Author: Laura Lam
Publication: February 5, 2013
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Source: Publisher via 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 Chimeras 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.
Thoughts: Iphigenia "Gene" Laurus is not a proper young lady; she practically detests anything that requires her to be and enjoys tormenting her mother, who is determined to make a good match for her daughter. Gene longs to live her own life and not be forced to marry someone she doesn't care for. One day she overhears a conversation between her parents that breaks her heart and she decides to make a rash decision that will change her life. Micah, a street urchin is looking to find his way in the world, hiding out in the streets barely making it and happens upon the circus. He believes that he has found where he belongs and needles his way in or better yet takes a foolish leap and finds himself a trapeze artist in training. Micah & Gene each have a secret that as their worlds collide, could ruin everything they have come to cherish.
Lam has created two very fascinating characters in this story. I like how the setting goes back and forth between Gene's privileged world and Micah's circus life. The biggest part of the book is the secret, which is revealed early, so no element of surprise after that. What the story does have is atmosphere of the circus, which Lam describes with flair. Towards the end something major happens but then there is a big cliffhanger, so I don't know what happens to the main characters. Overall, the pace is slower than I would have liked but it's an interesting read.