Review: The Mime Order

I’ve written before about my life for The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon, so it should be no surprise that I’m following up with a review of the second book in the series, The Mime Order. In the next installment of the series, Shannon takes us into SciLo and the world of Paige Mahoney once again.

Via Goodreads:

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 am giving The Mime Order a resounding five out of five stars.

Everything that I loved about The Bone Season is back in play with The Mime Order. Samantha Shannon’s writing is phenomenal – complex, colorful, and poignant without being too sentimental. She balances introspection and action beautifully. She paints fights in a way that I don’t find boring. This is a tremendous achievement. Need proof of Samantha Shannon’s brilliance? I’ll just point to a message I received from Alexandra Patterson, Librarian Extraordinaire:

In researching [The Bone Season} I found the coolest thing…The seven seals are from revelation…4 are the horsemen of the apocalypse, 1 releases the cries of martyrs, 1 prompts earthquakes, 1 cues ANGELIC trumpeters. Sheol is the Hebrew word for hell…The language the Rephaim speak is known as glossolalia (the language of angels).

That level of depth and intricate detail in writing is rare among even among popular writers who are publishing today.

On another note, The Mime Order is completely different from The Bone Season. It takes the narrative in another direction, and poses questions about loyalty and truth that resonate on both superficial and deep levels. We begin to understand the deep divides and issues of inequity even among the Syndicate, and learn that not everything is as it seems.

Next, there is the Warden storyline. At the end of The Bone Season, we are hanging on the edge of a cliff waiting to see what will happen with his narrative; in The Mime Order, Shannon satiates us…a bit. Unfortunately I can’t say more without spoiling the book for potential readers, but suffice it to say that The Mime Order piqued my interest, and I can’t wait to see where this goes next.

When I shared my review of The Bone Season I mentioned how accessible it was – I would go so far as to say that The Mime Order is even more accessible. Shannon is writing about human politics in a familiar city, and about issues that are relatable for her readers. Furthermore, she has to dedicate less time familiarizing her readers with the world of Paige Mahoney, so we get to focus on the nitty-gritty of the story.

If you haven’t picked up The Bone Season yet, do so, if only so you can read The Mime Order. I would go so far as to say that the second book is even better than the first.

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