Title: The Mime Order
Author: Samantha Shannon
Series: The Bone Season, #2
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Release Date: January 27th 2015
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.
– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com
This review may contain spoilers for previous book(s) in the series.
My Thoughts On…
To say I loved the first book of the series feels like a massive understatement, the very second I finished I leapt straight into the second book, desperate to find out what was in store for Paige, Warden, and the other clairvoyants; especially after the way The Bone Season ended.
Paige is struggling to adjust to life back in London after everything she experienced in Sheol I. Being there opened her eyes in more ways than one and she can no longer go back to being Jaxon’s obedient mollisher knowing what she knows. She spends her days and nights hidden in a doss-house, moving every week or so to stay one step ahead of Scion, Nashira, and even Jaxon. After experiencing his brutality and cruelty first-hand, and seeing his disregard for the clairvoyant community outside of his syndicate, Paige doesn’t want to go back to work for him.
She saw terrible things in Sheol I and she knows that if she sits back and does nothing then nothing will ever change. Eventually Nashira’s Rephaim will re-group and steal more clairvoyants from the street, but this time there will be no Warden to help them, no rebellion to fight for their freedom. She wants to reveal to the mime-order the truth about the Rephaim but without a mime-lord backing her she has no hope of getting her story out there; and when Paige keeps refusing to come back to him Jaxon starts cutting his ties with her.
However when Scion release Paige’s image, branding her as a terrorist, it puts her on the whole of London’s watch list and forces her to go back to Jaxon for protection. There Paige realises all she has done is swap the tyranny of Nashira’s rule for the iron-control Jaxon exerts over his syndicate.
Jaxon doesn’t plan to do anything about the things he saw when the Seven Seals rescued Paige from Sheol I and Paige cannot let that stand. Right now Nashira’s Rephaim are weak after Paige and Warden’s rebellion. If the syndicate rise up against them Paige knows they could cut a swath through the Rephaim and the Scion, or at the very least they could warn the other clairvoyants about what is actually out there so they are prepared when the Rephaim come hunting. But under Haymarket Hector’s leadership the syndicate is nothing more than a den of thieves
As the Scarred Ones crawl out of the shadows Paige realises that Warden is in danger, lost somewhere in London. But Paige has bigger problems to face, when Hector is brutally murdered and Paige is the one who finds his body, the one who is marked by his poltergeist as the possible murderer, it sends the whole of the mime-order into chaos. Jaxon uses the mark left on Paige’s hand against her, blackmailing her to keep her in line but she goes behind his back anyways working with the Scarred Ones to bring down Nashira’s Rephaim.
Paige has changed from her time in Sheol I with Warden. She has grown up so much from the scared girl hiding in her father’s place, relying on Jaxon to save her. She refuses to hide behind him now, refuses to run back to him until she has no other choice. She forges her own path and though it is a monumental task she takes it one step at a time determined to do everything she possibly can to take down Nashira and keep the other Clairvoyants safe.
She feels responsible for the other clairvoyants who escaped from Sheol I with her. So many were lost in the journey but those who survive are in hiding, and Paige is the only person with the connections to actually make a difference.
Jaxon is a complicated character. He was there for Paige when she first discovered her Dreamwalker ability; he protected her and taught her when no one else could. In The Bone Season she seemed to view Jaxon through rose-tinted glasses but Sheol I opened her eyes and in The Mime Order she starts to see him for who he really is. Jaxon is cold and cruel to people outside his syndicate, and even those within he would buy and sell if it suited him. He craves power above all else; surrounding himself with the most powerful clairvoyants and entering the scrimmage to become the mime-orders overlord.
Though Warden and the Scarred Ones who helped with the uprising against Nashira don’t appear until about halfway through The Mime Order Paige isn’t on her own. She relies a lot on Nick Nygård to help her. Unlike the other Seven Seals he saw one of the Emim in Sheol I and knows a little of what Paige was fighting against while living there all those months. Paige and Nick are best friends and he believes, like her, that things are not working they way they are right now. He backs every one of her plans and offers her support when she has no one else to turn to.
When they were in Sheol I the relationship between Warden and Paige was very one-sided; Warden had all the power and Paige had none, forced to rely on him for everything. With Paige back in London I felt that gave her more of an equal standing with Warden; she is the one who rescues him, this time, from the London Catacombs and who is there for him to lean on when he needs help. In London Paige is the one with the power over Warden and like he did in Sheol I she helps him adjust. With Warden and the Scarred Ones backing her Paige feels more confident that she has more power to start making the changes she wants to see.
While the first book set up the history of the Rephaim The Mime Order gives us more information on, well, the mime-orders. It was really interesting reading about all these different syndicates that form up part of London, and like in the first book the levels of fear and hatred that surround the clairvoyants is brilliantly written. However there was one thing that bugged me a little. The Mime Order is set in London, an alternate version sure, but there are no catacombs in London, nowhere for Warden to have been kept when he was held by The Rag and Bone Man. Everything else was brilliantly done, even though the world was set up well in the first book it isn’t skimped on in the second.
I binge read the first two books in this series. Now I am stuck with an agonising, no exaggeration there after the way The Mime Order ended, wait for the third book which isn’t released until the end of next year.
What did you think of The Mime Order? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.