Goodreads Book 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 Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
My Review: I am completely emotionally exhausted after this book. I was given this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Pantomime by Laura Lam is about Micah Grey, a performer in a circus troupe and also Gene, the daughter of a wealthy noble. They both have secrets to hide, ones that put them in grave danger. I don't want to give away big secrets in the novel, so that's where I'll have to stop. It's too bad because I'd love to explain why I am so drained and what an experience this book was. I will say this-- this is the most painfully honest depiction of a coming of age story that I have seen in a long time.
This is a gorgeously told story, and we get intimate details of living in a circus troupe. I felt like I was there. Gene and Micah are likeable characters, and the supporting characters are very well done also. SPOILER ALERT BUT ALSO A WARNING: I recently had a bad experience with another reviewer who said that every book should state clearly in the synopsis that there are gay characters so that readers could avoid them, so I just want to mention that if you have big issues with depictions of homosexuality or transgender characters, you must look elsewhere. It's too bad, because I think this book rises above those simple labels.
Overall, I felt this novel was thought provoking, intricately described, with fascinating characters and an intriguing protagonist. I'll be definitely picking up the next installment.
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