Deliciously creepy, Jane Yolen’s THE MIDNIGHT CIRCUS is a perfect read for Halloween

The recently released THE MIDNIGHT CIRCUS by Jane Yolen continues to excite readers.

Several INSTAGRAM users expressed their love for the collection.

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Welcome ladies and gentlemen, welcome to 'the midnight Circus', step inside… soulless acts of deadly defiance await. A dark descent into a circus of twisted transformations, thrilling 'performances' of daring devilry and trickery. Weaving magical tales of timely prophecy and a taste of sweet vengeance or two, you can be certain of one thing and one thing only… a flickering of life snuffed out within a moment or two. Trust no one, not even yourself, for your mind maybe entranced or even bewitched by the wicked, even your soul may drift yonder. Please cover your necks and keep a priest close, for you never known when death may visit on swift wings, WATCH OUT for these are no angels! You might perish in the fiery acts of the devil but all is not lost, you may spot a gallant hero or two! A thrilling series of short stories that are easy to devour but no so easy to swallow. They may haunt you at night and a peaceful slumber may not come. Overall I thoroughly enjoyed 'Welcome to the Midnight Circus', award winning author Jane Yolen has written a series of poignant tales of chilling wisdom that had me entranced and truthfully I found it hard to put the book down. What a perfect time to read, with Halloween upon us. However, please make sure you are of age to read this, as there is some disturbing content. Trigger warnings for rape, mental illness and suicide. #themidnightcircus #janeyolen #netgalley #tachyonpub #shortstorycollection #shortstories #supernatural #horrorbooks #fantasybook #hauntingreads #bookstagram #instareads #libro #book #books #bookshelf #readmorebooks

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Fans of dark fantasy will definitely want to check out #TheMidnightCircus by #JaneYolen, which comes out from @tachyonpub on Thursday (October 1). This book was truly excellent. My review: THE MIDNIGHT CIRCUS is a dark fantasy short story collection, perfect for the month of Halloween. Each story is filled with magic and has a fairytale-like quality to the atmosphere. They cover a range of topics, each story unique, and have varied lengths. These would be great for a nightly conversation in the context of a reading club. They definitely gave me chills and each felt like an incredible writing prompt, introducing a new world and topic with a brief insight that begs to be continued. They really excite the imagination. The short ones are just as potent as the longer ones, and I appreciated the variety in length. My particular favorite was REQUIEM ANTARCTICA, which combines vampirism and the South Pole in a deliciously creepy story. However, others were close behind, such as WILDING and THE FISHERMAN'S WIFE. Readers looking for some dark fairytales will delight in this deliciously creepy collection, particularly in the month leading up to Halloween. I would add some warnings about self-harm, suicidality, violence, and fantasy horror. #booksofinstagram #amreading #reading #booklover #bookish #readersofinstagram #bookstagram #bookgram #bookstack #bookworm #bibliophile #currentread #instabooks #bookphoto #bookphotography #booknerd #booknerdigans #NotYourAverageBookSpam #bookstabuddies📚 #bookcommunity #booksbooksbooks #darkfantasy #fantasy #fantasyreads

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𝔹𝕠𝕠𝕜 ℝ𝕖𝕧𝕚𝕖𝕨 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Jane Yolen’s newest collection of short stories comes at the PERFECT time for spooky season reading. I’m an absolute sucker for short stories and this was right up my alley. Ask me any day and I’ll tell you I’m not into thrillers, I’m too chicken for horror–this was the perfect balance of growing horror and sudden gasps. The stories are pithy, sharp and tight. By that I mean each story exists solely in its own universe and each character's voice is distinct–an important quality in a collection of short stories. Narrators range from a young child afraid of the wolves & bears under his bed & in his closet to an 1800’s vampire. My favorite story is Wildings, an imagination of future New York City and teenagers who “go wild” in its borders to blow off steam and lose control. It recalls Where the Wild Things Are and the New York City jogger case of the 90s. Every single story is good–there’s literally not a single dud. I also enjoyed the notes in the back, including original poetry and the origin of each story. There are several stories involving Jewish characters, Jewish history and second-generation Holocaust survivors. The final story, Names, broke my heart.  If you’re not a horror fan but you do enjoy the dark, the macabre, the well-written than you cannot miss The Midnight Circus. This is my first Yolen book but I guarantee that it is not my last. The Midnight Circus is available everywhere tomorrow, October 1st! Thank you Tachyon Publishing for giving me a free ARC via NetGalley in exchange for my personal and honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.  #bookreviews #bookrecommendation #netgalleyreview #bookstagram #bookishfeed #janeyolen #themidnightcircus #alwaysreading #alwaysbooked #goodreadschallenge2020 #bookdragon #shhimreading #horrorstories #shortstories #horroranthology #bookreview #reviewer #Slytherin #octoberrelease #arc #arcreview #scarystories #shortstorycollection #womenwriters #womenauthors #strongwomen #bookstagrammer #honestreview

