25 March 2013

Pantomime by Laura Lam

Release Date: 5 February 2013
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

Get a copy! Amazon

Goodreads description:
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.

My Thoughts...
Laura Lam's Pantomime was a very enjoyable read! Once I got into it, I found myself continually drawn into the story and constantly wanting to find time to spend with it.

What I Liked:
This story is different.  There's a hint of magic and a fantastic cast who have secrets--lots of secrets.  There is a circus that's failing but still trying.  There are assassins hunting a missing girl.  There's a homeless boy looking for a place to belong.  The story itself was simply fascinating and so well written.  Ms. Lam manages to give readers an intimate look into the inner sanctum of the circus with plenty of details and intrigue without letting the pacing drag.  The whole world that Micah and Iphigenia live in is well-crafted and intriguing.  There is just the slightest glimpse of magic here and there--enough to have you wondering what's going on and how does it all tie together.

Along the way, Ms. Lam weaves together the stories of Micah Grey and Iphigenia Laurus in a perfect way.  The alternating points of view blend together seamlessly to create a well-rounded view of the world of Ellada.  Beyond Micah and Iphigenia, I loved how well-developed Ms. Lam made her secondary characters.  From Iphigenia's family to Micah's circus friends (and enemies), the whole cast was what pulled you in to the story.

What Was Dissatisfying:
I have to be honest and say that the cliffhanger ending caught me by surprise.  I wasn't expecting a series so I felt a twinge of disappointment when I reached the final pages and there were so many secrets left unrevealed and angles unexplored.  I found myself wondering about the world and the romance and it was honestly a bit of an emotional let-down.  This was an emotionally exhausting read and I found that the story ended right as we were really getting to a climax. I love a good series, but I needed a bit more resolution.

Definitely worth the time to read.  I really enjoyed the story. I hesitate to buy it for my library because I've seen how judgmental some of my teenagers can be and this story deals with some LGBT issues that I'm not sure they're honestly ready to deal with maturely.  If, however, I worked in a larger library, I would have instantly purchased this and shelved it prominently face-out somewhere because it deserves to be read by many people.


Jenna said...

Have you read The Night Circus? Seeing another book about a circus kind of makes me think it could never compare. I'm glad you liked it. But I would be really let down too if the emotional buildup was so huge. I wonder if the second book can live up to that.

Book Flame said...

I actually really loved this one for all the same reasons you did and was also so very let down with the ending. I just expected more but I loved the characters to where I know I will be grabbing the next book when it comes out.

Jessi said...

I haven't had a chance to read The Night Circus yet, but I have heard great things. Perhaps I will have to pick it up. I do know how that feels though--when something on a topic is so fabulous, pretty much nothing else (at least for a good long while after reading) will quite live up. :)

Jessi said...

I'm definitely looking forward to the sequel as well! I am excited to see where Micah's story takes us from here.

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