The Bone Season #2
Available January 27th
Source: ARC from publisher for review
THE STORY (from Amazon)
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.
The Mime Order, much like The Bone Season, is a touch overwhelming in the beginning, a deluge of unfamiliar terminology hitting us immediately as we pick up with Paige at the exact moment we left her, and we can't help but struggle to find our footing in the first few chapters (for those who are smarter than me, Samantha has a handy refresher post to help you before you dive in). It's a fair amount of time before we're given an oh-so brief review of Paige's time in Sheol I as she recounts it for two of her friends, and so we spend much of the first hundred or so pages trying to remember the finer details of this world, its vast history, and Paige's role in the middle of all of it. That being said however, Ms. Shannon kicks everything up several notches in the remaining two thirds of this tale, introducing us to the inner workings of the corrupt syndicate and further developing the stunningly layered relationship between Paige and Warden.
The slower pace of the first third can be largely attributed to the fact that Paige, understandably, slides right back into her previous life, the smart, strong, fighter of a girl who refused to be cowed by the Rephaim in Sheol I returned to a quieter young woman who does her Mime Lord's bidding with only a mere grumble to show her dissatisfaction. It's made clear to us how few options Paige has available to her though, and how ultimately the status afforded her as Jaxon's Mollisher will get her a far cry further on the road to change than if she clung tight to her pride went her own way, so her decisions, while difficult to swallow at times, make sense. Once Warden reenters the picture though, Paige's fight returns, his presence sparking the same rebellious fire in her it did before, pushing her to be the strongest and most powerful–physically, emotionally and mentally–version of herself possible.
As was the case with The Bone Season, Paige's relationship with Warden is one of highlights of this second installment. Warden's inhumanity is made clear to us time and again, but it's always beautifully contrasted by quiet moments with Paige; moments that warm the chill created by the cool indifference of his kind. Their path to happiness together is one blocked by every type of barrier imaginable–the two of them separated by a bottomless chasm of differences–but for all the ways they're different, they're also both outcasts and reluctant leaders, struggling to right a world gone so very wrong. They see one another with a stark honesty to which those around them are blind, and though what they have is too jaggedly misshapen (and all the more fascinating for it) to fit in a neatly labeled romantic box, it brings a warm flush to our skin and a smile to our faces nonetheless.
Overall, The Mime Order takes a little while to settle into, the politics of the syndicate and the sheer vastness of a futuristic London keeping us from reengaging with Paige's story the way we'd like, but before long the tide of power among the Mime Lords begins to shift and we can do nothing but hang on for the ride. We're left with a revelation that leaves us with our lips curled up in one corner, part-grimace and part wicked smile as we look forward to what this new piece of information will mean for the events of book three.
This book was sent to me free of charge by the publisher for the purpose of a review.
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.
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BLOG TOUR + GIVEAWAY
As part of the tour, the hugely creative team at Bloomsbury asked us all to send in a picture of ourselves so we could have an aura added to them. For those who haven't read this series, those with certain special clairvoyant abilities are, thanks to Paige's Mime Lord, divided into seven distinct orders. Each order has a specific aura associated with it:
I. Soothsayers – Purple – Require ritual objects called numa to connect with the æther
II. Augurs – Blue – Use organic matter, or elements, to connect with the æther
III. Mediums – Green – Connect with the æther through spiritual possession
IV. Sensors – Yellow – Privy to the æther on a sensory and linguistic level
V. Guardians – Orange – Have a higher degree of control over spirits
VI. Furies – Orange-red – Subject to internal change when connecting with the aether
VII. Jumpers – Red – Able to affect the aether outside their own physical limits
As I'm a HUGE fan of Paige, I went with a red aura to match hers. And since I don't care for pictures of me by myself, I sent Bloomsbury the photo of me and Griffin that I use for all blog-related things. I didn't realize until after they'd sent the image back however that I'd provided them with the smallest picture EVER, so good luck trying to see us. I had to laugh though, teeny tiny Griffin and I with our red and magenta fluffy auras (Griffin is very lion-like, he would approve) just brought a smile to my face:
(Yes, that's seriously the size of the photo I sent them. So sorry, Bloomsbury.)
I'm lucky enough to have a copy of The Mime Order to give away on the blog today, so yay! If you haven't had the chance to start this series yet, I can't recommend it enough:) To enter, please fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Giveaway is open to US addresses only.
Don't forget to check out the remaining stops on the tour!
(click to enlarge)