Monday, February 4, 2013

Review: Pantomime

Goodreads Summary: 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 Chimeras 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.
Though initially confusing I did warm up to Pantomime as a story fairly quickly and, I have to admit, I was crazy intrigued about the story revolving around a circus having never been to one myself. I know, its a travesty, right?

I loved what Laura Lam did with our main protagonist, she managed to create a character that gives her readership a new insight and a new perspective. I don't want to say too much and give away one of the major twists/surprises in the novel but suffice to say that I was thoroughly impressed by our protagonist.

And then there is the supporting cast. Oftentimes in novels you feel as if you know the protagonist and maybe a couple of other characters, and I stress the maybe, extremely well. In cases like that rest of the cast doesn't even feel fully fleshed out, like they are just cardboard cut-outs hanging around to take up space or do this one thing that has to be done but none of the main characters can do it so you need a stand in. It wasn't that way in Pantomime. It felt as if all of the characters did in fact have character, they had backgrounds, they had back-stories, they felt real to me. 

The novel is told in a sort of back and forth fashion. Some chapters are told from the present time, what is currently happening in the novel and every now and again you're treated to a flashback. In my eyes this way of telling the story suited Pantomime perfectly, I don't think readers would get nearly as much out of it if everything was told chronologically. It ups the ante, allowing the reader to know only what is...necessary I guess you would say. It gives the reader time to puzzle things out and make their own educated guesses before things are revealed.

I'd say Pantomime is a very solid three stars. I basically liked it from the beginning, thought from that first page it was likeable and then never wavered from that stance as I read through the novel. I liked the protagonist, was intrigued by the rest of the cast, and truly enjoyed how the story was told.


  1. I've never been to a circus either, there simply wasn't one anywhere near my house. EVER! But anyway, I'm glad you had luck with this one and that you enjoyed it, despite a few issues. A solid three stars is good enough for me and I'll definitely be giving it a chance.
    Great review.

    1. The closest we get is the little ones that are part of the county fairs and I'm not entirely sure they count, either way I haven't actually gone to one of them.

      Hope you like it and thank you!

  2. Glad you enjoyed it, I have this one to read, but I haven't heard that much until this point.

    The circus point intrigued me since I've never been.

    Great review! :)

    1. I hadn't either. There were a couple ratings on Goodreads but no one I know/trust had posted an actual review yet.

      Same here!

      Hope it helps and thank you! :]

  3. This was one of my favorite reads so far for 2013. I thought the author to be very bold writing on such a sensitive topic, presenting it in a readable way. I loved the circus setting. Your review is very good I like that it was spoiler free. My only curiosity, you rated it a three, what the aspects of the story which held you back from rating it higher? What did you dislike about the story? (Personally I HATED the cliffhanger ending!)

    1. I'm not sure exactly what it was that held me back. More my own feelings than anything the story did. Sometimes you end a story and you're just completely in love with it, wanting to gush and be all fangirly? And I just didn't feel that way when I closed the book. I felt like I liked it but there wasn't that gushy love feeling.