Shadowplay was published by, the YA imprint of ‘Angry Robots Books’, ‘Strange Chemistry’, who have kindly given me the Arc of this book in exchange for an honest review. It is the second book in a series; the sequel to her earlier work Pantomime. This book continues the adventures of Micah, as she continues her attempts to; find a place in the world, and accept/understand her identity. The story begins where the first book left off. The two main characters are suffering the consequences of the explosive events of the previous work. They find themselves seeking shelter from an old friend, a mysterious illusionist with secrets of his own, who once performed an act that seemed to consist of a series of tableau played out with very advanced automatons. They find that he owns a theatre. However, due to a pact with a former colleague, punishment for real or imaginary sins, the building has remained silent and lifeless. Needing work, they ask him to teach them his skills. They plan to get his old theatre working again. They plan to make money through new shows. However, The re-emergence of old secrets and old rivals put their plans in jeopardy. An old rival challenges Jonah, and his new company, to a duel. They must compete with his rivals new company to create the best show. As they prepare, and Micha comes to terms with her ambiguous identity, she discovers that there is more to that identity than she first thought. She must fight historical foes, in order to save; herself and the world.
When I ordered this book from Netgalley, I had forgotten that this book was part of a series. Being a completest, I had to track down a copy of the first book. But, to my disappointment, I wasn’t really excited by the first book Pantomime. It was an interesting book, but it didn’t really speak to me. It seemed to echo other works of this type. Therefore, I was not excited by the prospect of reading Shadowlands. But, as soon as I started to read, this book really grabbed me and wouldn’t let go. This book gives us a greater exploration into both; the world in which the book is set and the identity of its main characters. It explores sexual identity and what happens when individuals can’t, or won’t, fit into existing sexual categories. Therefore, It is an interesting work and I am interested to see where this author goes next.