Described as The Greatest Showman meets The Night Circus for children and young readers, this original and thrilling fantasy novel focuses on young Harper, following the revelation that she has been gifted special powers from the stars, and has been accepted into a travelling theatre and boarding school.
Embarking on her new life in the Wondria, Harper is a convincing heroine, and while Garnish uses familiar children’s fantasy tropes - namely, a young person finding themself in peril at a magical boarding school - the novel is vibrant and compelling, with sharply drawn characters and skilfully paced storytelling. The prose is descriptive and vivid without being overwritten.
The novel expertly fuses fantasy with a theatrical twist, inspired by Garnish’s own career as a stage performer. Despite the fantastical and otherworldly elements that shine in this novel, the relationships between Harper and her new found friends, Trick and Thief are not neglected; their dialogue is snappy, and their group dynamic remains convincing throughout. There are no stock characters in this book, nor any reaching for cliche, or reliance on worn out tropes. The Spectaculars forms the first of a new trilogy that is sure to interest any fan of J.K. Rowling, or Georgia Byng.