Saturday, December 8, 2012
Pantomime by Laura Lam
Pantomime by Laura Lam
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: 3.75 of 5 stars
You think you know what you’re going to get, but you just might be wrong… at least, that was the case with me. Though it’s an obvious comparison, but Pantomime really does read along the lines of Night Circus. Both are slow then atmospheric only to get slower at surprising points with this little extra bit of being different for one reason or another.
I may say things dragged on and on but that was fine because Pantomime isn’t your run of the mill tale of young people. Not about great loves, not about a mystery to solve, for you see the people involved, at least the key person involved knows precisely where they stand: on the outside. It’s a consistent feeling, too that no matter which side of the story we’re considering be it the boring sometimes stifling past or in the newness of the present, this character has always been on the outside looking in… and perfectly aware why so.
It’s interesting that some people finding the moments of the past unnecessary even disrupting the flow of Micah finding his place. But in contrasting the two sides of her past and his present, not only does one get a clearer picture why they are the way they are, but also catches a glimpse of where they are, their world and their order. As well as all those things that are not there and what people have done about it. My point is it’s an interesting world, one I found myself becoming more and more curious about with each little bit revealed: twelve houses of nobility, a child princes and then lost gods and vestiges and all manner of things! The problem is too little is given that I’m still not a hundred percent sure what I do know is right.
So, split between the behind the scenes of your typical circus (though really, this circus isn’t your typical anything) and a past that’s quite obviously stifling, perhaps the blurb does it a disservice because this one is quite a different read. And I’m not even talking about the hints of magic that popped every so often. It’s the fear that one of them held to, that they not be accepted for what, not who, they are. So yes moments of magic, their gods gone and mere vestiges of magic left, but at the core of this tale is a person who’s so different that the same feels out of place in most places...'till no longer.
I for one am excited to see where this story is going to take me, and yes that’s even with the boring parts.
Thank You Net Galley!
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