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Author: Laura Lam| Blog
Publication Date: February 5th, 2013
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
My Interest: Circus Love
Source: NetGalley
Age Group | Genre: YA| Circus, Mystery, Fantasy, Adventure,
Series: Yes
Pages: 392

Ah!!! Another Circus book!! My heart is happy. sigh. I featured Pantomime awhile ago for a Cover Love post, and honestly, that’s why I picked this novel up in the first place. The cover is extremely intriguing…and oh my goodness, the story do NOT disappoint!
This is definitely one of those books that, had I been able too, I would have stayed up all night reading just so I could finish it.
I love it you guys. Absolutely love it.

I was graciously provided a copy via NetGalley from the publisher, Strange Chemistry. I was not compensated in any way for my review (cross my heart) nor did I promise a good rating. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% mine.


The greatest circus in all of Ellada, R.H. Ragona’s Circus of Magic, has come to town. Its magical aura fits perfectly among the blue Penglass–remnants of a time long ago and a civilization that was once filled with magic and Chimaera.

Iphigenia Laurus and Micah Grey are two teens whose lives desperately intertwine. Iphigenia–Gene–much prefers climbing trees to her corsets and balls while Micah is a runaway, apprenticing to become an aerialist. Little do they know how much they will affect each other, and how the blood that runs through their veins holds the secret to unlocking the mysteries of Ellada.


Whoa. Where ever do I begin?
I’m going to come out and say from the get go, that I will try my hardest to avoid spoilers for this story. Because you definitely, definitely do not want to know the ending.
But while I’m at the ending, I had NO IDEA this was a series. ACK! I’ve been fooled again. However, this time I’m not too upset. I was so absorbed in this novel that I cannot wait to fall into Ellada again and see where the story goes.

Plotwise, this story is absolutely crazy. It has a fantasy/mystery/I-don’t-even-know-what element to it, and I enjoyed how the genres worked together. The story is slightly confusing going into because the world Lam created is intricate. My mind is honestly still spinning with not only her imagination but all of the what if’s of Pantomime. Ellada is a mysterious place, and I felt as if there was such a heavy cloud of danger, and thrill, and goodness hanging over the world. As we read, we find out snippets of the world and society, but so much is left unanswered–especially Penglass. My mind is spinning with what could come of the blue domes, and I’m already dreaming up scenes and ideas, but I’m sure I am nowhere near what is really going to happen in the story because as I said before, this is a novel that surprised me. Part of that comes from the narration which shifts between Gene and Micah. The story continually moves forward, but each chapter switches between characters.

Which is something I am definitely a fan of. Character wise, I couldn’t decided if I wanted to love Gene or Micah more–but I do know that I loved them both. As their characters develop, we realize both deeply struggle with identity issues–part of which comes from their class background. I love how this story is rooted in identity because the teen years are such a trying time in that aspect. I really feel that readers will be able to connect to one or both of the characters–because even if this is a story set in fantasy land, the issue at hand is a struggle rooted in today– and find a part of themselves in Gene’s or Micah’s situation.

5 ratingOverall, I have to give this story a five rating. I mean, it is a circus story and who doesn’t love that? Besides a fantastic plot, gripping characters, and an aura of mystery, I absolutely loved being able to fall into the circus. My dreams of being an aerialist were alive while I turned the pages, and that to me makes a powerful read. I believe this is a novel that has the power to speak to teens when they are desperately alone, and it is a riveting tale that leaves the reader torn apart at the ending and breathlessly wanting more.

If you like this novel, you might like….

That Time I Joined the Circus by J.J. Howard


Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

Final Thoughts

[for ratings system, please check out my Bookshelf]

Pant bubble

Hopeful reading!