Pantomime by Laura Lam [ARC]
Publication Date: 5 February 2013
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Rating: 4/5 stars
R. H. Ragona’s Circus of Magic is the greatest circus of Ellada. Nestled among the glowing blue Penglass—remnants of a mysterious civilisation long gone—are wonders beyond the wildest imagination. It’s a place where anything seems possible, where if you close your eyes you can believe that the magic and knowledge of the vanished Chimaera is still there. It’s a place where anyone can hide.
Iphigenia Laurus, or Gene, the daughter of a noble family, is uncomfortable in corsets and crinoline, and prefers climbing trees to debutante balls. Micah Grey, a runaway living on the streets, joins the circus as an aerialist’s apprentice and soon becomes the circus’s rising star.
But Gene and Micah have balancing acts of their own to perform, and a secret in their blood that could unlock the mysteries of Ellada.
I really have to apologize for the lateness of my pretty long overdue review and a huge thanks to Goodreads and Strange Chemistry for an ARC copy of Pantomime which I won in a GR giveaway.
(Photo credit – Retronaut)
The circus had been unlike anything I could ever imagine and I could not walk away. I wanted to be a part of the magic, create it and wield it with such skill that it looked effortless. I wanted to fly.
This quote perfectly describes how I felt when I was reading Pantomime. To be honest, I have never read a book that took place in a circus and I’m quite appalled at myself because I really do quite like the circus. Pantomime has taken that liking and deepened it into a fascination and love, in particular for this very circus. What I really loved about this book was that the world building was done beautifully. The vivid descriptions of the circus and various acts transported me into the circus tents and I felt like I was one of the circus go-ers, looking at everything in awe and wonder. Pantomime is one of those books that you have to read and savor every detail to appreciate the atmosphere.
I also really liked the characters in this book, from Gene and Micah, our protagonists, down to the characters Micah meets in the circus. This is when I don’t really want to spoil the book by going too much into the characters because there’s a pretty huge secret revolving around our protagonists and well, I think it’s better for readers to uncover it themselves. But let’s just say, that Micah is a pretty unique character, in my eyes at least. It took me a while to really connect with this character but his journey of self-discovery got me rather emotionally invested and I grew to love him.
Unfortunately, Pantomime ends on a cliffhanger which caught me by surprise because I actually expected it to be a standalone and it did annoy me just a bit. There is also a love triangle present which didn’t irk me hugely but I think I would enjoy it more if it didn’t exist. I do think it’s essential for a certain character’s growth though, so well, I’ll let this one slide.
All in all, I would recommend Pantomime purely for it’s amazing circus elements, gorgeous prose and world building. If you love circuses, this one will not disappoint you. And if you don’t, I have a feeling this book will make you just the bit more intrigued by the circus. The sequel to Pantomime comes out in 2014 and I simply can’t wait to read it.