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Pantomime (Micah Grey #1)

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  1,358 ratings  ·  372 reviews
R. H. Ragona’s Circus of Magic is the greatest circus of Ellada. Nestled among the glowing blue Penglass—remnants of a mysterious civilization 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 ...more
Paperback, US, 392 pages
Published February 5th 2013 by Strange Chemistry
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Laura Lam
Hello! This is my book. I'm pretty fond of it and stuff.

It's got an official blurb up above, but I thought I would add a more informal one here with pictures. Credit where credit is due: totally got this idea from Elizabeth May's review of her book The Falconer, though I have decidedly less animated gifs and wit, alas.

Pantomime has a girl, named Gene, who isn't completely content with her lot in life.

A boy named Micah becomes an aerialist:

Gene & Micah have a secret.

Most of the book is set in
Experiment BL626
Comments on this thread are heavily moderated, meaning I am trigger-happy with the delete and block buttons. For a similar but less ranty viewpoint, check out this review by The Book Smugglers.

How the Description is Offensive (to me)

I’m offended that the description for Pantomime misled me into thinking this was a story about star-crossed lovers. It is not. THIS IS NOT A SPOILER; I repeat, THIS IS NOT A SPOILER! Gene and Micah are the same person. This is a story about an intersex protagonist.
sunset shimmer
Man alive, this book was just as wonderful as when I had first devoured it.

I just cannot stress how incredibly unique this book is. I've literally never read anything like it, and possibly never will. The writing was beautiful, the world was enchanting, the characters were lovable, and I adored how the story was told in a non-linear fashion. But I think the thing I love the most above all is that I have no idea what to expect in the future of this series. I'm starting Shadowplay in just a moment
Elizabeth May
I love this cover. When I saw it, I was like, "Cover lady, you look so great, you can shush me anytime."
Kenya Wright

When you get this book, you must follow my instructions. . .exactly!

First: SIT DOWN IN A CHAIR (it doesn't matter where).


THIRD: (Optional) Smell the scent of dark, edgy sucess!

Four: Strap on your seat belt...

Because this is an emotional roller coaster ride, BABY!

I don't read many books that don't have sex in it. This book doesn't have sex! And I LOOOOOOVVVVVEEEEDDD this book!

You won't read a book that is this amazing again. To describe the main character is to give
Original review posted on The Book Smugglers

Ana’s Take:

I will start by simply saying: Pantomime’s cover copy is supremely misleading. One would think that this is a run-of-the-mill PNR YA featuring two protagonists that seem to be about to fall in love with each other whilst a secre–zzzz, BORING. I would never had picked up this book based on this blurb had I not known from the get go what it is really about.

Allow me to rephrase the blurb slightly:

R. H. Ragona’s Circus of Magic is the greatest c
Robin Hobb
A runaway youth, fleeing the comfort and constrictions of a wealthy home. A circus, with its own society and rules. A peculiar city, with an underlay of an ancient, not-fully-understood magic prevailing. And the classic adolescent question, "Who am I, really?"

There is obviously more to come in this story, but there is still a satisfying arc, and promise for much more of the world to unfold.
Mogsy (MMOGC)
5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

Okay, can I first just say how misleading the description of Pantomime is and how blatantly it underrates the value and extent of its content? Honestly, it does not do this book justice! One look at it gives the unsuspecting reader the impression of a Young Adult paranormal romance, featuring a story of star-crossed love between a daughter from a noble family and a low-born circus scalawag, perhaps. But no, no, no, that's
Kirsty (overflowing library)
I don't really know where to start when it comes to reviewing this little gem apart from saying it's flawless and just WOW!

This review will be short deliberately as I don't really have the words to do it justice and I don't want to spoil the secret of this wonderful for anyone because it is jaw dropping. Believe me when I say this is one of the most unique stories for young adults I have read in a long long while (and this comes from a girl who has currently read about 250 so far this year). It'
"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
Ingrid Jonach
Um... where do I start? Brilliant. Magical. Unique. Shocking. These are the words that come to mind when I think about this utterly gripping and deliciously bizarre novel.

There is not a lot I can say here without giving away the twist (and trust me your jaw will DROP), but I will say that Laura Lam handles a complex and emotional issue in a mature and accessible way.

The love story is endearing - as are the motley band of characters: circus freaks and performers, and the bourgeoisie. You will lo
Edit 12/23/14: I'm going through some of my previous reads and adjusting ratings I felt were too generous. This is one. I'm dropping this down to 2.5 stars. I lost interest in this series shortly after finishing this book, and won't be continuing them any further.

