Saturday, January 24, 2015

The Mime Order - Samantha Shannon


I'm so pleased that I got the opportunity to be a part of the US blog tour for The Mime Order, the second novel in Samantha Shannon's The Bone Season series. It's just as incredible as its predecessor, and you'll see why I think so below. But first, let me share with you a photo that may or may not be revealing my aura...

Yes, my aura is red, like that of a jumper. Basically, that means I'm of the same grouping of clairvoyants as Nick and Paige, which is awesome and scary and wonderful all at once. (If you want more info on the seven orders of clairvoyance, you can pre-order The Mime Order for a chance to snag a copy of Jaxon Hall's On the Merits of Unnaturalness.)

And now, without further ado, my review! Please note that this is the second book in the series. If you haven't started it yet, there might be minor spoilers for book one. You can feel free to go and check out my review of The Bone Season instead.]

The Mime Order Samantha Shannon book cover
The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon
Series: The Bone Season #2
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication Date: January 27, 2015
Source/Format: Publisher (Thank you, Laura!) || ARC
[I received this book from the publisher. This in no way affects the opinions expressed in my review.]

Paige Mahoney has escaped the brutal penal colony of Sheol I, but her problems have only just begun: many of the fugitives are still missing and she is the most wanted person in London.

As Scion turns its all-seeing eye on Paige, the mime-lords and mime-queens of the city’s gangs are invited to a rare meeting of the Unnatural Assembly. Jaxon Hall and his Seven Seals prepare to take center stage, but there are bitter fault lines running through the clairvoyant community and dark secrets around every corner.

Then the Rephaim begin crawling out from the shadows. But where is Warden? Paige must keep moving, from Seven Dials to Grub Street to the secret catacombs of Camden, until the fate of the underworld can be decided. Will Paige know who to trust? The hunt for the dreamwalker is on.

Two years ago, I spent an entire international flight devouring The Bone Season. Samantha Shannon’s frightening new world of clairvoyants and Rephaite came alive with each moment - good or bad, action or reflection, submission or mutiny. Paige Mahoney, the narrator through which the reader experiences the harsh brutality and injustice of Scion, is a character you won’t easily forget – passionately riled when seeking justice, compassionate towards others, whip smart though often reckless, a fighter capable of holding her own. As a dreamwalker, she’s of the seventh and highest order of Clairvoyance – and can be a powerful weapon. At the end of this first novel, Paige has led a mutinous revolution to break free of the Rephaites holding her and other voyants and amaurotics prisoner – and succeeded, if only barely and with the help of some rogue Rephaites.

Whew. That’s certainly a ton of information in just one paragraph, isn’t it? If there is one thing that can be said about both The Bone Season and The Mime Order, it is this: there is a lot of information being shared with the reader. Seriously, there are names aplenty – of places, of voyant orders, of other characters. History is revealed in bits and pieces; relationships come to light with every page. The start of The Mime Order is just the slightest bit awkward because of how much the reader is told, and it moves admittedly slow. But, as a fan, it was interesting to have Shannon’s world expanded further, particularly since we dive deep into the syndicate of mime-lords, mime-queens and mollishers in Underground Scion London in this book.

Now, since it’s always tough to review a book in an ongoing series, I’ve decided to simply share seven reasons you need to read The Mime Order. This list is inspired by the seven orders of clairvoyance in On the Merits of Unnaturalness, which was introduced in The Bone Season.

1. Paige and her fellow escapees begin a revolution. {Soothsayers}

After knowing the truth about Sheol I & Scion, Paige is all fired up to reveal it. She is determined to ensure that the Bone Season doesn’t happen again, and she, along with some of her fellow refugees, seek a week to let the public in on what they’ve witnessed and experience. The means to their end is an actual tangible item, which readers will learn about in The Mime Order.

