Thursday, 29 September 2016

Pantomime by Laura Lam // a splendidly rare gem of a book

Title: Pantomime (Micah Grey #1)
Author: Laura Lam
Genre: Fantasy
Warnings: Domestic abuse, rape, murder
Rating: 4 stars
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I normally rest my faith in book hype. Although hype can betray us, I often find books are hyped for a reason. But sometimes you find a wonderful gem of a book hiding under the radar and it makes you think - "why is no one talking about this?!"

Pantomime is that splendidly rare gem of a book.

Set in a Victorian-esque fantasy world, the Laurus family hides a secret. Their daughter Gene both male and female. Upon discovering hidden family secrets, Gene reinvents herself as Micha Grey and finds herself wrapped up in the drama and mystery of the Circus. Micha needs to hide any semblance of his past as Gene, but he soon discovers that concealing his identity is a lot more complicated with people involved.

Micha was such a compelling character. I've never read a book with an intersex protagonist, and I think the author does an excellent job of showing that people do not need to be gender conforming. As a reader I truly understood that Micha was both male and female, despite his anatomy not fitting the typical definitions of either.

Although a fantasy novel, Pantomime isn't about magic and is mainly about this fascinating new world Lam has created and the characters it contains. But I do love the hints of there being something more - that there is a possibility of the magic in the myths being true - and I can't wait to see that explored later in the series.

Diversity Note: Intersex protagonist


  1. I've been wanting to read this for a while. I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it! It does sound really interesting, and I've never read about an intersex character either. I also love when books involve circus :-) Great review!

    1. I'd definitely recommend it if you like books set in the circus! It's not quite atmospheric as The Night Circus but it's still excellent, particularly with characters. Thanks!

  2. I have only heard good things about this book! I actually own it, and the sequel, so I don't have any idea why I haven't read it yet.

    I'm so glad you liked it, though! I hope you like the other two books in the series :) Especially since the third one is being published - the original publisher closed down and there was worry about whether the third book would be released.

    If you want to read another book with an intersex protagonist, I highly recommend None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio! It was really amazing. :)

    Lovely review! You've made me super keen to read this one again :D

    1. I've only heard good things too, but definitely not enough! For such little hype I didn't expect much which is why it took me forever to pick it up.

      I don't think this series got the promo it deserved the first time it was published. But hopefully with it being republished with these lovely new minimalist covers, new blurb and the promise of a 3rd book to finish off the series it'll get more attention!

      I've heard of None of the Above but never got a chance to pick it up. I'll try to hunt it down next time I go to the library though because I've heard so many excellent things!

      Thank you! I hope you enjoy it :D