Book Review: “Pantomime” by Laura Lam
I can honestly say that I have never come across a piece quite like “Pantomime”, and I feel enriched by this reading experience.
I have to admit that when I first read the synopsis, I was not too taken by the circus setting. I have always associated circuses to scary clowns and always thought best to stay well away. What convinced me to pick up “Pantomime” was the sample introduction of Gene, debutante about to enter society like so many others of her predecessors. However Gene is neither male nor female, but both and will have to flee to survive.
As Micah Grey, Gene is now a young lad in a circus with a talent for acrobatics, free from a former life where she could not be whole, she now has a new taste for freedom, and is trying to earn a place amongst a newly chosen family of misfits.
One question remains however, is the circus Micah’s doom or his salvation?
Just like any normal human being, Micah laughs, Micah loves and Micah cries and unfortunately, Micah has to deal with a secret so big that it forces him to live hidden in plain sight, never revealing who he really is until life decides otherwise.
If it was not for the fantasy setting of Ellada where rare but magical artefacts linked to Micah’s divine origins can still be found, Micah’s world would be pretty much similar to our own. However the enchanted stage was necessary so the reader could explore the very real matter of gender fluidity, with usually a lot less magic. Micah may be a fictional character, but we have heard of many instances where newborns have been identified to have both male and female parts.
So what does this make Micah? Is Micah, less or more human than any of us? Is he less of a girl or more of a boy and vice versa?
Does it actually matter?
And while I let you ponder on that question which will no doubt bring no easy answer, if not for the exploration of hermaphroditism, “Pantomime” will take you on a journey through magical folklore and ancient history so rich that it will definitely be worth the trip.
Thanking team @UKTor for providing me with a review copy of this title.