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Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Twins on Thursday: Pantomime by Laura Lam

"The Twins on Thursday" is reserved for the Twins' joint reviews. It is a special feature of our blog that discusses books that we either both like, dislike, or have mixed feelings about. This is also the day where we post reviews for books (and ARCs/Galleys) that have been sent to us by authors/galley sites/publishing houses. And because we don't believe much in uniformity, we'll be trying to mix things up a bit by adding random stuff in relation to our review (well, mostly for books we purchased anyway).

Title: Pantomime
Author: Laura Lam
Format Acquired: Advance eGalley
Publication Date: February 5, 2013
Publishing House: Strange Chemistry
ISBN: 9781908844378
Source of Copy: NetGalley


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.

(Image and information courtesy of Goodreads)


Pantomime is an impossible reality, it's like watching every whimsical and eerily beautiful dream we've had about the circus come to life. Dreamlike and surreal, Pantomime manages to evoke visions and paint images in the reader's mind that make it easy to believe that a world like this could actually exist. 

What makes Pantomime such a wonderful read is partly due to Lam's beautiful world-building. The circus both as a whole and its cast of characters are amazing and descriptive, and the realities and mysteries all seen through the eyes of our protagonist are heartfelt and harsh at best. The pacing, while slow at first, is not unwarranted since it adds to the overall feel of the story, Pantomime begs to be savored in measured doses. By the middle  of the novel, it actually tries to suck you in - and in our case, succeeds without us putting up a fight too! - and actually dares you to go back to your mundane and ordinary world.

Another aspect that we liked was Lam's willingness to explore the complexity of human relationships and sexuality without all the labels. We think that humans have this innate - and at times, irrational - desire to name things and place everything in categories simply because the mind has a hard time understanding without all these pre-conceived nuances.

The only misleading thing about Pantomime is that the magic that thrives in Gene's blood is not explained at all (as referenced to in the summary), and while it is a bit of a letdown, it is easy to overlook because this was honestly that good of a read.

The ending left us absolutely wanting for more, and with that being said, it is not hard at all to fall in love and be swept away by the circus, by the magic that is Pantomime.

Pantomime will be available come February of 2013.


And because this is our slightly creative weekly segment, we're featuring artworks that reminded us of Pantomime, created by Nicole's super talented block mate, Chelsea Ortega.

This was supposed to be done in a day, but because of schoolworks and me being too OC, I’ve worked on this whenever I have the time to do it. -_-
It was inspired by this image, I kept seeing this in Facebook when TDKR was about to show here in our country. Anne’s so gorgeous there I just wanted to draw her D: Not exactly her, but her persona.
So yeah, I’ll leave it this way, I’ve retouched so many times I… just… can’t… get…it… right. PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE (And watch the movie immediately) OTL
Doesn't that just remind you of the cover? When we saw this one, we knew it had to be included in the post!

Done in Photoshop! What took this so long to finish is that I’m always stuck in the ‘How the Hell Should I Finish This Piece’ phase. It’s always that, and ‘How the Hell Should I Render This Part’ phase. Could’ve done better but I’m glad about the outcome. :)
This one totally reminded us of the other circus performers Gene starred alongside with.

That's not all the talented Ms. Ortega does. She also creates posters of concerts just for kicks.

This Century Live in Manila fan-made poster
As much as I want to share you all my experiences during the concert, I wouldn’t be able to because there is nothing to tell. Yeah I wasn’t able to go to at least one of the dates and I know it sucks more since I missed the opportunity of attending their SOLO concert. :(
I finished the poster on the 2nd day of their concert and I was really hoping that I could have the chance to go. But sadly, because of personal reasons, I wasn’t able to. I really dislike the feeling of being helpless in these types of situations, and I certainly hope this won’t happen again.
I wish I could’ve shown this to them personally just to show how much we do appreciate them coming here this Christmas season. But I guess (and I hope) I can do it here, virtually haha!
(So in case they see this) I really want to thank you guys for holding the concert for the Filipino fans! I truly believe they had a blast and you’ve given them beyond what they could’ve asked for! Please come back soon :)

We The Kings Live in Manila (fan-made poster)
@builtbysonic and @dayly_ent presents you: @WeTheKings Live in Manila!
YEY I’m finally done with this! It took me some time to finish this and it’s surprising that I’m quite satisfied with it. :) I used the official logo and photo of WTK so that I could practice incorporating official stuff to my posters. Basically the theme is summer since it’s… summer,  and it was also inspired by WTK’s latest album: Sunshine State of Mind. I also used Built By Sonic’s logo (found on the top left corner) because they’re the official producers of the concert, and it looks awesome there. xD
Sorry for the watermark, but I need to place it there since it’s not the official poster for the concert. I did this just for the purpose of enhancing my skills and maybe someone can hire me (TEEHEE).
(Original photo and logo of We The Kings are NOT mine)

You can find more of Chelsea Ortega's works at Me Against (Me)diocracy.

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