The powerful symbol of the carnival freak is put to some new uses in an original novel. Instead of presenting the freaks as suffering from exploitation, they form a fairly shocking value system of their own that holds our surrounding cultural values in contempt. It’s completely believable, because the characters depend on their freakishness for survival. The innate desire in we “norms” to be so unique is probed, and everything revolves around the consequences of attempting to change ourselves and others to fulfill our desires. Not every experiment in the book works perfectly, but these large, upheaving themes overwhelm any of the smaller risks that may not fully pay off.