Author: Laura Lam
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: February 5, 2013
Format: Paperback, 392 Pages
ISBN-10: 190884437X (Strange Chemistry)
ISBN-13: 978-1908844378 (Strange Chemistry)
Reviewed by: Bridget
R. H. Ragona’s Circus of Magic is the greatest circus of Ellada. Nestled among the glowing blue Penglass—remnants of a mysterious civilisation 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 anyone can hide.
Iphigenia Laurus, or Gene, the daughter of a noble family, is uncomfortable in corsets and crinoline, and prefers climbing trees to debutante balls. Micah Grey, a runaway living on the streets, joins the circus as an aerialist’s apprentice and soon becomes the circus’s rising star.
But Gene and Micah have balancing acts of their own to perform, and a secret in their blood that could unlock the mysteries of Ellada.
Quick & Dirty: This book had an interesting plot but it was defiantly not a book for me.
Opening Sentence: “Well, boy,” the ringmaster said. “What can you do?”
Micah Grey has just recently run away from home. He has wondered the streets for a time and he decides to spend his last bit of money on the Circus. The Circus is magical and he decides that he would love to be a part of it. He ends up getting a chance to join as a trainee for the trapeze act. The circus life is hard, he gets hazed for being new and most people are very unwelcoming. As time goes by he starts to fit in and really become part of the strange group that makes up a circus. But Micah has some dark secrets from his past and he can’t run forever.
Iphigenia Laurus, more commonly known as Gene has grown up with a very privileged life. Her family is very wealthy and she is expected to always behave like a proper girl, but she loves to do boyish things. She loves to hang out with her older brother and friends much more than she enjoys the company of girls. She loves to climb trees, play in the mud, and go swimming, everything that is improper for a young lady. Gene is nearing the age of coming out, and it is time for her to start excepting suitors. She is very nervous about courting and possibly getting married one day, because she has a secret that very few people know and she fears that no one will accept her when they find out.
Micah’s life in the circus is very interesting. He is very determined to make it in the circus which is an admirable quality. He is very secretive and seems to be lost for most of the story. He has a really hard time opening up to people because he has been hurt in the past. I had a really hard time connecting with him, I found him to be a boring character. Nothing about him really stood out and the more I read his story, the more I found myself just not caring what happened to him.
Gene was a good solid character for me. I liked that she was a tomboy and a little rough around the edges. She was very insecure about herself, but I felt that she grew and learned to deal with her differences. It was fun to read her journey and see how she developed and grew as a character.
To be honest, this was not a good read for me. I had a really hard time getting into this book. The pacing was really slow, and it just never really caught my interest. I liked some of the characters but I didn’t really connect well to any of them. The plot for me was just weird and I really can’t say that I enjoyed this book at all. There is a little bit of a cliffhanger at the end of this book, but I really have no interest in finishing the story. Now I do think that some people will enjoy this book so if the synopsis sounds intriguing to you go ahead and give it a try. You may have a very different opinion than me.
“The show never ends with R.H. Ragona’s Circus of Magic,” he called. “But first, we must let it begin!” He threw up his hands and cane.
Fog rolled across the stage from each side of the ring. It filled the circus with the sweet scents of pine smoke and dried rose petals.
The music faded into a silence that pressed against my skin. The crowd sat in a dark grey cloud, and not a cough or rustle could be heard.
A cymbal crashed, and lightning flashed in the tent. The audience yelled. Thunder rumbled and stars twinkled briefly in the fog before fading. The fog dissipated.
The music returned. Six golden-skinned shirtless men wearing loose pantaloons somersaulted on the rock slab of the stage with liquid grace. They paraded around the stage before forming a human pyramid in the center. They did not even appear to be out of breath.
But mine caught in my throat.
FTC Advisory: Strange Chemistry provided me with a copy of Pantomime. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
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