Series: The Bone Season #2
Published by Bloomsbury on January 2015
Genres: Dystopia, Fantasy, Science Fiction
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Paige Mahoney has escaped the brutal prison camp of Sheol I, but her problems have only just begun: many of the survivors are missing and she is the most wanted person in London...
As Scion turns its all-seeing eye on the dreamwalker, 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 centre 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.
I really enjoyed The Bone Season when I read it early last year, so I was really looking forward to continuing Paige’s story in The Mime Order. I couldn’t remember a lot of what had happened previously, but there’s a handy recap a few chapters in to re-introduce this society with its spirits, poltergeists, Voyants and ordinary humans, not to mention the still-mysterious Rephaim.
This is quite a different book than the first one, though. For starters, most of The Bone Season was set in Sheol I, the penal colony occupying the ancient city of Oxford. In The Mime Order, Paige has rejoined her friends in the Seven Seals in London, so it has quite a different feel to it – heavy on the Syndicate politics, and there’s a lot less of the Rephaim. When they do show up they mostly stay in the background, but I get the feeling that the third book will be a lot more Rephaim-focused.
The amount of politicking and planning that goes on in this book really made it feel slow to read. It’s quite a long book to start with, and the slow pacing really dragged it out for me. Paige spent the majority of the time sneaking around without permission, then getting hit over the back of the head and beaten up. Seriously, it happens three or four times.
Then there’s the romance. I seem to remember being vaguely discomfited by the romance between Warden and Paige in the last book, and in this one I still can’t see why he would be attracted to her, being essentially immortal and a different species to boot. Even so, the romance is very sweet. I ship it, as the young ‘uns say.
The scrimmage at the end was the best part of this book, fast and furious. It was almost worth slogging through the first 90% of the book to reach it.
I know this review sounds scathing, but I do really like the world that has been created here. I find the Rephaim, Scion and the Syndicate fascinating, as well as all the other people who call this version of London home. Having recognisable landmarks mentioned (eg. Piccadilly Circus, the Tower of London, the canal near Camden) really helped to make a recognisable atmosphere – I really enjoyed that aspect to the story.
There’s no doubt that Samantha Shannon is a very talented writer, it’s just this book is suffering from “middle book” syndrome a little – lots and lots of story progression and not a lot of real action. I’ll be looking forward to the third book in the series, especially after the cliffhanger we’re left with at the end of The Mime Order!
– A more sedately paced book than the first in this series, but still an amazing world and premise.
The Bone Season
|Book 3 due in 2016.Seven books planned!|