Thursday, February 7, 2013

Pantomime by Laura Lam

Release Date: February 5, 2013
Author Info: Blog | Twitter
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Pages: 392
Format: Egalley
Source: Publisher provided for review through Netgalley
Buy the Book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon

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 was super excited to read Pantomime. I've never actually been to the circus but it seems like just the kind of thing I'd love, and if the circus depicted in Pantomime is any indication, I totally would. :) The problem is, while the story and idea are great, they're not executed as tightly as they could be.

There are so many things I loved about Pantomime. I loved the country of Ellada and want to know more about it. I loved Micah. I loved Gene. I loved Drystan and Cyril. I loved Penglass. I loved the circus itself and all of the characters in it. I could go on and on and I want more.

Pantomime suffers, though, from a lack of a real plot and slug slow pace. The main culprit for the slow pace is the frequent switches between Micah and Gene. I understand the point of making the switches, but I couldn't help but to get bored because nothing was really happening in either narration. The switches also called into the light the lack of a real plot. The big plot point was whether Micah was going to get caught in the circus or not, and nothing happens with that till the end (which was crazy fun by the way).

Even though the plot was thin and the pace slow, I enjoyed Pantomime. Luckily, Micah and Gene were endearing narrators and I really grew to care about them. Their problem was a very individual one I really loved following and found refreshing. Micah's problems were real and his questions poignant. So, despite my problems, Pantomime is categorized as a must-read. It's a book I had to struggle through at times, but the end result was rewarding and definitely worth the time and struggle.

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