Review ~ Gifted: A Donovan Circus Novel by Liz Long

Posted June 10, 2012 in Review / 12 Comments

Gifted: A Donovan Circus Novel
By Liz Long
Published May 1st, 2012
Young Adult (older) Urban Fantasy
4 hearts out of 5

From Goodreads:  Even in a world of freaks, being a Firestarter is considered a dangerous Gift.

Lucy was born with the ability to create and control fire. She longs to leave the human world for one filled with Earthshakers, Transporters, and Chameleons, to name a few. When she rejoins the circus, it’s everything she hoped it could be—new friends, a potential love interest or two, and a place where she can be herself.

When troupe members begin turning up dead, however, Lucy is suspected of foul play. She must not only prove her innocence but also realize the full extent of her power. To find the real murderer, she must uncover the truth behind her father’s fiery legacy while figuring out whom to trust within her new circle. Little does she know the history of the Donovan Circus and its enemies might actually destroy the entire gifted world.

I’ve realized something as I look at my Goodreads stats for the year so far.  I’m getting pickier and pickier in my reviews.  My good ‘ole favorite authors are only scoring 3 heart reviews from me.  I’ve only handed out a few 5 heart reviews.  But I’ve gotten very lucky with the self-pub books I’ve read so far this year.  And it’s not that I’m necessarily easier on these new authors.  It’s just that they’ve done a fantastic job using their original ideas to build their worlds and characters.  No longer am I tripping over typos and grammar errors!

Liz Long’s Gifted was a complete surprise for me!  I received this book in return for my honest review.  As a self-pub, I wasn’t really expecting much.

I’m not a fan of the circus… there I said it!

They creep me out.  But Ms. Long’s book was so easy for me to get into and stay engaged in, I found it extremely hard to put down!  I kept wondering what was going to happen next.  I can remember only two times there were actual spots where I felt like I could comfortably put the book down and stop reading.

Lucy has just lost her mother and she goes to re-join the circus.  When she arrives, she’s very nervous because she was last there as a child with her family but they left the circus to have a normal, “human” life.  A lot has changed since then.  The owner of the circus, Mr. Sheffield Donovan, pairs Lucy up with a girl named Delia who introduces Lucy (and the reader) to the circus.  The circus has become the place where the “gifted” can come, live and be themselves; not have to hide their gifts.

MANY reviewers have said this book is like the X-Men meets the circus ~ that is so true!  It’s that kind of fun.  And I never knew how much I loved murder mysteries!  I mean, I’ve read J.D. Robb but it’s been a while.  Gifted had a great murder mystery plot that had me guessing players all the way until the near end.

And, yup, there’s a love triangle.  I personally LOVE Gabriel for his incessant pushing of Lucy to loosen up and to let go of her feelings.  These two have some fun dialogue and I love the way Lucy can hold her own and doesn’t act the way you expect her to.  All I’ll say is that there’s a reason for Lucy’s reactions.  If you want the answer to that after you read the book (and you SHOULD read this book if you’re looking for a fun urban fantasy that geared towards the older young adults), then go over to Liz Long’s blog post about it and read her answer why.

Some other reviews worth checking out!
The Housework Can Wait Review and Interview
The Magick Pen
Pure Textuality (Ginny)
Pure Textuality (Heather)


About Kristin

Kristin has to ensure she gets her minimal requirement of "happily ever after" books in between those books that contain cliffhangers and never-ending story arcs. It's for her family's sake. When not reading, she's homeshooling her 10-year old son, watching cartoons on TV, or taking a nap.

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12 responses to “Review ~ Gifted: A Donovan Circus Novel by Liz Long

    • This story had maybe one or two typos or spelling errors. That’s still less than what I find in mass market paperbacks or hardcover first prints. Sometimes I want to write to the publisher and give them the corrections 🙂

  1. Thank you so very much! I’m so thrilled you enjoy it and hope others like it as much as you did 🙂 Huge thanks to awesome book blog My Para-Hangover!!

  2. Oh, dear, I am definitely not a fan of circus, not at all! But I am a fan of X-men and I adore books that somehow remind me of them, so I guess I should give this a try after all. I’d never even heard of it before.
    Lovely review, and thanks!