Cover of Girl in the Shadows, featuring tattoo-like elements such as playing cards and an anatomical heart around the title

About the Book

Title: Girl in the Shadows (Cirque American #2)
Published: 2016
Series: Cirque American
Swoonworthy Scale: 6

Cover Story: Flash Sheet
BFF Charm: Heck Yes
Talky Talk: School of Carolyn Keene
Bonus Factors: The Cirque American, Magic
Relationship Status: Season Ticket Holder

Danger, Will Robinson! Girl in the Shadows is the second book in the Cirque American series. If you have not read the first book—Girl on a Wire—you might want to turn away now. This book isn’t a direct sequel (it has different main characters), but I’d definitely suggest beginning with Girl on a Wire. If you have read the first book, however, feel free to continue below. I will refrain from major spoilers in my review, but there might be hints at plot points and details about the story.

Cover Story: Flash Sheet

There’s a lot going on on this cover, and all of it references parts of the story within. But at first glance, it totally looks like a flash sheet you might find when you walk into a tattoo shop without an idea at the ready.

The Deal:

Moira Mitchell knows what it’s like to be in the spotlight—at least, by proxy. Her father is a famous Las Vegas magician, and Moira’s grown up backstage and along the Strip. She’s also long wished for her own chance on stage, but her father continues to put the kibosh on her dreams. When an invitation to audition for the second season of the Cirque American literally falls at her feet, Moira jumps at the chance to reinvent herself as the Miraculous Moira. But what she discovers about herself at the Cirque will be more miraculous than she could ever imagine.

BFF Charm: Heck Yes

BFF Charm Heck Yes - sparklier and shinier than the original BFF Charm

Moira is a girl who knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to go after it. I admire her confidence, and her ability to see the best in situations, even when they seem dire. I also am totally envious of her ability to perform so effortlessly in front of a crowd, and of her serious skills as a magician/illusionist.

Swoonworthy Scale: 6

When Moira joins the Cirque, she’s immediately intrigued by a fellow new performer. But it takes a while for her to warm up to him, particularly because his charm seems more part of his act and less sincere interest.

Talky Talk: School of Carolyn Keene

Much like with the first book in this series, Girl on a WireGirl in the Shadows is, at its heart, a mystery. Gwenda Bond has once again written a story that would fit right in with classic Nancy Drew stories, but with an updated (and somewhat more supernatural) twist. Bond’s characters are unique and feel like people you’d want to be friends with, or, in some cases, totally OK with being mortal enemies with.

Bonus Factor: The Cirque American

Bond’s creation, the Cirque American, continues to intrigue. In it’s second season (in this second book), it grows even larger than the first, with the addition of a midway and a fantastic Ferris Wheel. I so badly wish it was a real circus I could visit.

Bonus Factor: Magic

Open book with moving pages in front of a glowing blue sphere and twinkle lights

I assumed, in my reading of Girl on a Wire, that the magic of the Cirque American was a simple sort of non-magic magic that people imbue into objects through belief. Well, I was wrong. In Girl in the Shadows, Bond reveals that magic in this world is actually real. And it comes with some interesting history.

Relationship Status: Season Ticket Holder

Both your characters and your world, Book, are a total delight. I love that I got to meet new people on this, our second date, while still visiting with old friends. I also love that you proved me wrong about magic. I can’t wait to see where we go from here.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from Skyscape, but got neither a private dance party with Tom Hiddleston nor money in exchange for this review. Girl in the Shadows is available now.

Mandy (she/her) is a manager at a tech company who lives in Austin, TX, with her husband, son, and dogs. She loves superheroes and pretty much any show or movie with “Star” in the name.