Book Review Wednesday: Enter the Death Circus (Tales from the Longview) by Holly Lisle (5 stars)

Posted: March 18, 2015 in Book Reviews
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I came to know of Holly Lisle through her writing classes. Like all writers, I’m constantly working on my craft and Holly Lisle has some great resources for that. The Death Circus is a novella included in the ‘How to Write a Series’ class that I’m working through for the second time.

It’s a dystopian space opera set around a ship that has a mysterious owner who no one seems to see. Be warned though, this is a series. We don’t get all the answers in the first book. That would make for a very short series.

The ship is a death circus. They travel to pact worlds and buy people sentenced to death. Pact worlds seem to be kind of like weird playgrounds for insanely rich control freaks. With enough money you can buy your very own pact world, whose people are taught from childhood to be mindless drones. Any deviation away from said mindless drone state results in them being taken away for punishment.

Punishments seem to vary, but in a lot of cases it’s death. Of course there’s a technical issue here. Pact worlds can’t carry out a death sentence. They get around it in other ways. Most popular seems to be saying to them ‘hey you’re not in the club anymore. If you want us to welcome you back, step right up and plunge yourself into this burning pit of fire.’


And brainwashed as they are, most of them do just that. The stubborn few left are sold to passing death circuses who agree to carry out those death sentences. And there begins our story, with one poor brainwashed guy bound for our mysterious ship, and our other main pov character, a guy working on said ship.

This book mainly revolves around our guy working in the ship. He’s ambitious and has his mind set on his next in what he hopes will be a long line of promotions, but things don’t go quite as he planned.

The most interesting part of this book for me was the looming mystery. What exactly is the ship’s owner up to? How is he getting all his money? And what are his plans for all those people he buys?

Be warned though, this is a short book. Only 56 pages. So don’t go into it expecting a full blown novel.

For more reviews on this book go to:


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