Author: Laura Lam
Series: Micah Grey Book 2 (Read my review for Pantomime here.)
Who’s it for? Teens
What’s it about? This picks up from where Pantomime left off, and if you haven’t read that one go do it now!
The circus lies behind Micah 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 could decide all of their fates. People are also hunting both Micah and the person he was before the circus – the runaway daughter of a noble family. Micah discovers there is magic and power in the world, far beyond the card tricks and illusions he’s perfecting…
(Blurb taken from the book)
What’s good about it? When I did my Big Review Challenge last year Pantomime was the book I read on Day Eleven and I just adored it. It was beautifully written and totally absorbing, so I went into Shadowplay with high hopes and a little trepidation. After all, nearly a year had passed since I read Pantomime and I was a little worried that Shadowplay wouldn’t live up to my hopes.
Yeah, I was wrong to worry.
Laura Lam’s writing style in simply beautiful. It’s lyrical and gorgeous and is so smooth there’s not a trace of a hitch in plot or story. The world building is ramped up in Shadowplay, in a way that I truly loved, slowly allowing the reader to learn more about this amazing world rather than blurting it out in one go. I loved all the names in this, they’re all unique and perfect and that probably sounds like an odd thing to love, but I did love it. From the names of the people, to place names, and everything in between.
Micah Grey remains fantastic. Part of what I loved about this was seeing Micah’s investigation of self, the contrast between life as a girl and life as a boy and how Micah didn’t fit neatly into either side. Micah’s realisation that he was just who he was and that that was okay made me grin like a loon. I mostly just loved that really, Micah’s just trying to live the life he wants to live despite everything around him that conspires against this.
I was surprised by how much I liked Cyan, a new character for this series. I was a little wary that this may result in some kind of love triangle, which I may have a teeny-weeny hatred for, but I was happily mistaken. She’s feistier than Micah and able to lie as well as Drystan, but she’s also a very sweet character in her own way and I loved watching the gradual build-up of trust between them all.
The Phantom Damselfly is delightfully twisty. It’s difficult to tell where her motives will lead her, Micah and everyone else, but for good or ill she has plans in motion.
Drystan and Micah together brings all the happy thoughts, but I’m suitably intrigued by the warnings that came near the end. There are new discoveries in this that I have no idea how they will be resolved.
Reading about their life with Jasper Maske was wonderful, the little makeshift family they started to create was very sweet. And I may have become ridiculously invested in the duel mentioned in the blurb (I’ll say no more, I don’t want to spoil it).
There’s magic and beauty in this.
What’s bad about it? I have no complaints or niggles.
The verdict? In case it’s not abundantly clear from my slightly gushing words above, I loved this. I adored it just as much, if not more so, than Pantomime. From the world building, to the writing style and the characters that make their own family in a world that’s out to get them…I loved it all.
There’s too much to mention in one review and there’s so much more that I’ve left out from this to discover when you read it. I pretty much can’t recommend this enough – the only downside is now I’ve got to wait for the sequel as there are some very tantalising hints at the end…