Written by: Paula Limbaugh
Brendan Deneen a well known comic book writer (Scatterbrain, Flash Gordon, and Casper to name a few) has come up with a real winner here. His debut novel The Ninth Circle is such a fascinating read. The story flows effortlessly, and at 206 pages it is easy to read in one sitting.
This is a tale of Daniel who is bullied by an older brother, ignored by the drunkard father and cheating mother and basically just feels the odd man out. When out of the blue his parents surprise him with tickets to the circus for his 16th birthday a life changing decision is made. Daniel decides to run away from home and travel with the circus, taken under wing by the mysterious Ringmaster his misadventures begin.
The circus is full of surprises there are the freaks, the Geek, the clowns and all the others that make up a circus; each with their own unique talent. The lion tamer who has a way with the animals, the magician who can perform the inexplicable, and Micky the retarded man who is the uncanny talent scout for this troupe of misfits, as I said all unique. And oh, there is the bearded lady Alicia that Daniel finds himself strangely attracted to. But, it’s not all fun and games; so much is brewing below the surface. Someone is set on destroying the circus, whilst others are set on doing Daniel in.
The book is broken down into 9 cantos rather than chapters. With each canto we find ourselves delving deeper into the dark side of the circus life. As we take this journey with Daniel we begin to see him grow and glimpse the man he will become through trial and tribulation. This is a hauntingly told story, one to ponder long after you finish.