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Suspended: The Vagabond Circus, Book 1

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Publisher's Summary

When a stranger joins the cast of Vagabond Circus - a circus that is run by Dream Travelers and features real magic - mysterious events start happening. The once orderly grounds of the circus become riddled with hidden threats. And the ringmaster realizes not only is his circus and its magic at risk, but also his very life.

Vagabond Circus caters to the skeptics. Without skeptics, it would close its doors. This is because Vagabond Circus runs for two reasons and only two reasons: first and foremost to provide the lost and lonely Dream Travelers a place to be illustrious. And secondly, to show the nonbelievers that there's still magic in the world. If they believe, then they care, and if they care, then they don't destroy. They stop the small abuse that day by day breaks down humanity's spirit. If Vagabond Circus makes one skeptic believe in magic, then they halt the cycle, just a little bit. They allow a little more love into this world. That's Dr. Dave Raydon's mission. And that's why this ringmaster recruits. That's why he directs. That's why he puts on a show that makes people question their beliefs. He wants the world to believe in magic once again.

©2016 Sarah Noffke (P)2016 Sarah Noffke

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    I OFarrell St leonards on sea, United Kingdom 15/12/2016
    I OFarrell St leonards on sea, United Kingdom 15/12/2016 Member Since 2016

    I O'Farrell

    HELPFUL VOTES
    37
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    212
    105
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    4
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Magic and mystery"
    Any additional comments?

    Finley joins the circus full of Dream Travelers for one reason but he must keep that reason a secret along with his past. That isn’t easy with Zuma, his new aerial partner, being a telepath. With Dave’s rules life at the circus should run smoothly but Finley’s feelings get in the way and not only is he bound to break rules but he may also break trust.<br/>There is always an air of magic and mystery around the circus and Noffke has really brought that out with her gifted characters and Dream Travel world. The Romeo and Juliet-style romance enhances the story along with a third party.<br/>The book did seem to end just as it got to a really interesting part which is a shame but I guess now I’ll to buy the next instalment in the series.<br/>

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Lisa B.
    28/12/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Suspensefully Suspended"

    This book was so amazing and different. It was so emotional in so many different ways, and so deep that I found myself having to take a break from it. Almost like something so tragic that you want to turn away but at the same time so curious and so good that you have to stay focused. I'm not sure how to word this. In no way was it boring or mindless, just the opposite. But in the first few hours I was wondering when it was going to have something major happen. When all the time, it was all playing out before me. I found myself wanting to look back and go back over parts to see hidden truths I may have missed the first time. The narrator was meant for this book. His voice had such a creepy, ominous sound to it. Very suspenseful and mournful at the same time. Very fitting. I could hear all the emotions coming out through his voice. He is a natural talent for sure. I'm going to see if he narrates anything else. The characters were so well developed. This circus was made up of misfits that society had rejected for many reasons, because they were different. They each have their own special talent which is what others would call magic. When really, they are gifts. The ring master has nothing but love and the well being of his performers in his heart. He is the glue that holds it all together. However, there is something sinister going on around them. No one knows this, maybe a few. Who is responsible and why would they possibly feel the need for this? Could it be the new performer who has showed up and seems to be all that was ever needed in a circus because of his exceptional talents? Or is it one of their own?

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • K. Westrope
    Wildomar, CA
    04/04/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Really enjoyable story - first in series."

    I actually liked this book more than I thought I would. It is written at a young teen to young adult level, but that certainly doesn't stop it from being a wonderfully engaging story full of enchanting characters. I love them all. The story is a bit unusual and blends fantasy with reality. The only thing that really disappointed me about the book is that it ends on a cliff-hanger. Now, I can't wait to read the rest in the series.

    I listened to the audible version and narrator, Steve Barnes, did a fantastic job of bringing all the characters to life. He really made the story even more enjoyable.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mindjacked
    Us
    10/11/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Do You Believe in Magic/"

    Do you believe in magic? Maybe after this circus, the Vagabond Circus. It is a different kind of circus, although I can't quite put my finger on it yet, they have the normal circus things, acrobats, trapeze artists, and jugglers, but something is different about this circus, something magical.

