I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!! This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon
Series: The Bone Season #2
Published by Bloomsbury on January 27th, 2015
Genres: Adult, Dystopia, Fantasy, Paranormal, Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy
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.
It’s important to note that I’m sitting down to write my review of The Mime Order roughly three weeks after finishing the book. The reason for this is quite simply that I was stunned, speechless, and didn’t know how I could possibly convey in words just how amazing this book (and this series) is. How do you do epic perfection justice?? HOWW???? HELP ME, BENNYKINS.
OKAY THANK YOU.
In the interest of full disclosure, I have met Samantha Shannon and we are Twitter friends. Seriously, she’s a super awesome, amazing, generous person, but I don’t feel like that should invalidate my opinion that I think she’s a truly brilliant writer. I was already impressed with her skill in The Bone Season, but The Mime Order blew me away. From page one, I was sucked into the story, into this wonderfully vivid world that I just can’t get enough of, and it never let me go. I don’t know what it is, but something about her writing style just captivates me. I could easily lose track of time reading her books, because there’s such beautiful subtleties that I could analyze forever. Plenty of post-its found their way into my ARC, and I already want to go back and reread to find even more beautiful passages that I
Quite possibly I literally showered my ARC with kisses. Ahem.
But a lot of my addiction stems from the beautiful, complex world building. I think one of the biggest weaknesses of the first book (or the only one I could find, really) was that the world was so complex that there were a lot of (necessary) infodumps. Now, with the world established, we can sit back and enjoy it. And woah. It’s so richly detailed and immersive. I’ve seldom really had this feeling that an author has transported me to a completely different place, but The Mime Order did it. The settings are expertly detailed – it felt like I was there. The criminal underworld was so interesting with its power dynamics and social conventions. More politics came into play as well, making it even more intriguing! And history played a role, pretty much making this into an brilliantly plotted alternate history! And, of course, there’s the clairvoyance, the Rephaim, and the Netherworld, which I just want to know everything about. Seriously, I can’t get enough of this world. It’s so impressive.
The plot is a very slow build, and some readers may have issues with that. The world building sometimes seems to take dominance over the plot, but that’s because that is Samantha Shannon’s craftsmanship at work. And it is excellent. She sets up the pieces perfectly, illustrating how her society works and what the significance of the plot is, and then in the end she blows you away. Every single scene is purposeful. There’s the obvious moments, with murder, mystery, and scheming, but even the quieter moments are important in the long run. And even if you think it’s slow, it’s worth it to get to the end – which definitely isn’t.
But before that, I need to profess my undying love for these characters. Paige has absolutely stolen my heart. She completely sucks me into her point of view. I marvel at her bravery, I admire how carefully she plots against Jaxon, and I’m constantly impressed by how she balances what is morally right with what is accepted. She has her flaws, which make her even more endearing, because in the sense of “hero” stories, she has greatness thrust upon her. She’s somewhat of a chosen one but a reluctant one. She gradually grows into that role, conquering her weaknesses and accepting responsibility for all the voyants. Seeing everyone else’s inaction motivates her to be the catalyst for change and… I absolutely love that. It’s not a given either that she’s the strongest ever – though arguably her dreamwalker status makes her the strongest voyant, that power has its vulnerabilities as well, and she has to work on it just like everyone else.
And then, of course, there’s Warden. Oh Warden. He’s wonderfully dark and mysterious, of course, but it’s mostly that magical bond between him and Paige that just has me sitting on the edge of my seat any time he’s mentioned. His presence makes me get all heart-eyed, and the chemistry between them is electric. I have no words, really. My ship is spectacular. Romance never takes dominance over the story, but it’s such a wonderful addition and I just cannot get enough. I wish THAT ONE SCENE didn’t fade to black, because vagueness in romance is my enemy, but, well, I could fill in the blanks in my mind – no problem.
OH, NO WORRIES, I DID.
The secondary characters, while clearly in secondary roles, really create a wonderful cast to support the story. I’m always intrigued by Jaxon Hall, although he can be SO GODDAMN FRUSTRATING at times. Paige and Jaxon clearly butt heads a couple times in The Mime Order, which creates an interesting relationship and power dynamic. I can ponder endlessly about his motivations though – he’s such a complex character. Nick is also such a great friend for Paige, and I’m so happy that they are able to be so close in spite of Paige’s old crush on him. Bonus points to Nick’s ship – because not only are they adorable
So. Finally. The ending was absolute stunning perfection. A lot of this book may be slow to some people, but it’s building up to something completely amazing. You want an action-packed battle? The Mime Order delivers. And damn, it was thrilling and vivid, and it brilliantly incorporated physical and mental strength. Paige fights with everything she’s got – and she’s not completely invulnerable, so you best believe I was on the edge of my seat, scared for her. It was a roller-coaster ride, and I couldn’t let go of the book anymore until I’d finally finished it.
But even when you think it’s over, Samantha Shannon has one last twist up her sleeve. It’s not exactly a cliffhanger, but it’s the perfect kind of ending. One last reveal to send you reeling. I actually sat there, jaw dropped, just staring at the last sentences for a while. In the following days, I kept thinking about it – what a game changer it is and what it meant for the series. It gave me chills. I know Samantha had to rewrite that ending about 8 times, but I can say with full certainty that SHE FUCKING NAILED IT. The extra wait was worth it. Perfection. Absolute perfection. Can I have book 3 now please? asdfjkl;asdjfkl;asdjfkl;
I hope I even somewhat did this book justice and have convinced you guys to definitely put it on your to-read lists. If you’re a fan of complex world building, excellent characters that get you rooting for them, and wonderfully vivid writing, you won’t regret it.
GIF it to me straight!Dear Samantha,
Recommended To:My mind says fans of Libba Bray, Laini Taylor, and/or any kind of complex, dark fantasy;
my heart says EVERYONEEEEEEE.
Blog Tour Bonus:I’m super excited to be a part of the blog tour, and that I get to offer you this exciting bonus: a page from A Voyant’s Guide to the Scion Citadel of London!
Some very !!!!! things happen in Jacob’s Island, so I love getting this extra background on the creeptastic place. Be sure to catch the other pages on the other stops of the blog tour:
Because I adore this book and this author to pieces (and I want to shove this book in all your faces), I’m giving away a hardcover copy of The Mime Order OR The Bone Season (if you haven’t started the series yet). Make sure to read all the rules below and then ENTER ENTER ENTER.
- You must fill in the Rafflecopter below to enter.
- This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL! (So long as The Book Depository ships to you.)
- You must be 18 years of age or older to enter, or 13+ years old with parental permission.
- Any entrants who are found to be gaming the system will be disqualified.
- The giveaway runs until February 8th, at 11:59 p.m. EST.
- When the contest ends, the winner will be announced here and emailed. The winner will have 72 hours to respond, before another winner is picked.
- I am not responsible for items lost or damaged in the mail.