The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon
Published: January 27th, 2015 (Bloomsbury)
Age group: Adult with crossover appeal
Source: borrowed ARC (Thanks Debby ♥)
Series: The Bone Season, #2
Buy the book: Bookdepository
Note: this is not the first book in a series, and can therefore contain (minor) spoilers for the previous book(s) in the series. Reading of this review is at your own risk.
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 honestly don't really know where to start with this review. After reading The Bone Season, reading The Mime Order was a no-brainer. How the hell was I supposed to leave at that point? And now this? I mean, really, Samantha? WHY MUST YOU TORTURE US SO. Where the first book had a lot of infodumping because of the worldbuilding, you get sucked in straight away with its sequel. Be ready to be blown away.
I loved how Shannon continued on her worldbuilding. The setting was created in The Bone Season, but she really took it to another level with this book. You immediately immerse yourself in the world, the characters and just overal the story. The plot is a slow one, but it's so exquisitely written that you can't help but flip the pages. Gods, it was amazing. Every time I flipped a page I had no idea what was coming. It's one of the few books that made me start thinking about complot theories: what was happening? Who did it? What's next? Usually, I prefer to just go along with the story (even though I know perfectly fine what I want to happen) but with this one I was wondering who was responsible and if I added this and this and that, it would mean they were responsible but then.. Gods, I loved it.
Can we just take a moment to appreciate all of the characters? They really come alive. I especially admired Jaxon's sassiness. It was brilliantly written and I felt like I was actually LOOKING AT JAXON while reading. Everything was so vivid in my mind, it was kind of like watching a movie. And not only with Jaxon, mind you. I loved the scenes with Paige and Warden because their chemistry is awesome. I loved how all the characters interacted with eachother and I loved all their personality quirks.
BUT THE PLOT Y'ALL! I mean, holy smokes. FANTASTIC. It was so awesome I felt I had to use CAPSLOCK to convince you how brilliant it is. It's slow building, kind of like when you are on a roller coaster ride and the first bit of the ride is when the carts get pulled up to the high point of the ride. It's slow, you're basically waiting to be catapulted down the tracks, but still you continue, working your way up. Then you reach the highest point and slowly all the carts rattle over that point and you race down at the speed of light and basically that's what The Mime Order felt like for me. Because when I was finished with reading the last page, I literally sat there, pointing at the book, saying "I.. What?" "What is even?" and more "I.. what?!" (ask my book club friends, they were there). For emphasis, I shook the book while pointing at it, you know, so they knew what I was talking about. I was quite literally speechless. Lost for words. I mean, I lost the ability to even.
To sort of sum things up: everything is so complex and so carefully woven together, it really is an amazing fantasy series. To be honest, I feel kind of like an addict going through withdrawal with that cliffhanger ending.
Yes, this review is a mess. I regret nothing. Just read it, you'll seee.