About the book
Shadowplay is the second book in the Pantomime series by Laura Lam. The book was published by Strange Chemistry on 2nd January and it is 400 pages long. I received an ebook for review through NetGalley.
The horrors of time spent in the Circus are now behind Micah Grey and he is now on the run with the white clown, Drystan. With very few places to go, they take refuge with the once great magician, Jasper Maske. As they’ll be staying with him for a while, Maske agrees to teach both Micah and Drystan his trade. Maske has his own secrets though and they turn into a dual between Micah and Drystan and his rival.
People are also hunting Micah and who he was before, the daughter of a noble family. Even with the magic he’s learning, Micah is having trouble staying hidden. He’s also learning that there is a lot more out there to learn than fancy card tricks.
What I thought
Pantomime was one of my favourite books of 2013 and I couldn’t wait to read the second instalment. Pantomime was full of interesting ideas and had a pretty magical setting.
Shadowplay begins where Pantomime left off, with Micah and Drystan on the run. They encountered some pretty bad things while being in the circus and they’re being hunted, especially Micah. Something I truly missed in this book was the circus setting, even though it was replaced with something just as exciting and mysterious. Shadowplay enters the world of magic and illusion which I absolutely loved. Laura Lam puts in so much description of events and places and I could feel as though I was really there with Micah experiencing what he was.
New characters in this book help to make it as good as it is. We have magician Maske who is extremely mysterious but also funny in his ways and we have Cyan, a stranger who also seeks refuge at Maske’s house. I really couldn’t get enough of Cyan. From the moment she arrived, it was clear that she too was keeping secrets and I couldn’t wait to find out who she was and why she was staying with Maske. Her character is complex and interesting and I really enjoyed seeing Micah getting to know her more and deciding whether or not she could be trusted.
I felt as though Micah didn’t go through quite as much in this book as he did in Pantomime but instead he grew surer of himself and more aware of the world around him. Now out of the circus and on the run again, Micah has more people knowing about who and what he really is and he has to come to terms with trusting those around him which is hard when he knows he is being hunted. There are times in Shadowplay where I was thinking ‘Go Micah’ and I was hoping for some things to happen for him at a quicker pace. However, the slowness of some events kept the anticipation alive.
Shadowplay isn’t exciting in the way that Pantomime was but there is still so much going on. Not only do we have a dual between Maske and his rival magician but the new characters shed light into the world that Lam has created. Lam also tackles issues such as sexuality, politics and discrimination and they are all written about wonderfully. The plot is incredibly unique and one that had me hooked. I couldn’t stop reading this book and now that I’ve finished it, I want even more.
If you liked Pantomime, you will not be disappointed with the sequel. Micah is one hell of a character and leads such an interesting but dangerous life. I cannot wait to see what happens to him next.