    Author Sarah Noffke has another hit on her hands with another spin on her wonderful dream traveler world. This book has plenty of action and suspense and that is before she throws in the circus part of the story which by the way is awesome and if you didn't know better you would have thought she actually spent time with a circus (she did). I had the audiobook version and voice actor Steve Barnes does a amazing job with all the different characters, their unique personalities and stories. He kept the story exciting and me on the edge of my seat just waiting to find out what happens. This is a awesome match between author and narrator and I can't wait to hear what happens next under the big top.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Rabid Reader
    09/11/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Exciting, mesmerizing story"

    An amazingly magical and captivating audiobook that propels you into another of Sarah Noffke's mesmerizing Dream Traveler worlds. This story captures you from the start, taking you on a breathtaking journey of intrigue, deception, mystery and romance. The whispery, slightly breathy voice of the narrator has a mystery to it that speaks of suspense and fear. His voice draws you into the story and holds you captive, mirroring the way Dave Raydon draws in and holds the audience spellbound at his circus. His tone, pitch and intonation changes with each character, loosing that breathy quality and becoming stronger, giving unique voices to the individuals. The narrators voice fits the circus perfectly and brings Sarah's amazing characters to life.
    In the Vagabond Circus, Dave Raydon gathers orphans and the lost, bringing Dream Travels together, giving them purpose and a sense of belonging. His aim is to bring magic and joy back into ordinary lives, through the gifts and talents of his Dream Traveller circus. Things were running smoothly at the circus but everything begins to unwind when a new talent is introduced into the mix. Finley is a complex character with many hidden facets that are slowly revealed throughout the book. He is secretive, cocky and hides behind brash remarks. Zuma is a strong female character, she is passionate about the circus but little else manages to touch her, till she met Finley. The love/hate chemistry between Zuma and Finley is captivating, and their developing and ever changing relationship draws you in, you become so embroiled in these characters that you actually hurt when they hurt. Sarah's enthralling writing and the great narration makes you feel their connection; you experience their mistrust, longing, hope and anxieties. All the characters in this book are appealing and have some depth to them; from Dave's persuasive, open personality, to grumpy Sunshine's empathic thoughts, they all add layers to the circus' world. The plot is intriguing, with twists and surprises along the way. It draws you in, keeps you captivated and in the end, leaves you dying to get the next book. This is an amazing story with great writing, intriguing plot, well-developed characters and delightful narration. I will look forward to hearing the next in the series. I received the audiobook at no cost and under no obligation.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • AudioBook Reviewer
    Madison, WI, United States
    10/01/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "usually avoid YA, unless it is written by Noffke"

    The Vagabond circus is one of the best in the world, because it is entirely composed by Dream Travelers. The spectacle is like no one seen before. But one day a new boy gets accepted to join the circus by the ring master. He has a unique talent, but trouble seems to surround young Finley wherever he goes.

    First let me tell you that I usually avoid YA, unless it is written by Sarah Noffke. My teenage years seem far gone, and I have troubles connecting to teenage characters. This does not happen with Noffke's. She creates amazing tridimensional characters, which feel alive, with real motivations, and realistic reactions.

    I have read the other two series about Dream Travelers, and I was curious about this one, since the set is so different from the others. I do not remember the last time I went to the circus, and I do not remember enjoying it especially, but I knew that Sarah would convince me that the Vagabond Circus is a great show. Apart from great characters, she builds the story in a way which keeps the reader interested, because there are a couple of twists that are totally unexpected.

    Sarah Noffke writes YA books, but what I like from them is that, even when there is always a love story, there is also much more going on. The characters are usually troubled young adults with which just cannot leave you indifferent. Sarah writes great stories, but the key point is the characters she creates.

    The book is narrated by Steve Barnes. I had the pleasure of listening to him narrating other books this year. His husky voice can feel a bit strange at first, but I find his tone rather soothing, and his character impersonations are quite distinctive, which helps to keep track of the story.

    I started the book with high expectations, and they were duly fulfilled. If you either have enjoyed other books by Sarah Noffke, or if you would like to listen to fantasy books with a different twist, I strongly recommend this book. And if you have never listened to any of Noffke's books I do not know what you are waiting for!

    Audiobook was provided for review by the author.

    Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog

    [If this review helped, please press YES. Thanks!]

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Stephanie Pittser
    Oklahoma
    19/05/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I wanna go to the CIRCUS!!!!"

    This story saddens me and yet its pretty awesome at the same time. The entire mysterious, mythical, other world feel was great. Steve Barnes voice was just perfect and helped make it an even greater story. I couldn't be happier that I got to listen to the dance between Finley and Zuma (sorry if spelling is wrong). The entire circus sounds amazing and I love this new world I've been introduced to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Pheobe Petenstein Jackson
    Ohio
    11/03/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An Amazing Circus with the most amazing Ringmaster"
    Which character – as performed by Steve Barnes – was your favorite?

    He does an amazing job with all the characters.He was the perfect voice for this series.


    Any additional comments?

