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REVIEW: The Circus Infinite – Khan Wong

The Circus Infinite - Khan Wong

Genre: Sci-Fi, Space Fantasy, Space Opera

Reviewer: SI

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About The Book

A circus takes down a crime-boss on the galaxy’s infamous pleasure moon.

Hunted by those who want to study his gravity powers, Jes makes his way to the best place for a mixed-species fugitive to blend in: the pleasure moon where everyone just wants to be lost in the party. It doesn’t take long for him to catch the attention of the crime boss who owns the resort-casino where he lands a circus job, and when the boss gets wind of the bounty on Jes’ head, he makes an offer: do anything and everything asked of him or face vivisection.

With no other options, Jes fulfills the requests: espionage, torture, demolition. But when the boss sets the circus up to take the fall for his about-to-get-busted narcotics operation, Jes and his friends decide to bring the mobster down. And if Jes can also avoid going back to being the prize subject of a scientist who can’t wait to dissect him? Even better.

File Under: Science Fiction [ Misfit Fits In | Crime Never Pays | Loop The Loops | Balancing Act ]

The Review

This came up in my ARC list recently. First off, it’s published by Angry Robot. If you don’t know Angry Robot, they describe themselves as seeking to ‘find and give a platform to new voices and new stories that push the boundaries of genre fiction, mess them about, and put them back together again in all kinds of awesome ways – we like to think of ourselves as “genrefluid”.’

When it comes to traditionally published novels, if I’m reading it, there’s a good chance it’s an Angry Robot book.

The Circus Infinite offers up one of the finest found family stories I’ve read in a while – and I love me some found family. It’s an epic tale filled with flawed and adorable characters set in an exquisitely imagined universe.

Jes is a fugitive who hasn’t known love – or even kindness – since his grandparents died when he was a child. He escapes from a mysterious institution, where he’d been studied, tortured, and experimented on and makes his way to the one place he assumes his captors won’t think to look for a sex-repulsed asexual: a seedy pleasure moon in the furthest reaches of the known galaxy.

I suspect the author won’t mind when I say this is an eleganza extravaganza of an adventure that is, by turn, chilling, heartwarming, infuriating, and affirming.

This science fantasy novel explores the nuances of consent and acceptance through the medium of a compelling and unconventional story.

The plot does meander a bit in the middle. But I can forgive that when the characters are as wonderful as Jes, Bo, Esmee, Essa, Quint, and the gang.

Think A Closed and Common Orbit crashes headlong into Space Unicorn Blues with a little sprinkling of The Android’s Dream for good measure.

The Reviewer

SI CLARKE is a misanthrope who lives in Deptford, sarf ees London. She shares her home with her partner and an assortment of waifs and strays. As someone who’s neurodivergent, an immigrant, and the proud owner of an invisible disability, she strives to present a diverse array of characters in her stories. And she loves reading about diverse characters too. 

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