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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

NICOLE'S REVIEW: Shadowplay by Laura Lam

Title: Shadowplay
Author: Laura Lam
Format Acquired: eARC
Publication Date: January 7 2014
Publishing House: Strange Chemistry
ISBN: 190884440X
Source of Copy: NetGalley


The circus lies behind Mica Grey in dust and ashes.

He and the white clown, Drystan, take refuge with the once-great magician, Jasper Maske. When Maske agrees to teach them his trade, his embittered rival challenges them to a duel which dould decide all of their fates.

People also hunt both Micah and the person he was before the circus - the runaway daughter of a noble family. And Micah discovers there is magic and power in the world, far beyond the card tricks and illusions he's perfecting...

A tale of phantom wings, a clockwork hand, and the delicate unfurling of new love, Shadowplay continues Micah Grey's extraordinary journey.

(Image and information courtesy of Goodreads.)


Shadowplay is the second book in the Pantomime series. Check out our review for Pantomime here. This is a definite must read!

Shadowplay starts exactly where Pantomime ends - with Drystan and Micah on the run, leaving behind the circus and seeking refuge with an acquaintance of Drystan's. Jasper Maske. He takes them in and teaches them magic thrusting Micah and Drystan into a world of illusions and deception and bitter rivalry.

And I thought Lam's world building couldn't get any better... I was wrong. Shadowplay is amazing, it's exciting and magical and wonderfully atmospheric. Shadowplay is where I was able to glean more information on the Phantom Damselfly and her connection to Micah Grey - his odd powers and her history and how they both intertwine. Lam's attention to detail and her vivid descriptions of the theater and the illusions Drystan and Micah carried out were the absolute best it's hard not to get caught up in the story and impossible to NOT picture them in your head. 

Lam has a wonderful cast of characters that feel so real it's impossible to not feel what they feel. Micah's matured in this book, he's more confident in his own skin, and his budding relationship with Drystan had me cooing at my iPad in the middle of the night with a silly smile on my face. Don't get me wrong though, the romance is not a major part of the story but it's there - the subtle looks and careful smiles - and it had Michelle and I clamoring for more. (Drystan and Micah forever!) I also like the fact that a lot about Drystan's past was revealed and how natural it all felt so we get to know him better.

To avoid any spoilers let's just say that Micah and Drystan and Cyan do a lot of magic tricks and illusions and perform for an audience - I was particularly into how Lam explained the tricks in such a scientific and precise way. In between performing, Micah has visions and speaks with the Phantom Damselfly and there are flashbacks that explain to Micah who she was and her purpose for seeking him out. And at the end of that roller coaster ride of magic and deception, Lam throws in a few plot twists that totally took me by surprise. That ending still sends chills up my spine. 

For fans of Pantomime, Shadowplay does not disappoint. For those who still haven't read this series - you must. What's not to love about books with beautifully written prose, characters that are so undeniably real you have to cheer for them and wonderfully detailed world building that makes me want to leave this world for theirs? 




  1. I adored this book! Even more than Pantomime. Drystan and Micah were so perfect in this <3 And I love that Laura maintained the same fantastical element throughout.
    Great review, Nicole :)

    1. Thank you! That ending just about killed me. I can't even. :)) Too excited for the next installment. :>