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elenalikesbooks

Elena Likes Books

I am an avid reader of YA, fantasy, and romance, a librarian, and a writer of fantasy short fiction.

Currently reading

Cut & Run
Abigail Roux, Madeleine Urban
Where the Sidewalk Ends
Shel Silverstein
The Mad Scientist's Guide to World Domination: Original Short Fiction for the Modern Evil Genius
John Joseph Adams
The Thousand Names
Django Wexler
The Duchess Hunt
Jennifer Haymore
Pantomime - Laura Lam Note: This review is of an e-galley provided by the publisher through NetGalley.3.5 stars.Apparently almost everyone who's read this book so far has been totally blown away. 4.71 stars?! Um. Okay. I thought it had a lot of interesting aspects, and I'll definitely pick up book two, but it wasn't mind-blowingly awesome or anything.The first complaint I have isn't actually about the book itself. It's about the blurb, and also the author's own GR "review". Both of them are extremely misleading. Honestly, I think the book would be better served if the publisher and author didn't beat about the bush about the contents. I mean, "discontent rich girl meets circus aerialist" sounds like it could be vaguely interesting, but doesn't (spoiler, because I guess the publisher and author want it to be, and you might not figure it out for a couple chapters if you're a bit dense?) "intersex teen with possible magic powers runs away and joins the circus to avoid being forced by zir family to be a girl forever" sound so much more awesome?That "spoilery" aspect is pretty much the primary force of awesome in this book. I thought the protagonist's character was super well-done, fascinating and sympathetic and relateable. The other characters were well-drawn too, and I enjoyed the circus setting and the worldbuilding.So, with all that going for it, why didn't it earn at least four stars? Well, nothing happened. I mean, there were some events strung together, along with many chapters' worth of flashbacks, but there was no real tension to the plot. All the tension had to do with Gene/Micah struggling to hide the nature of zir body from the circus folk, and very little actual plot progression occurred. We just kind of floated along with the protagonist for a few hundred pages, and then there was a huge climax and it was all over (for now).Usually I wouldn't bother picking up another book after a meandering, plotless book like this, but in this case, the awesome aspects of the book made up for the plotlessness just enough that I'll seek out book two. It helps that some actual plotty things happened at the end--perhaps the second book will be more exciting. I sure hope so.