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Similar thoughts were expressed (twice!) by user bananaslammock8 on REDDIT.

I love Jane Yolen (I’m a huge fan of folklore and fairytales) and this anthology of her darkest short stories didn’t disappoint. It’s a perfect quick read for a gloomy autumn evening or to get you in the mood for spooky season. They’re all standalone, unrelated stories – my favorites were Wilding, Inscription, and The Fisherman’s Wife.


This was a delightful collection of Yolen’s darkest stories. I love fairytales and I have loved everything by Yolen I’ve ever read. This is a perfect short, spooky read for fall/Halloween.

Photo by Jason Stemple

Yolen participated in her first ever REDDIT AMA at r/books.


What are some of your favorite stories in The Midnight Circus, and what inspired you to write them? (Also, happy book birthday!)

janeyolenAMA Author

Among my favorites: Inscription, Requiem Antarctica, (which I wrote with Robert J.Harris), Become A Warrior, and Little Red (written with Adam Stemple.)


Oh dear god, Jane Yolen is talking to us on the internet! I can’t cope. You shaped my childhood landscape and taught me that even in children’s fiction, themes can be difficult and language can be beautiful. Thank you.

janeyolenAMA Author

Thank you. I used to fan girl over LeGuin till InHAD BREAKFAST WITH HER ONE CONFERENCE. AND she said, “Oh tosh!” and we became friends.


Oh my goodness! That is such a wonderful story. She was truly a special person.

She also contributed essays to John Sclazi’s THE BIG IDEA and Mary Robinette Kowal’s MY FAVORITE BIT.

I admit it. I like small pieces of writing. I was a poet first, even as a child. I sold poems to high school and college journals (“sold” when speaking of poetry usually means no money!) And then after college I began writing picture books (small, usually less than 1,000 words, now less than 500 words) and sold them. (“sold” here means getting paid actually money, sometimes about $1000, sometimes as much as $25,000). And then I began selling short stories—fairy tales, realistic, fantastic, and sf-inal. (Both for no money and some money.)

And sometimes magic happens. A poem turns into a picture book. A short story turns into a novel. A novel or a picture book turn into films or tv shows. The magic is not the turning, it is in the money! As my late agent said, “It can’t be reprinted unless it’s printed.” Which made me understand why sometimes you can sell an 8-line poem for a hundred dollars and someone pays $10,000 to reprint it. This actually happened to me. Once. But once is enough for a story and a moral lesson.

The Big Idea

2: Actually re-reading the stories in order to choose the ones for the book. For the first book, the theme was fantasy authors and stories about them or their creations. Book two’s theme was looking at the many fractured fairy tales I had written over the years. Both as short strides and as picture books and as easy readers for children.

But this time the theme was dark stories. As I never consider myself a “horror” writer (even though I have written three Holocaust novels), I was shocked to find so many of these stories on my backlist. I am more interested in the frisson of terror than the bloody stumps. I will kill people quietly on the page, more bloodily out of sight. But there they were: Dark story after dark story. I had to read them myself in order to choose the ones for the collection. Some of them made me shudder. (None of them made me throw up.) And then I found myself remembering– that this one or that one had been in the Year’s Best Horror anthologies. That was a surprise! And a favorite bit of a memory jog. And tipped for (but didn’t get) an award.

My Favorite Bit