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 centre stage, but there are bitter fault lines running through the clairvoyant community and dark secrets around every corner.
The 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." (synopsis and picture from (x)
From the get-go I knew this book would take a different direction to the first one - in fact this seems to be Shannon's favourite thing to do: change the direction of the whole story at the very end. But it worked, and I really liked it.
Paige has escaped Sheol I. Her, along with a small number of other clairvoyants have made it back to London. But things don't go back to normal. No, instead Scion puts every effort into ensuring Paige is found. And she herself can't go back to the normality of the gangs. People need to be warned about the Rephaim. And she's the only one who can do anything about it.
Like I mentioned before, I didn't really know where this book would go. It worried me initially, but I think Shannon successfully pulled off progression of both the story, and the characters.
This is seen primarily in Paige herself. After spending time in the harsh conditions of Sheol I, she doesn't know how she fits back into the general scheme of things. Instead of becoming a wallflower and passive, she really comes into her own. She is a character that shouldn't be reckoned with. While she has a few stumbles along the way, she knows what's right and pushes herself to ensure it remains that way. I love Paige as a main character. In this book, we see a new side to her - a more ruthless side. It's fantastic.
The dynamics of Paige's relationship with Warden also change. In the first book, there is a clear line they shouldn't cross. In The Mime Order, that's not necessarily a thing anymore. The tension is at an all time high. I won't lie, there was a few moments of furious blushing on my part.
Shannon also did a wonderful job at rebuilding the world of Scion London. Unfortunately, we don't see a lot of it in the first book. As a result, the author has to remind us what it's all about, and then develop it more. She does a fantastic job at it. The descriptions of London are vivid and the little details she brings to the city make it all the more realistic.
The writing has also improved. My reservations from the first book have disappeared in this one. I really liked and appreciated it.
My only problem with The Mime Order is the pacing. For the most part, it's good. There is a little bit of inconsistency though. Understandably, the novel takes a while to gain momentum. New settings always do this. Once it does, however, it's like nothing can stop it. I felt compelled to continue reading.
This book is a bit of an oddball because it feels like not a lot happens, but a lot actually does. It's just not of the action-battle variety. Instead, it's quiet and creeps up on you. It's incredible because the author has all these little threads of side-plots that you don't think much of, but Shannon then turns around and makes it into a much bigger, more important thing later on. It's fantastic.
Overall, a great follow-up to The Bone Season. If you weren't sure about continuing the series, I think this book is proof that a lot is going to happen, and you really should. I'm very happily going to go along for the ride. 4 stars.
Rating: **** (4 stars)
Publisher: Bloomsbury Australia
Publication Date: 27th January 2015
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Thank you to NetGalley and Bloomsbury providing me with an e-ARC.
This review will also appear on Book Nerd Reviews