2. More is revealed – particularly regarding the voyant-voyant relationships, Rephaite-Rephaite relationships and the voyant-Rephaite relationships. {Augurs}

The clairvoyants of London, most of whom belong to the underground syndicate, are not united. The sectors are divided, though they tolerate one another for the most part. But amidst the seven orders, there is definitely bad blood, particularly between all the orders and augurs, who are considered low-class and vile. It is this lack of unity that Paige wishes to change, in order to enlist their help in the upcoming war that is sure to occur.

Readers will also learn a bit more about the Rephaite, including where they’re from and how their stay on earth began. It’s interesting to see that, even among themselves, they have factions – a most unexpected mirror of their amaurotic (human) and voyant counterparts.

3. The Seven Seals are a bigger part of this tale than ever before. {Mediums}

While the Seven Seals are introduced early on in The Bone Season, Shannon has designed The Mime Order to be the book where their lives are revealed in truth. We see how Jaxon Hall treats them; we see how they feel towards one another. Plus, we get a look into their history and their intentions at various points in the story.

4. Readers will get swept up in the mystery of it all. Who is telling the truth? Who is lying? Who is really behind all of the crazy stuff at Sheol I? Who is behind all of the crazy stuff in London? {Sensors}

So many questions will arise as readers make their way through The Mime Order. At every turn, something happens to throw a suspicious light or to throw one off the scent. It’s a delightful mix of confusion, suspicion and excitement! Shannon excels in doing surprise reveals in just the right moment to keep you curious.

5. Readers will learn more about Jaxon Hall (The White Binder) and the rest of the syndicate. {Guardians}

Paige might belong with the Seven Seals, but they belong to Jaxon Hall and he in turns belongs to the syndicate. As mentioned, there’s quite a lot of information dropped on the reader about the underground – names, sectors, stories, symbols and so on. But there’s certainly something fascinating about having the (voyant) criminal underbelly brought to the light in The Mime Order, good and bad and everything in between.

6. Warden (!) plays a big role in this story. {Furies}

Warden is a character from The Bone Season who definitely plays a huge role in Paige’s story. I couldn’t help but love him then; and I love him even more after reading The Mime Order. He’s a Rephaite, but one of those who rebels against the cruel, unjust treatment of voyants and humans. After his actions in The Bone Season, he’s gone renegade, doing what he can to aid Paige in gaining support both with the voyants and with his fellow Rephaite rebels. His presence in these pages certainly upped the pace a bit, apart from being a comfort to both the reader and Paige.

7. Paige further develops her ability as a dreamwalker, and triumphs against all odds. {Jumpers}

To put it simply, Paige Mahoney has to go through a whole lot of bloody difficult things in The Mime Order. Let me lay it out for you: she is (1) a well-known Scion fugitive, (2) being attacked by other gangs, (3) bound to Jaxon Hall as his mollisher, (4) training to fight in a scrimmage and strengthen her abilities, (5) trying to start a revolution, (6) learning who she can and cannot trust, and (7) digging up the truth. Our girl has got a lot on her plate – and she still manages to kick ass. Paige is truly a fighter, and completely passionate about setting things right. But it’s also nice to see her get a little bit vulnerable in some moments here and there too.

I’ve said a lot more here than I even expected to, but the bottom line is this: The Mime Order is an excellent sequel. Sure, there’s yet another new set of information readers will have to contend with. But Shannon pulls it together with more action, more mystery, more relationships, more reveals – and it just works out by the time you hit the (!!!) ending. If you’re looking for a story with impressive world-building, complex characters and a very detailed plot, then be sure to check out The Bone Season, followed by The Mime Order.

As a special bonus, I was contacted by the Audible team with the opportunity to share a clip of the audiobook of The Mime Order. Give it a listen below! (It's fab.)

2 comments:

  1. I love your review!!! It's so creative and everything's so spot on!! That ending was epic and I really need that third book!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ooh, I am excited to read The Mime Order, but I have to admit, I'm a little worried because it's been a year since I read The Bone Season and I don't remember anything of it. With all the information that is thrown at the reader in the beginning of this book, I'm wondering if I should try and make time to reread the first. Eek! >.<

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for leaving a comment! I love seeing what you have to say, and will try to reply (here or on Twitter) as soon as I can :)

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