    Book one, Suspended <br/>We meet the Owner & Ring Master Dr.David Raydon, Who gave up his Psychiatric practice at the Lucidite Institute 20 yrs ago, along with giving his belongings away, he sold his Estate to follow his dream of running a circus. That was the Beginning of the Vagabond Circus. A kind happy man. Dave had two rules that the performers must live by 1 Show respect to each other at all times. 2 No romantic relationships between performers. He had a very good reason to enforce these two simple rules even though only a select few knew what it was. Dave knows someone has been breaking into his trailer and office,moving his things around and touching everything, nothing is missing,at first he thought someone that knew he had OCD was playing tricks on him the first time, but the third time he knew someone was up to no good. <br/>Titus- Dave’s long time friend, adviser and Creative Director<br/>Fanny, a wonderful Healer and a Nanny to the younger children at the circus. A mother figure to all.<br/>The Stars of the circus is the Acrobats. Jack, Jasmine, Zuma, a girl who was cursed because she was born at the Vagabond Circus, a girl all fell in love with her beauty and grace. A new comer Finley, a boy shrouded in mystery. (He was there on a mission and he would not fail.) Someone from within the circus family had diabolical plans for Dr. David Raydon. <br/>Ian a crew hand who also could truly see the future and would fill in at Zuma’s Fortune teller booth before the show times after the act story line was changed to incorporate Finley into the act.<br/>The children under Fanny’s care are… <br/>Sunshine she could read emotions and she was the star of the fire act in the show. <br/>Oliver an illusionist as well as a sweet hearted boy. <br/>Emily was the youngest at the age of 4, she was too young to have a job under the Big top. Benjamin (Benny) was 10 yrs of age and his talent has not yet showed it’s self.<br/>Sebastian was also relatively new to the family, he was 11 yrs of age or so they thought. <br/>The Juggling triplets Haady oldest brother by a few seconds, Padmal the ill tempered sister of the three and Nabhi the youngest brother.<br/>We see how wonderful and close this family was sure it had minor scrimmages or personality conflicts from time to time. Dave was a nurturing loving Father to all. Many of the performers would lay down their life for Dave if needed because he had saved many from a bad life on the streets or in an orphanage. Although Dave would never allow anyone to sacrifice anything on his behalf. It was a pleasant place to live and work. The Vagabond Circus brought out the best in them all<br/>

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lisa Miller
    Canada
    30/01/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "LOVE the story - Narration didn't fit"
    What three words best describe Steve Barnes’s performance?


    Any additional comments?

    I love Sarah Noffke's stories and this one is just as wonderful and captivating as all her others ... still in the world of dream travelers but in a different community, different circumstances <br/>Sarah is a gifted story teller and I love her stories and look forward to escaping into her worlds (ALL of which really need to be on a big or small screen) She writes magically and poetically, her characters are complex and brilliantly described, I can visualize them even down to small mannerisms <br/>Mystery, suspense , intrigue, emotional ups, downs and challenges ... this story has it all <br/>...SADLY, I didn't feel those things while listening! <br/> Steve Barnes is a new narrator for me and perhaps I expected too much after listening to Sarah's other audiobooks ... I was left irritated, unfulfilled and emotionally lacking! <br/>I am aware that I am going against the grain and opinion of so many others but I felt that Steve's reading of Suspended was like listening to an over dramatic late night corny radio station that reads love stories, or talks about love ... blah blah ... with the low slow sultry-like sounds. <br/>I think he was going for a mysterious and intriguing sound but this story is told mostly from young adults/teenagers who know nothing of that tone or depth of mystery <br/>They don't speak like that even when they are dramatic! <br/><br/>To me, it was creepy and just didn't fit the story <br/>while he tried to give everyone a different voice, he narrated each characters part with this same tone and it was confusing and also didn't fit all the characters personalities or the feelings of those parts ... Most of these characters weren't suspicious, mysterious, or dark in any way but rather they were happy,thoughtful, funny, and yes, confused at times, sad, lonely, etc but they would not have thought in this style ... there were so many fun and exciting moments that were not read to the full potential due to this tone <br/>I felt his narration of emotions didn't fit most moments/scenes and I was saddened by this <br/>Steve reads well, his words clear and I am sure he's a wonderful narrator for some books but i really wish he had done this book differently <br/><br/>That being said, I love the story and look forward to continuing with the next audiobook!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    09/01/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Suspenseful"

    An amazing story made better because I was able to listen as I went about my day. A circus owner realizes there is danger afoot when a stranger appears out of nowhere. A story that keeps you trying to guess the next part of the story and before you are aware it's over.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Donald
    Colorado Springs, CO, United States
    01/12/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A dream experience"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Suspended to be better than the print version?

    I haven't read the book yet. I will after Christmas.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The story line. The thought of dream travel is kind of novel. I also think a forbidden love in a circus is a new twist.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When Zuma and Finley do the new act and the reaction from Dave, Jack and the others are so amazed. I found this exciting and brings shows Finley in a new light.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No. I like to break them up as time allows.


    Any additional comments?

    I thought where Sara Noffke left you standing was a good spot for book two.<br/>Maybe there will be true love there.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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