Review: Cirque Berserk by Jessica Guess

This book is such fun!

Cirque Berserk by Jessica Guess

Published February 2020

Dark Fiction  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon 

Source: Received for Review Consideration
The summer of 1989 brought terror to the town of Shadows Creek, Florida in the form of a massacre at the local carnival, Cirque Berserk. One fateful night, a group of teens killed a dozen people then disappeared into thin air. No one knows why they did it, where they went, or even how many of them there were, but legend has it they still roam the abandoned carnival, looking for blood to spill.

Thirty years later, best friends, Sam and Rochelle, are in the midst of a boring senior trip when they learn about the infamous Cirque Berserk. Seeking one last adventure, they and their friends journey to the nearby Shadows Creek to see if the urban legends about Cirque Berserk are true. But waiting for them beyond the carnival gates is a night of brutality, bloodshed, and betrayal.

Will they make it out alive, or will the carnival’s past demons extinguish their futures?

Book 4 in the Rewind-or-Die series: imagine your local movie rental store back in the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s, remember all those fantastic covers. Remember taking those movies home and watching in awe as the stories unfolded in nasty rainbows of gore, remember the atmosphere and textures. Remember the blood.

My 2 Cents For Free!

Cirque Berserk starts right off with murderous mayhem and doesn’t come up for breath until the story ends. If you want a fun slasher set to an 80’s soundtrack you need this book in your life.

This story takes place in two timelines. The modern-day timeline features a group of high school kids looking for a night of excitement. They decide to visit Cirque Berserk, an abandoned amusement park that has a reputation for death! Even a dire warning from a local convenience store employee about witchcraft, satanism, and murder won’t sway them. KIDS, HAVE YOU NEVER SEEN A HORROR MOVIE, EVER?! So deprived. But I can’t blame them because I would’ve been dying to go as well. Anyhow, their night sure perks up soon enough, haha.

“I think it’s time you start running “

The other timeline takes place in 1989 and is the story of four young friends. All damaged in one way or another and delving into things that may be a wee bit dangerous but too tempting to let slip away. Both storylines come together most excellently and I enjoyed getting to know these kids.

This book was so much fun and gelled so well and is 100% unpredictable. I found myself rooting for the villains, just flawed hurt people really, and that takes some talent! I had so many great lines saved up to share but now I’m afraid they’ll give away too much so I think it best if you do yourself a favor and buy yourself this book. If you’re anything at all like me, your dark heart will be extremely happy when you finish this heartwarming little murder book!

4 1/2 out of 5 


  1. You had me at abandoned amusement park! ;D

  2. This sounds so fun. The cover is a riot, love it.

  3. YES YES YES to this one! I love retro horror!

    1. I *think* this entire series by Unnerving has a retro feel to it but don't hold me to that because my brain is only half functioning.

  4. That sounds fun. I think if someone said, "I think it's time you star running" I would be running. lol

  5. This looks like a blast! Plus roller skates :)

  6. I need to get my hands on this one!


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