A three star read for me. Any spoilers will be clearly marked.

Scratching head photo: Jack Skellington animated head scratching tumblr_inline_mpgu5eub1R1qz4rgp_zps04387663.gif

Well...I can honestly say that this book was very different than anything I've ever read before.

We follow two main characters (with a whole slew of side characters I thor
The Book Tart
To pantomime is to tell a story with your body and facial expressions, and what a story this Pantomime is.I'm struggling to write a review and not spoil the story... It’s not at all what I expected. I was just imagining a simple tale about a teen running off to the circus in a fantasy world setting. It is so much more. It’s a study in differences, male and female, colorful and dark, normal and abnormal, safe and daring. It’s a fascinating and at times uncomfortable commentary on expectations and ...more
Originally posted on Once Upon a Bookcase.

First off, this review isn't going to be a full review. There is a big secret within the pages of Pantomime - a very big secret - and both Laura Lam and the publishers, Strange Chemistry, want the secret to stay well under wraps until Pantomime is released. To talk about it would be to spoil a major part of this book, but it's something I want to talk about. So, with Strange Chemistry's permission, I am writing a mini-esque review now (it might not be th
3.5 stars

I had my eyes on Pantomime for quite a while before I got the chance to read it. Just by looking at it and reading the synopsis, it's easy to see that this is not something you come across very often - a story against the backdrop of a circus. A world that seems almost beyond time itself, where you will find references to the Alder and the Vestige and Penglass, and a more specific setting in the city of Ellada. While Pantomime was by no means perfect, it was enjoyable nonetheless.

It is
When I think about the title of the book, I feel Laura Lam isn’t just talking about Pantomimes that take place on the stages of circuses; she is rather talking about the real world. How real people put on transparent masks and act and project who they want the world to think they are. There is beautiful irony in the story when the actual Pantomime takes place. Is Micah/Gene acting? Or just being natural? What is natural? What is real?

Pantomime is about a runaway and it’s about a newly minted cir
Fantasy Review Barn

Can we get one thing out of the way? The main character, described as two people on the cover blurb, is actually an intergender teen called Iphigenia by her family and taking the name Micah when he goes out on his own. This is not a ‘plot twist,’ nor some cheap trick to fool the reader. It is not a gimmick, nor an incidental fact that has no bearing on the story. This is Micah’s story, his gender (I will use ‘he’ as the pronoun due to Micah choosing to present as male for most
I was surprised by what this book was actually about, and it is a much more original novel than I originally thought it would be. This book is full of emotion, and both the characters and the plot are well written. This is definitely not a book for everyone, but I will give too much away if I explain why. I would recommend this book to anyone who is adventurous and open minded, and also anyone who loves stories about misfits and coming of age stories with a twist.

This is definitely not a romance
Carolyn (Book Chick City)
Reviewed by Becs for - 4.5 stars

Have you ever felt that you don’t fit in or accepted for who you are? I’m sure the majority of you have felt that way at some point in your life, especially during your young adult years. Pantomime is a daring YA fantasy that focuses on finding out who you are and finding acceptance in a world where you are different.

I must admit that when picking up and starting Pantomime I was expecting another version of The Night Circus by Erin Morgenster
I really have to apologize for the lateness of my pretty long overdue review and a huge thanks to Goodreads and Strange Chemistry for an ARC copy of Pantomime which I won in a GR giveaway.

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The circus had been unlike anything I could ever imagine and I could not walk away. I wanted to be a part of the magic, create it and wield it with such skill that it looked effortless. I wanted to fly.

This quote perfectly describes how I felt when I was reading Pantomime. To be honest, I have ne
Fantastic book! I really enjoyed it and read it in one sitting.

First of all, don't read the synopsis - it's completely misleading which you will find out from the first couple of pages.

What you need to know - it's about magic from a forgotten ancient civilisation, it's about a circus with a tyrant of a ringleader and it's about a runaway. Throw in the bin the rest of your preconceptions. *grinning*

The great twist will be known in the first couple of chapters but it doesn't detract from th
Kirsty (Amethyst Bookwyrm)
This and my other reviews can be found at

Thanks to Netgalley and Angry Robot for giving me this book to review.

