*This title will be released on February 5, 2013*
Genre: Paranormal YA |
Excerpt: Yes | Book Trailer: No
Reviewed by: Julia | Source: Netgalley
Excellent – Loved it! Buy it now & put this author on your watch list.
Kissing, references to sex, and attempted rape.
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.
The world of Ellada sits poised between two eras, remembering the magic and wonder of the past while groping its way into a modern future. Just as its citizens don’t how much of its past myths are true, so too is the reader left wondering and dreaming, uncertain if there are practical or fantastical forces at work in the story.
That uncertainty is the perfect backdrop for Micah and Gene’s trials, though it made for a bit of a slow start for me. By three chapters in, however, I was hooked. Like many a Paranormal YA hero, these characters are both exceptional and strange. Unlike most, however, the gifts that set them apart will never magically disappear. Much more satisfying and human, however, is the slow growth of self-esteem and discovery that bring these young heroes closer to maturity. Hints of acceptance, myths and stories that give them the hope of role models, their story is all the more powerful for its relateable pain and emotion. This is the story of outsiders, alienated by the gender norms and sexuality of society, though there are hints that their “otherness” has it’s roots in myth and legend. I could be happy with a book that affords them a personal triumph, a life of honesty and love, but it’s clear that their magical nature has oh so much more in store for them.
While the history of Ellada gives context to these characters’ origins, the fantasy elements of PANTOMIME don’t feel like a big part of book one. And surely PANTOMIME must be the start of a series. Lam leaves Micah both better and worse than we first find him, more confident personally while in greater danger than ever before. Touching and poignant, I finished PANTOMIME anxious to be able to pick up book two, to rush to the happily-ever-after these characters deserve.
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