Came along and join the circus
Author: Laura Lam
Publisher: Strange Chemistry UK
My ratings: 5 out of 5 stars
Releases: 7th February, 2013
Laura Lam’s debut revolves around a new recruitment in the RH Ragona’s Circus of Magic. Nowhere to go and desperate to get away, Micah Grey decides to join the circus. Full with wonders, performers and the wonders of magic, Micah is mesmerised by this new world. Here, he makes new friends and enemies alike but he is harbouring a secret. He is not only running away from home but is also running away from his past.
The story starts with Micah trying to join the circus which he does with some difficulty. Of course, he is met with resistance from the existing people already in the circus but slowly he manages to make friends and perhaps find love.
This review has been difficult to write as I don’t want to give spoilers away. Micah was harbouring a secret which is slowly revealed in flash backs as the story moves on. I was blown away by the world created by Lam. Honestly, it took me a while to get into the story but once I did I was sucked straight in. I was in awe of the different people, performers and ‘wonders’ working in the circus. Lam successfully managed to portray so many sides of the circus both good and bad. The vast array of characters, each unique and individual in their own right, came alive in my imagination. I lived and breathed the circus in the hours I was immersed into. I watched the circus, the animals, the performers unfold around and I loved every moment of it.
In my opinion, the best thing about this book was not only the setting but the main character. He was such a complex character. Hiding a secret for so long, it shaped him in manners that would remain with him for the rest of his life. He is running away and what better place but to join a circus as he has always believed that he was a freak. I loved how Lam deals with so many teenage issues most importantly sexuality. Set up in a fantasy world, Micah seemed to be facing the same problems which many teens these days might have to go through. It’s a YA, so of course there is confusion but the level with which this it was dealt with felt satisfying to me.
Aenea and Drystan play really important parts and it was heart breaking to see Micah go through it all. The slow evolution of the relationship between the three was beautifully done. Personally, I’m rooting for Drystan but I guess we have to wait and see where the story is going.
After going on and on about all the wonderful things this book did I may add a little complaint about the fantasy set up. The setting of the circus was great but I wish a little more information was given about the general world or the time line in which it was set. Maybe it will be slowly revealed in the following books if there will be any.
I loved Pantomime, so unusual and bright in the slowly dulling world of fantasy YA. Strong story, sympathetic protagonist and solid setting, Pantomime takes you for a ride. I delved into this world of circus and colours and I loved every minute of it. Please make this into a series as I want more books for Micah.
ARC provided by Strange Chemistry.