In Ellada, R. H. Ragona’s Circus of Magic wishes to create the wonder of the mysterious civilization which disappeared leaving only the glowing blue Penglass. Micah Grey is a runaway who wishes to join the circus as an aerialist and he wants to be accepted by the rest of the people in the circus. Gene Laurus is nobleman’s daughter who much prefers
Micah has a secret. He didn’t run away to join the circus but when he finds himself stood inside the big tent, he knows that’s what he wants to do. He has already left everything he knew behind and cannot go back. On the flip-side, Gene is the daughter of a noble family, destined to be paraded at debutante balls and married off to a deserving suitor. She would much rather be climbing trees with the boys than dancing but her mother is determined for her to be a nice normal girl.

The world encased
Lottie Eve
Pantomime has two main characters: Iphigenia Laurus and Micah Grey. The Summer chapters(the present) told through the eyes of Micah and the Spring chapters(the past) told through the eyes of Gene. Gene is a girl who is not happy with her current life and Micah is a boy who had just joined the circus which is place he feels like he truly belongs. They have a lot of things in common. One of those things being a big secret.


I thought Gene and Micah are very interesting characters. Their journey to f

(Find the original review at Jellyfish Reads.)

Holy shitballs, this book is amazing.

I'm in love! I am so in love! I have already ordered a copy of Shadowplay (the next book in the series) and I can't wait till I can get my hands on it! I am just head over heels in love with this book and the world within it, and Micah. MICAH.

Okay, so like a lot of other people who have reviewed this book, I really think that although the blurb doesn't mention this, it shouldn't be considered a spoiler that the ma
When I read the synopsis for Pantomime I was intrigued and when I saw the cover I was sold. And then I read the book and I fell in love. What an absolutely gorgeous book. It's tough to talk about Pantomime without giving spoilers. Pantomime has a secret and it's a big one and once it's revealed the scope of the entire narrative changes. It's a powerful narrative, filled with fabulous characters and a great plot.

The characters inhabiting Pantomime are amazing. Both its protagonists, Gene and Mica
Micah Grey runs away from his life as a privileged aristocrat and joins R.H. Ragona's Circus of Magic. He wants the chance to discover who he is, rather than who his parents expect him to be, especially after learning something rather unexpected about his past and unwelcome about his future right before running.

He doesn't fit into the circus immediately. He might be an outsider and an outcast, but he has to endure the other performers' hazing in order to prove it. He must work hard at grunt work
Note: This review is of an e-galley provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

3.5 stars.

Apparently almost everyone who's read this book so far has been totally blown away. 4.71 stars?! Um. Okay. I thought it had a lot of interesting aspects, and I'll definitely pick up book two, but it wasn't mind-blowingly awesome or anything.

The first complaint I have isn't actually about the book itself. It's about the blurb, and also the author's own GR "review". Both of them are extremely misleading. Hone
“Four Stars: An interesting and unexpected tale!

Micah scampers along the tight rope, terrified of falling but determined. Safely across, he looks to the crowd below to see amusement, disdain and some admiration. Circus folks are a tough crowd! Thankfully, the circus owner, Bil, agrees to allow Micah to join the circus and train as part of the trapeze act. Micah is relieved because as a runaway he has nowhere else to go. Along with Micah's story, we also catch glimpses of Gene's life. Gene is a y
It is really difficult to know where to start with this review, I'm going to have to be incredibly careful about what I tell you because there is no way I want to spoil the shocking twist in Pantomime. Honestly, this has to be one of the most unusual YA books I've ever read and it is an incredible debut from Laura Lam. I want to go out and start placing copies of Pantomime in people's hands because I think everyone should be reading this book. In fact, I NEED everyone to read this book and then ...more
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Please contact me via the contact page on my website as opposed to GR mail.

Laura Lam was born in the late eighties and raised near San Francisco, California, by two former Haight-Ashbury hippies. Both of them encouraged her to finger-paint to her heart’s desire, colour outside the lines, and consider the library a second home. This led to an overabundance of daydreams.

After studying literature an
More about Laura Lam...

Other Books in the Series

Micah Grey (3 books)
  • Shadowplay (Micah Grey, #2)
  • Masquerade (Micah Grey, #3)
Shadowplay (Micah Grey, #2) The Snake Charm The Tarot Reader The Fisherman's Net The Card Sharp

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“The circus collects the outsiders like a flame tempts moths.” 13 likes
“Love? Love is like holding water in your hands. You might have it for a time, but it escapes, leaving you with nothing.” 12 likes
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