've spent a while trying to express my wholehearted love for this book in a way that does not utilize capital letters, an overabundance of exclamation marks and the word awesome. I have clearly failed because I still want to shout: Dudes! This book is AWESOME!!!! *ahem* Right... having gotten that out of my system I can now attempt to tell you why you should stop reading this review and just go grab the book...
First of all, it's set in a circus. Having been to a grand total of... 0 circuses in my life, I love a good circus story to fill this gaping whole in my life experience. The Mumbo Jumbo Circus is just like a circus should be (according to my completely uniformed imagination), complete with clowns and fire and horses. It is even better though, because it has magic! Ta da, two of my favorite things, circus stories and magic.
I loved how Jane managed to balance the everyday circus appearance, the one that people like to go and eat popcorn and watch, with the wonderfully complex magical backdrop that holds the circus together. The magic controls the plot, which is written so perfectly that, even with some admittedly odd events, I never questioned anything. Each scene made sense, and every character fitted perfectly into the circus. I would apologize for my vagueness but really, having no clue what you are getting into is the best part.
So having described my love for the setting, the magic and the plot (which really is fantastic) I must give some acknowledgement to my absolute favorite part: the characters. Without this hodgepodge crew of people, who really come to life in the story, even the fabulous story would have fallen flat. We have a little bit of a love triangle, which I normally hate, but here it adds a bit of oomph. I loved Wally, the gothiest cook in history and I particularly loved Solly, the elephant. And of course, I loved the ringmaster who was exactly quirky enough to be perfect.... ok, I loved everyone.
If you are still dithering over spending you $3, go for it. I promise you won't regret it.