Julius Romeros Extravaganza Part 2: The Perils of a Cliffhanger Ending

The Julius Romeros Extravaganza, Part Two: A New Adventure - Hayley Lawson-Smith, Carrie Snider

I liked Julius Romeros Extravaganza Part I by Hayley Lawson Smith very much.  It was in the top ten of the books I read for 2013, and I consider it one of the best and most original circus novels that I've ever encountered.  The second book is quite different.  Its tone is much darker.  Like Part I, I received this book for free from the author in return for an honest review. 


At one point in the narrative, I said to myself that this book could be very inspiring for readers who are being abused if the characters completely overcame their situation.  Unfortunately, we don't know what happens because Part 2 ends with a cliffhanger.


An author who decides to end a book with a cliffhanger is taking a risk.  Some readers will feel compelled to buy the next book because they need to know what happens next.  Other readers feel that cliffhangers are manipulative and that this is an overused device in series.  A certain proportion of the readers in the second category may be so annoyed by the fact that the book ended on a cliffhanger that they will never purchase a book by that author ever again.  Authors need to consider that they will be alienating a part of their audience when they end their books with a cliffhanger. 


I care about Abigail, the central character of this series, and I'm willing to believe that the inspiring resolution that I was looking for at the end of this novel will happen in the next book.  Yet I have to admit that I would have preferred that the plot had gone in a different direction.