Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Pantomime (Micah Grey, #1)” as Want to Read:
Pantomime (Micah Grey, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


(Micah Grey #1)

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  2,949 ratings  ·  620 reviews
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,
Paperback, US, 392 pages
Published February 5th 2013 by Strange Chemistry
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Pantomime, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Laura Lam He's intersex, genderfluid, and bisexual. :-)…moreHe's intersex, genderfluid, and bisexual. :-)(less)
Cienna There is a quite a bit of romance between different characters, which makes the book even more interesting. It has love, passion, betrayal, loyalty, e…moreThere is a quite a bit of romance between different characters, which makes the book even more interesting. It has love, passion, betrayal, loyalty, etc. There is one semi-sex scene but that's it, if my memory serves. I haven't read it in a while. (less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.89  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,949 ratings  ·  620 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Pantomime (Micah Grey, #1)
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 a c
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.

UPDATE: I am not only the who took issue with the book description. Shoutout to book bloggers The Book Smugglers and LGBT author Malinda Lo.

UPDATE 2: The book has been re-released with a new book description. So half of this review doesn't apply anymore, but I'll just leave it up as it is for record's sak
shady boots
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
Amy Imogene Reads
4.5 stars

A circus, an intersex main character, an alternate world with bits of Victorian and steampunk, and extremely catchy writing.

Concept: ★★★★★
Main character: ★★★★
Pacing: ★★★ (there is a split timeline, and I didn't love that)

Pantomime was a book that I randomly added to a Book Outlet haul a few weeks ago because it had a gorgeous cover and was blurbed by Leigh Bardugo. Enough said, right? Also, it was about a circus so I was ON IT.

It's about an intersex main character named Micah Grey who
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
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
Jul 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites, 2017
4.75 Stars

This Book is seriously underrated and more people need to read it! It is honestly one of the best Young Adult books I have ever read!

Anyone who knows me, knows that I love circuses and I think this book does an excellent representation of showing the magic and mystery surrounding a fantasy circus. I mean ... what's not to love about bearded women, creepy clowns and contortionists.? However, what really set this book apart from a few other circus books I have read, is that there are Ch
Mogsy (MMOGC)
Aug 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult
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
Robin Hobb
Mar 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
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.
Elizabeth May
May 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I love this cover. When I saw it, I was like, "Cover lady, you look so great, you can shush me anytime." ...more
Oct 05, 2015 rated it liked it
Recommended to Eilonwy by: Vippi

3-1/2 stars, but rounded down because of the pacing.

I am not sure what I can say about this book without giving away the central twist. And on the one hand, that twist is so unusual that it deserves to come as a surprise rather than given away in reviews (and most of the reviews for this book do give it away, so avoid them if you want to read the story unspoiled. DO NOT read the GR blurb, either). But on the other hand, keeping the twist secret gives the marketing of this book a troublesome ide
Sep 07, 2018 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Melanie by: Imi (Imi Reviews Books)
Shelves: lgbtqiap, fantasy

(My amazing friend Imi, at Imi Reviews Books, gave this to me as a birthday gift!) 💖
Oct 11, 2012 rated it liked it
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'
Sep 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourite
"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
1st Read - February 2013
2nd Read - March 2017

Original Review

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 thi
Ingrid Jonach
Jul 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
May 26, 2020 rated it liked it
This seems a little like a first draft, it is good, really good, idea, execution and everything else. But it's under-edited, it could have been a lot better.

But I liked it so much. SO.MUCH
Darcy (Daydreamingofbookdragons)
One of the most disappointing things a reader can come across is a book they thought for sure that they would enjoy. And then didn’t.

I am disappointed. (As if the two stars didn’t already say that).

It had such potential! A character who is both male and female (awesome) who has magical abilities from a long lost race of beings (magic!!) who is betrayed by her parents (mysterious) and runs away from home dressed as a boy to join a circus. The description also said that the circus has a dark side
Feb 12, 2014 rated it it was ok
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 t
Alice 🔮
i'm going to try and write a review for this tomorrow! ...more
Aug 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-fantasy
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
The Book Tart
Feb 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Feb 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
I picked up this book by chance. The cover and the synopsis really intrigued me and for once, going with my gut, that was enough. And I'm so glad of taking that impulsive choice, because it made me discover a very talented writer and a beautiful, stunningly original story.

I loved the magical, delicate athmosphere created by the Author, the plot full of secrets and twists and how the parallel stories of Gene and Micah entertwined.

I must admit that the description is quite misleading because you s
Apr 15, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nook
Pantomime 3⭐️
The circus with a beautiful twist and new view on what we all crave a little bit of fantastic. Could be compared slightly to the night circus but it is different and unique but if you liked the night circus definitely pick this up.
Jan 16, 2018 added it
Shelves: fantasy, queer
I know, I know. It’s taken me far too long to get round to reading Pantomime, and I deserve a kicking. I really do, because now I’ve finally read it, I wish I hadn’t taken so long. It’s pretty unique in that it has an intersex protagonist and a queer love story, but it’s not just about that. I’m fascinated by the world, too: the different species, the magic, the Vestiges, what the mysterious glass is… And by the end of the book, I very much wanted to know more about Drystan, too.

I did have one d
Sanne (papierplanet)
ohhh this was so cool. i love books set in circuses and this was just another level of uniqueness. i loved how this book made allusions to the greek mythology. it didn't refer to (demi-)gods as you would expect, but this book treated the mythology of hermaphroditus in a interesting, creative way. especially because i currently have a class on body image this book was very intriguing to me.

i would have found it better if the book was set in "our" world, in a historical setting, because this book
Aug 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Tiffany Miss.Fiction
3.5 stars if we consider some stuff that could have been easily avoided through editing and this is why I can’t rationally give a higher review though I loved this book
BUT 5 stars in my heart. Micah Grey I love you so much, can we become friends?
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Ruin of Stars (Mask of Shadows, #2)
  • Chameleon Moon (Chameleon Moon, #1)
  • Mask of Shadows (Mask of Shadows, #1)
  • Adaptation (Adaptation, #1)
  • Phantom Pains (The Arcadia Project, #2)
  • Beyond the Ruby Veil (Beyond the Ruby Veil, #1)
  • Deadline (Harrietta Lee, #1)
  • As the Shadow Rises (The Age of Darkness, #2)
  • The Brilliant Death (The Brilliant Death, #1)
  • ヴァニタスの手記 2 [Vanitas no Carte 2] (The Case Study of Vanitas, #2)
  • Tokyo Mew Mew, Vol. 1 (Tokyo Mew Mew, #1)
  • A Golden Fury
  • The Case Study of Vanitas, Vol. 1
  • Out of Salem
  • Mayhem
  • Master of One
  • Inheritance (Adaptation #2)
  • The Rift
See similar books…
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.

After studying literature and creative writing at university, she relocated to Scotland to be with the partner she met online when they were teenagers and he insulted her taste in books and she insulted hi

Other books in the series

Micah Grey (3 books)
  • Shadowplay (Micah Grey, #2)
  • Masquerade (Micah Grey, #3)

Related Articles

  Melissa Albert burst onto the YA scene (and catapulted into readers' hearts) with her 2018 debut The Hazel Wood. This darkly fantastical...
41 likes · 0 comments
“The circus collects the outsiders like a flame tempts moths.” 20 likes
“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.” 16 likes
More quotes…