Thursday, 10 January 2013

Review - Pantomime, Laura Lam

Right, so I think I'm missing something with this book. I had seriously high expectations for it, seeing more 5 star reviews than I've seen in a long time. Maybe even ever. But, I'm not really sure I see why?

The writing style is great, I'll give Lam that. She does a good job of being consistent with the language she uses and even goes that little bit further with the little quotes at the start of each paragraph, I liked that touch. However, that's honestly as far as my enjoyment of this goes.

I think for me, the book struggles to decide what it is. Is it a romance? Is it a fantasy? Is it a drama, even? It's a little bit of everything, but not really that great at being anything. Jack of all trades... as they say.

The characters weren't particularly strong; Micah I found quite annoying and lacking personality. Lam tries, and to a degree, succeeds in presenting the emotional turmoil that his condition causes him (I'm sticking with 'him'), but it quickly grows quite tiresome and I became quite irritated by some of the decisions he makes around it.

His relationship with Aenea I just thought was a little silly and lacked self-preservation. There's not even any real thought put into it on Micah's part. I'd have expected him to try and distance himself from her, try not to be discovered etc. but there was none of that. I ended up feeling no sympathy for Micah.

Drystan was probably my favourite character, the most grounded and the certainly most believable. But again, his relationship with Micah is another that I found a little silly. Rushed is probably the best way to describe it. You spent the majority of the book not really hearing much about him, only that Micah finds him attractive, and then the end... Well, I wont give it away.

I don't feel like I've been given enough of a teaser regarding the magical/Penglass side of things to care enough about reading another book. To me, it read like a runaway romance that tried to be a bit magical, but didn't get it right.

I'd love to pick it up a bit and say that the story line was good but I finished the book feeling like I hadn't even reached the crux of it. I wanted more, and not in a good 'oh-my-god-give-me-the-next-book-right-now' kind of way. Maybe that was the point, but I get the impression that the second book is now going to be this huge magical adventure, having a completely different vibe to Pantomime and I'm not sure how I feel about that. The idea of Pantomime was great because of the circus and the metaphor behind the actual pantomime, but I don't see how Lam can carry that into another book given the ending.

I know, I know, I'm being far too harsh but I just cant justify giving this book any more than about 2 stars. Honestly, I probably wouldn't recommend it and I don't think I'll be reading any more of the series.

1 comment:

  1. So I just posted my review for this one, and decided that I should maybe try and find a review of Pantomime from someone who enjoyed it give a different perspective. SO I searched my google reader and read this review and was like AHHHH. YES! I agree 100% with all your points. The story was a huge disappointment for me. The Magic felt so forced and underdeveloped.

    Ashley @ The Quiet Concert