I prefer science fiction, fantasy, and horror without the spaceships, dragons, and zombies.
The first third of this book read like a textbook example of how to get the hooks into your reader. Every scene, from the very first, slides a new hook under the skin and you've just gotta keep reading to find out 'what's really going on.' Unfortunately, for me, once I found out what was really going on, I was less than thrilled about it.
But I want to be clear about this. You see, at about the halfway mark, I found out that supernatural entities that I personally don't enjoy reading about are major players, and I was pretty let down. You might like stories involving this particular type of supernatural entity, many people do. If so, you might really go for what Mr. Christopher has delivered here.
But my supernatural entity bias isn't really the only problem I had with this book. There were two more major things that detracted from my overall enjoyment:
1) The magic rules in this world weren't clearly defined, and it came off as characters could just 'magic' themselves out of tough situations.
2) All of the characters but one seemed to have zero agency Intentional? Sure. Just look at the cover. But, still. And the one character who did have control over his own fate adopted a surfer dude persona that I didn't find cute, ironic, or funny.
I wanted to like this book more than I did (and to be clear, I didn't hate it by any stretch). It does contain a lot of things that I do like in a story: a circus/carnival, entertaining villains, interesting imagery, cool set pieces, and, best of all, solid writing.
After reading Hang Wire, I think Adam Christopher is more than capable of producing a book that I'll really enjoy. Unfortunately, this was probably just not the right entry point into his writing--for me.