Feb 4, 2013

Book Review: Pantomime - Laura Lam

Title: Pantomime
Author: Laura Lam
Release Date: February 5th (US) / 7th (UK) 2013
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Source: NetGalley
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.
When I see the word 'circus' in a blurb, I can't help but expect something great. Thankfully, Pantomime did not disappoint. 

At first, I was quite confused because I didn't realize the story was told in Gene and Micah's alternating POVs. Now, I know some of you aren't fond of alternating POVs, but trust me when I say you haven't encountered something quite like the one in this book—*wink wink* to everyone who's read this, lol. Also, I am very curious as to what would've happened if Micah didn't run away from home.

Aside from what was going on with the two characters' lives, there was also the fantasy element that was like the undercurrent of this book. Most of what we're told about it were in the short snippets found before every chapter, but I think it had a huge part in driving this story forward; how could it not? It was basically the way-back-backstory.

But Pantomime couldn't have been as good as it was if not for Lam's lyrical yet clear writing. She didn't bother saving us from any detail, be it gory or not. The same could be said for her world-building, which was just the way I like it: subtle but precise. I imagined Ellada as easily as if I'd seen it, and that's something that rarely happens for me, especially with high fantasy books.

Although the pace was consistent throughout the book, the story progressed slower than I would've liked. That said, I still found myself unprepared for that crazy cliffhanger ending... but thank heavens for there will be a sequel!
MY FAVORITE PART was Drystan's big reveal. I love him!

(cover and summary from Goodreads.com)

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