Series: The Bone Season #2
Published by Bloomsbury on January 27, 2015
Genres: adult, dystopian, science fiction, urban fantasy
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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.
Well, this one took me completely by surprise. I had enjoyed The Bone Season, but with reservations, considering how long it took me to really understand the incredible world Samantha Shannon has built for us. It took me very little time at all, however, to disappear into the pages of this second installment of the genre bending series. At once futuristic and Victorian, The Mime Order is a fantastical, dystopian, paranormal murder mystery, and I couldn’t get enough of it.
This a lush and opulent storyworld, one that unfolds in intricate detail and rewards the reader for their patience. It is perfect for character readers and for anyone who would love a series that offers a “crash course” in the nuances of its world (like me! I am one of those people!). Reading this, and even though it is third person, I felt like I was walking with Paige through every step of the way. This once and future London is so very real.
We enter this story immediately where The Bone Season left off. Not a moment is lost and every scene of this novel is marked with purpose. Still, this is a somewhat markedly different novel from its predecessor. Whereas the first novel takes place in Oxford and is concerned with Paige’s discovery, captivity, and outbreak from the Rephaim, this novel is all too human and so very, very London. Now firmly entrenched in the familiarity of her old world, Paige is struggling to reconcile the world she grew up with versus what she learned in Sheol I.
We stalk the steps of London with Paige as she so valiantly attempts to uncover what is lurking beneath the streets. It is a Dickensian, futuristic-Victorian London and I could languish in those pages forever. Yet there are political motives beyond Paige’s ken and they may yet be her undoing. This is a story told for those who exult in small moments, who want to explore the nooks and hidden burrows of London.
Paige has escaped the horror of the Rephaim in Sheol I, yet she remains strong in the overwhelming face of all she has learned. There is an intelligence, a strength, and an indomitable fierceness to all she approaches. Free of Sheol I, she finds herself very much back where she started. Still subject to her Mime Lord and limited to the political confines and machinations of the London underworld. The pacing may be slow for some, and I do understand that, but I relished every detail as Paige tries to uncover what is lurking beneath there in the London streets. This is very much mystery story and one I luxuriated in.
It is not at all small details and slow unturning of clues. There are twists, turns and deftly maneuvered plots that reveal themselves in due time, all the more impressive for their patience and complexity. A good part of the climax of this book is concerned with a massive scrimmage that had me gripping the book and sweating-actually sweating!- because I was so nervous about the outcome. Every moment spent away from reading (Work? What work? Work is bad and it should feel bad) had me longing to return to the pages. I carved out an entire Saturday so I could read the second half of this book in one go.
But let me not be remiss, dear readers. One of the very best reasons I love this series so much is its ship. A slow burn it may be, but what a magnificent blaze. You all must know by how I love my Strong and Silent types (and yes, I love them very, very much). Paige and Warden are a gift to me and I relish their every interaction. I can never get enough of human/nonhuman and/or mortal/immortal couplings. They are nearly every single thing I love in a pairing and I found myself grinning like a rather silly goose every time they interact. I would find myself stopping and re-reading their exchanges over and over again before proceeding on with the story. I am constantly amazed and touched by the chemistry between the two. I was not at all expecting it, but these two wormed their way into my heart and seem to have settled there as one of my all time favorite couples.
It’s interesting. I was fortunate enough to be able to attend Samantha Shannon’s signing when she was here in PA last week and she mentioned a very intriguing factoid about her series. She intends for each book to have a different tone and feel and to keep readers guessing about where the story could go. Book 1 was very much a jailbreak story. Book 2 is a murder mystery and Book 3 will be a more classic dystopian/revolution story. I love this so much and when she said it it all clicked so much more in my head. Yes! Obviously this is a murder mystery! How did I not see it so plainly? No wonder there is so much time spent uncovering small details and traipsing about London. It’s a whodunnit in the cleverest and most entertaining sense I’ve encountered in genre fiction.
I’m so glad there are five more books still to come. As torturous as the wait can be, it is so satisfying to know I have these magnificent tomes to look forward to every year. When I finished this book I clutched it to my chest and wanted to re-read both volumes immediately. In the hands of such a gifted author as Shannon, it is a treat to disappear into the pages of this darkly alluring world. I cannot wait to revisit it again and again.
Win a Paperback of The Bone Season!
Okay, so there are two things I love: 1. You guys 2.This series. So why not bring you together?! I’m giving away a copy of The Bone Season because I want you to love this series as much as I do!
All you need to do is fill out the Rafflecopter form and leave a thoughtful comment below telling us why you’re specifically excited about reading this book.
Open internationally to those aged 18 and older, or 13 and older with parental permission. Good luck!
Did I convince you to give this wonderful series a try? Can you just not resist the allure of dystopian future-Victorian London? Let us know!