Pantomime by Laura Lam
My rating: 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.
"Byssian music played - brass and nickel instruments, large drums, and twanging strings. It made me think of sunsets and yellow eyes and deep growls in dark jungles."
Ah, such a cruel way to end a book. But Pantomine...PANTOMINE...gee, I'm at lost for words.
Nope, I'm not just throwing a random picture from the internet. This picture gave me the same effect as Pantomine did - it messes with my head in the most wonderful way I could ever imagine.
This is an art.
*Takes a deep breath*
I don't know. I really don't know where to begin. I mean, of course I was looking forward to read it but I had my worry as well. I was afraid it turned out like The Night Circus i.e. a book filled with extraordinary imaginary plus amazing prose but sadly, I couldn't connect with it.
Pantomine is both commercial and experimental. It's odd, bizarre, shocking, fearless, magical and real. It's a combination of all things that shouldn't be put together but somehow it works. I mean, Laura Lam, is this truly your debut book? Seriously? Hah, I don't buy it. It reads like the author has a dozen books to her name previously. She did not create a book, she had created a world.
And I'm so grateful that there's no map plastered at the beginning of the book. This is a fantasy book, alright, but not that fantasy, fantasy book, you see. (Blah, classic Zuleeza, can't even explaining herself right).
Seriously, just take my words. Pantomine is not that fantasy, fantasy. And despite the similarities to The Night Circus, Pantomine's circus is no The Night Circus' circus.
I think I might have just given myself a headache.
Some might find the pacing to be a bit slow but I think it's just appropriate with the whole theme and the tone of the book. It's okay to take your time reading Pantomine because it's important to devour it, to imagine yourself in Micah's or Gene's position. To feel what they feel, to think of what sort of decision you would take if you were put in their spot. No books had such impact on me for a loooong time.
I'm positive that it's impossible to elaborate on the characters without giving anything away. Micah and Gene - WOW! I like how 'neutral' they sound. Drystan, the white clown - who would've thought a clown could be this charismatic! Overall, there isn't even one character I didn't like. I'm not even sure if there's anyone deserved to be called antagonist. Some characters made mistakes not by choice but because of the pressing circumstances or by accident. All the primary and secondary characters received just the right amount of character building and back-story. While I wish to know more about some of the other circus members, I wouldn't change anything about the way the characters were presented.
Scratch that! Actually, there's nothing I would like to change about this book. :)
But I have to mention this, about 15% through the book, a shocking secret would be revealed and at that point I thought 'Eh, isn't it too early to give away the big secret? I think this will kill my interest in this book soon.'
You know what? The big revelation didn't kill my interest even one bit. In fact, I felt more drawn into it afterwards. But as I said before, the book ends with a cliffhanger. There are still secrets yet to be revealed AND IT'S KILLING ME! :(
And it's decided that you have to pre-order this book ASAP! :D
|Sweet baby penguins! Definitely a 5-stars read|
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