After the loss of her parents, Lucy Sullivan finds herself running away to join the circus. Donovan Circus is not your everyday normal circus, the performers and workers all have special powers, Lucy included. Lucy is a firestarter, probably the most talented. As she is learning to control her power, someone is killing members of the troupe and sabotaging some of the performances. A human scientist is enamored by the gifted community and has been experimenting on people he kidnaps from the community for years. He has his sights set on Lucy and does everything he can to entice her to be his test subject and give him her power. Lucy needs to learn who she is able to trust if anyone, who is telling the truth, and how will she be able to defeat someone who is determined to ruin the lives of those in Donovan Circus.
As soon as I began reading this book I fell in love with it. Liz Long does an amazing job creating a world that captivates her readers. I love stories that combine different magic powers, but sometimes those stories don't mesh well with numerous powers. This one makes use of the powers in a great way, each person helping someone else train and great strong. Lucy at first comes off as being a whiney little girl, but as the story progresses she becomes stronger and comes into her own fire abilities as well as skills as a leader. She comes to realize not only who she is as a person but the strength she has as a Firestarter. Throughout the book she relies heavily on others to help her around the circus, but it doesn't come off as a girl incapable of completing a task, it is one of teamwork and family unity.
There is a little bit for everyone in this novel,:mystery, romance, and fantasy. Liz writes a fantastic tale that is difficult to put down. It has an even pace and doesn't feel like it is forced. One of my favorite things was the character Gabriel, he was an Empath. Liz takes the idea of an Empath a step farther in that they are able to control the emotions of someone else rather than feeling every emotion. I also enjoyed that there were different levels to the gifts like with Firestarters there are those who can control fire, make fire, or even those who could just withstand it. A lot of things in the book were unique and different from what I have seen in other books, and that makes it fantastic in my mind.
I know there is more to the series and I eagerly await the next book in the series to find out what will happen next, whether someone else will come along to replace Felix or if something else worse will happen. I give this novel a 3.5 out of 5 stars.