Avery’s Ghost by Annie Newell
The circus keeps its secrets.
Evelyn dreams of a career in botany, while acting as uneasy intermediary for her hapless father and distant mother. When she’s accidentally poisoned during a fortune telling, her mother insists her only hope for an antidote is to sign the curious contract of Hart's Traveling Circus— the same place her brother, Avery, vanished before her birth.
When her father faces financial ruin, Evelyn offers to write newspaper articles from inside the tents. But as she investigates, she's consumed by questions no carnie will answer. Why do the performers lie about their uncanny performances? What caused the “hideous” scars of Essence, the sideshow freak who draws portraits so vivid they nearly leap from the page?
Terrified into attempting escape by tempestuous Manager Hart, Evelyn is stopped by paralyzing pain. Undeterred, she’ll cajole and blackmail her way to the truth behind the circus mysteries and her brother's disappearance— truths that uncover long buried secrets and throw her into the crossfire of a plot with explosive consequences.
Featuring hand-drawn illustrations in the style of vintage circus posters, Avery’s Ghost throws readers into a macabre world of secrets and magic, set against the evocative backdrop of a Gilded Age circus.
If you've ever wondered what it was REALLY like to travel with carnies, or fall in love under a big top, then the Shimmering Circus series is for you. Perfect for fans of Caraval, Miss Peregrine, and The Night Circus.