In the internationally bestselling The Bone Season, Paige Mahoney escaped the brutal penal colony of Sheol I, but now 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 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. Will Paige know who to trust? The hunt for the dreamwalker is on.
The Mime Order has been one of my most anticipated book releases of 2015 and Samantha Shannon did not disappoint. The first book, The Bone Season, introduced us to Paige Mahoney – a young clairvoyant who discovered the truth about Scion, the governing body currently ruling over England. Scion is working with the Rephaim (an alien race with magical powers) to control the population and using the clairvoyants for their own nefarious purposes. After being captured and forced into a brutal prison camp and then escaping with the help of some fairly unlikely allies, Paige has returned to London and is determined to reveal the truth about Scion and the Rephaim.
Where as the first book was all about introducing the ideas of Scion, Rephaim and Voyants within the confines of Sheol I, The Mime Order is more about the world at large. The Rephaim’s grasp reaches far with London being their first stop on a long tour of world domination. Paige has to deal with being back in London and decide what she’s going to do now. Her old job as mollisher for Jaxon Hall is still available and he’s willing to welcome her back with somewhat open arms but Paige isn’t the same person she was before Sheol I.
Whilst I enjoyed Shannon’s world building within Sheol I, I loved how she explored Scion’s London. Set in the future yet full of old world charm, life for voyants (unnaturals) and regular humans alike in the city is vividly tangible. There is plenty of deliciously devious underworld goings on with the black market and protection rackets alive and well. Crime lords and ladies all vying for ultimate power whilst Scion tightens their clutches on society. It’s criminally delightful. There are a lot of great new characters introduced and some old ones making an appearance too.
But the highlight of this book is Paige. She’s grown a lot in the six months since the Bone Season started and it shows. Not wanting to be pushed around anymore by Scion, Paige wants the world to know the truth – about the Rephaim, Sheol and just how dangerous they are. And what makes it even better is that just because Paige has been though something life changing – her London life is still the same. She’s still the Pale Dreamer, Mollisher of I-IV. Watching Paige trying to do what she felt was right whilst at the same time being under the thumb of the organization she tied herself to was written perfectly.
At slightly over 500 pages, The Mime Order is long but due to the action, drama and brilliant world building and character development – the pages just flew by. There are twists and turns I didn’t see coming yet felt perfectly in keeping with the story. This book took everything laid out in book one and built on it fantastically. Already after only two books I can tell that this is a series which is only going to get better and better with each book
If you enjoyed The Bone Season – you’re going to love The Mime Order. There is all the excitement and intrigue of the first book and so much more. I can’t wait to see what Samantha Shannon comes up with next for Paige, the Rephaim and all Unnaturals everywhere.
Many thanks to Bloomsbury Australia for the review copy.