down, but my Kindle Ap said I was only at 72% when it ended (due to backmatter) so I had hoped for at least two or three more chapters. Definitely leaves you wanting more.
Parental concerns: mostly YA safe. Like one or two cuss words and some innuendo. Definitely nothing past PG 13.