Pantomime by Laura Lam: Review

In a land of lost wonders, the past is stirring once more

Gene’s life resembles a debutante’s dream. Yet she hides a secret that would see her shunned by the nobility. Gene is both male and female. Then she displays unwanted magical abilities – last seen in mysterious beings from an almost-forgotten age. Matters escalate further when her parents plan a devastating betrayal, so she flees home, dressed as a boy. pantomimecovertor

The city beyond contains glowing glass relics from a lost civilization. They call to her, but she wants freedom not mysteries. So, reinvented as ‘Micah Grey’, Gene joins the circus. As an aerialist, she discovers the joy of flight – but the circus has a dark side. She’s also plagued by visions foretelling danger. A storm is howling in from the past, but will she heed its roar?

I received a review copy from the lovely guys over at Tor and have to admit couldn’t resist starting it the moment I got it out of the package. I didn’t really know that much about the book before I started it so I had no expectations whatsoever and I’m glad about that. This was such a unique book. There is no other way to describe it. The writing was incredibly beautiful, the characters beyond lovable and the world so well built I felt completely immersed. What impressed me most though is the character development of Gene/Micah throughout the book. The way Lam dealt with sexuality and identity was such an inspiration, especially in the context of everything that has been happening so far in 2016. And while Pantomime does deal with such important issues, there’s also action and romance and a little bit of drama, too. It is truly an enchanting mix of everything a transgender protagonist might encounter on the way to acceptance both by themselves and by society. Also, there’s a circus. I mean, how much more awesomeness can this book pack?!? In keeping up with the amazing writing, Laura Lam has managed to capture the magical essence and the awe-inspiring atmosphere of a circus. She has described that feeling of wonder you get every time you step inside a circus tent with such an ease that I cannot help but ask for more of this extraordinary journey.

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