Jack Jetstark’s Intergalactic Freakshow by Jennifer Lee Rossman (World Weaver Press, 2018) is a great novel that blends superheroes and sci-fi in a delightful way, with a carnival freak show thrown in for good measure. These aren’t heroes in costumes, but powered individuals who use their abilities for the good of the universe. It’s full of twists and turns, betrayals and unlikely alliances, and an overall message of chosen family being one of the most powerful forces in the universe.
Jack Jetstark and his crew are “freaks” whose abilities are unleashed when a song plays each day at the same time. Jack breathes fire and gains a way with words, while Merulo becomes more beast than man. Theon, Pneuman, and Parthen come together as conjoined psychic triplets, and Lily becomes a bird woman that they bill as an angel. When the song changes, so do Jack and his crew–their powers don’t fade with the end of the song, leading to a number of complications. And then the universe explodes into civil war.
Though Firefly and Heroes are named as the primary inspiration for Jack Jetstark’s Intergalactic Freakshow, I also saw some shades of Guardians of the Galaxy, particularly in the team that doesn’t always get along, but always cares about the other members. This book is dark in places, with no shortage of character death, but there’s a persistence of the spirits of those who are lost that softens that blow.
The publisher provided us with a free copy of this novel in exchange for review consideration.Follow us online: