Pantomime by Laura Lam
Published by Strange Chemistry, 2013
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.
Why I Read This:
I wanted to read a book that takes place in the circus.
What I Thought:
First of all, let me just say it. This summary is very deceiving! When I first picked up Pantomime I thought this book was going to be about two people who at some point cross paths and possibly do some incredibly interesting things together. There was so much more to it than that (and I can't even say the best part about the mind-bending summary deceitfulness! - Oh yes, there is a twist!).
I knew this book would take place in the circus but the fantasy setting drew me in even more. Ellada was one of those fantasy worlds that feels nostalgic and mysterious at the same time. I know there is more to this world to be discovered, even after the first book is over, and that gives me lots of reasons to pick up any sequels that come along.
I loved the circus setting. It seemed so real and imaginative at the same time. All the circus folk were so fascinating to read about and Micah's time there felt like a discovery of sorts. My favourite part was the acrobatics.
As for Gene, I felt really connected to her story even though what she was going through I couldn't relate to at all. The runaway aspect of her story is what interested me the most but seeing her family life gave the story a strong perspective as well.
This is the kind of book that could be spoiled very easily so I've left out some of the most important things, this is a must read for anyone looking for something completely different. It defied ALL my expectations. At the same time, I loved it. It was amazing to experience this kind of magic again.
Disclaimer: I received a free e-copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion.