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(Micah Grey #1)

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  2,824 ratings  ·  599 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
Paperback, 386 pages
Published November 17th 2016 by Tor (first published February 5th 2013)
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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,…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)

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Average rating 3.90  · 
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 ·  2,824 ratings  ·  599 reviews

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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.

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
shady boots | #WatchPOSE
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
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
Jul 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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
Mogsy (MMOGC)
Aug 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, fantasy
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
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  ·  review of another edition
I love this cover. When I saw it, I was like, "Cover lady, you look so great, you can shush me anytime."
Oct 05, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 07, 2018 marked it as to-read
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!)
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).
Sep 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Ingrid Jonach
Jul 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Feb 12, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
i'm going to try and write a review for this tomorrow!
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
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  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 15, 2018 rated it liked it
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.
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
Nov 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 14, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I actively seek out YA that I think will be not just original but weird. The more YA I read, the more I get jaded of its cliches, and the more desperate I get for something new to shake things up. I want books that expand the boundaries of what YA can be, and what it's capable of. And when I find books that are weird in this way, even when they don't work, I tend to give the author at least a little credit, because at least I share their values. At least I want something new and different as ...more
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
Jan 16, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hell_bloody_no
Global warning. This is going to be a rant.

Alright. This is IT. I'm so done with this book. If I can't stand one thing, it's logical fallacies. And these 67% of this book have plenty. Actually, so many, I'm going to drop out for the time being.

Set in another world, in a land called Ellada, we get forest elves. Listen up here: not elves, but forest elves. Distinguished elves. Tolkien elves. Yes, thank you very much.

We also get otters, elephants and other "earthly" animals. But out of the blue, we
A slow-paced but promising series starter. There’s lots to like about Pantomime, but I especially loved Lam’s protagonist, a bisexual intersex teenager whose story is told in two parts: that of Gene, raised as a girl, forced to endure humiliating medical examinations and to hide their condition from the elite society their parents belong to; and Micah, the boy who finally flees their abusive home and joins the circus. I’ve read a lot of diverse contemporary realistic novels this year, but as a ...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.

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

Other books in the series

Micah Grey (3 books)
  • Shadowplay (Micah Grey, #2)
  • Masquerade (Micah Grey, #3)
“The circus collects the outsiders like a flame tempts moths.” 21 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.” 17 likes
More quotes…