Review: Pantomime by Laura Lam

Pantomime - Laura LamPublisher: Strange Chemistry (February 5th 2013)
Paperback: 392 pages
Source: Strange Chemistry
Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

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.


Pantomime is truly a unique book that explores a topic that’s not often found in young adult books. The question is how do I talk about it without ruining the whole twist?  I’ll try to bumble my way through the best I can without spoiling anything. Oh and because of the interesting twist, I found the beginning a bit confusing, just power through, it’s worth it.

The story is told through alternating plot lines of Micah and Gene. It starts off right with Micah trying to join the circus, with us readers clueless as to why he’s run away. The story than takes an extensive flashback to Gene. Both stories intertwine, Gene’s leads up to that moment, while Micah’s keeps moving forward. While I enjoyed the flashback to an extent, I got to a point where I’ve sorted of figured things out and didn’t need that background information anymore. I was definitely much more interested in the present plot which was starting to really build up, so I ended up lacking patients for the flashbacks. (Un)fortunately, the book ends in a cliff hanger that has me wanting more.

Like I said, the book is very intriguing and peculiar. The motley circus crew has an interesting range of characters from those I loved to those I really disliked. Even the minor characters are really memorable. The good news is, Micah is an exceptional and thoroughly interesting character. It was great to see solid character development. The romance of this book is both typical and atypical. Still not a huge fan of the love triangle (probably because I pick a side very early in the book haha), but the conflict of the love triangle is at least different compared to many YA novel.

The circus made for a very interesting setting. Lam created a magical and vivid world that’s interlaced with darkness of the human heart. Ellada has an interesting history and mythology (that’s where there’s the blend of fantasy), yet it’s only lightly touch upon in the book.  Cliff hanger be damn, but I can’t wait to see how Micah is part of the mysteries of Ellada.

{*Thanks to Strange Chemistry for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Find Laura Lam:

Website | Goodreads | Twitter

Purchase the book:

Book Depository | Barnes & Noble | Chapters Indigo

Author: Cyn

noun. a bum OT, procrastinator. reader. eater. sleeper. music listen-er. movie go-er. Loves food too much.

0 Replies to “Review: Pantomime by Laura Lam”

  1. Reviews are mixed on this, I have seen everything from a 2 to a 5 by bloggers I trust…I am curious about the circus aspect. Great review!

    1. I feel like this is one of those books that can really range for people. It’s definitely one of those where you have to been in that mood for it.
      I would love more books with circus in it haha.

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