The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon
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 absolutely loved the second installment of The Bone Season series, The Mime Order. This novel is set in an alternate London that is both futuristic and pseudo-historical with a hint of steampunk. Shannon takes us into the seedy underworld of the clairvoyants, full of secret alliances, suspicious murders, and threats at every turn. I much prefer this novel to the first one in terms of setting. The world of the Unnnatural Assembly grasped my attention much more than that of the Rephaim.
One of my favorite things about this novel is the character aliases for the mime-lords and the voyants who work for them. The sheer amount of time it took to put this much detail into the novel is astounding. There are maps and lists and flyers and a glossary. I love every bit of it.
This novel focuses mainly on the unrest within the Unnatural Assembly and the world of the voyants. The Rephaim are still a huge part of the story but it is more as a background enemy looming over the charaters as they cope with instability and uncover secrets about the Syndicate that they thought they knew. Paige is extremely affected by her revaltion of the Rephaim’s existence and throughout the novel tries to expose them to the rest of the voyants, but she is not in a position that would let her do so. When *mild spoilers, i mean it happens pretty early on* the current Underlord is murdered Paige finds herself not only wanted by Scion but under suspicion from the Unnatural Assembly as well. The majority of the novel is her struggle to survive Scion, the Rephaim and the traditional selection of a new Underlord, the scrimmage.
My main problem with the first book was the relationship between Paige and Warden, the Rephaim turned revolutionary who held her as his slave. He did this because it is what was expected in his society and allowed him to use her to aid the rebellion against the majority of the Rephaim. The Mime Order fleshed out his character and included more backstory about the Rephaim and the revolutionary Ranthen that did help in improving my opinion of Warden and Paige being together. But only just. Nick, the closest friend of Paige, put it best: “I’m not going to lecture or patronize you but I want you to remember what he did. Even if he’s changed, even if he never meant to hurt you by keeping you there, and even if he wasn’t the one who captured you in the first place, you have to remember that he used you.” Well put.
- Futuristic/Pseudo-historical and slightly steampunk setting!
- Engaging plotline full of mystery and betrayal
- All the extras!
- And that ending??
The Not So Good
- Had a few pacing issues but once it got rolling it got rolling!
YES YES YES!