Source: eARC courtesy of Strange Chemistry via NetGalley
Please note this is a review of book 2 in the series and may include some spoilers of book 1
There is something behind the world of Circuses and Theatres, aren’t there? The glamorous and magical façade which overlay who-knows-what! The possibility is endless. And this is what appeals of this series, most especially when you see the author’s illustrative reviews of the books (Pantomime / Shadowplay). Those beautiful illustrations just makes you curious of the wonders you’d come across in these stories.
Shadowplay began just where Pantomime left off. We got to see Micah & Drystan eluded their pursuers and sought refuge in an old unused theatre; a theatre with the history of glittering magic shows. Thence began their adventure into the world of show business. All is not well, however, in this world. Not only are Micah & Drystan being shadowed by suspicious characters, they also need to avoid detection by their audiences, and at the same time, be ever so successful to ensure their survival is met. On top of this, as one question of Micah’s background is answered, ten more surfaced. This mystery is getting more intriguing and at the same time, frustrating because you feel like you’re getting nowhere!
The big picture of Shadowplay is the same as that of Pantomime, run away and hide in plain sight. I just loved the world and to an extent, the main characters, that I quite enjoyed this book too. I love the premise of the real magic (aside for the magic shows) and Micah’s mysterious background which I hope will all be revealed in the next book (it can’t come fast enough!).
The feud between the magicians, Maske and Taliesan, is somewhat reminiscent of the feud in The Prestige by Christopher Priest. There were points of differences but I can’t help but feel a bit disappointed by this feud due to some similarities that I don’t think I loved the book as much as I wanted to.
Overall, whilst it was an easy read and I quite enjoyed being immersed in Ellada, Shadowplay has the feeling of a ‘filler’ sort of books; the ‘in-between’ sort of place. I have ten thousand more questions to be answered and I have very high hopes for the reveal-all -fingers crossed, in the next book. Especially seeing how this book was ended … we are being led on a merry chase.
Thank you, Strange Chemistry for copy of the eARC via NetGalley