cover image The Circus Infinite

The Circus Infinite

Khan Wong. Angry Robot, $14.99 trade paper (400p) ISBN 978-0-85766-968-1

Wong’s intimate, joyful space opera debut hooks readers from the outset with its blend of action, magic, and queer romance. After Jes, an empath with the power to manipulate gravity, breaks out of The Institute, a laboratory built to study his special abilities, he needs to lay low. Luckily, the pleasure moon Persephone-9 is the perfect place for an interspecies outcast like him to covertly figure out his next move. Jes lands a job at Persephone-9’s circus, makes new friends, and even finds a potential love connection—until he pops up on the radar of crime lord Niko Dax, who blackmails Jes into becoming Dax’s new lacky. Now Jes must decide how far he’s willing to go to protect his freedom and his friendships. Even as Jes’s actions become morally dubious, readers won’t be able to help but root for this tender, endearing protagonist in his quest to find somewhere to belong. Wong luxuriates in sweet scenes between Jes and his first love, Bo, and develops heartwarming found family dynamics in Jes’s other relationships. The worldbuilding is just alien enough while still inviting readers in, and it’s a pleasure to witness the world through the lens of its progressive social dynamics. It’s a thoroughly enchanting adventure. Agent: Amy Collins, Talcott Notch Literary. (Mar.)