Review: The Mime Order – Samantha Shannon.

Dreamwalker Paige Mahoney has escaped Sheol 1, but now she’s deemed the most wanted fugitive in London. The Mime Order sees Paige battle to survive in a city where all eyes are searching for her, determined to be independent and bring down a regime she has witnessed first hand, while being suppressed by the only protection she has: the Seven Seals.

I’ve been lucky enough to have this sitting on my Kindle for two months, but I put off reading it for two reasons. One, I’m doing a Masters and frankly the deadlines were kicking my ass for a while so I kept a ‘to-read’ pile of books I wanted to save for when I was done, a little relaxing celebration of sorts. Secondly, I loved The Bone Season a ridiculous amount, and wanted to put off reading the sequel in case it didn’t quite live up to expectations.

I kick myself for that opinion now, because I’ve spent the whole day audibly ‘oohing’, ‘aahing’ and, inevitably, ‘oh-my-god-ing’ (it’s a thing) as I couldn’t put it down.

The Mime Order doesn’t leap ahead from the finale of its predecessor, in fact the story picks up literally on the train journey we left them with. And it sets the pacing of the whole book: so much happens but it’s treated with a craft of actually building it up. Nothing just happens and they move on, the scene is set, characters involved, it’s always a full picture, even in pitch darkness.

Paige remains a stellar protagonist: like I said after reading The Bone Season, she is strong, powerful, smart, but she has so many more sides to her. She’s in touch with her emotions, she feels for other people, she’s not a mindless killer; she’s flawed, she still acts in haste and sometimes irrationally, but she’s unapologetic in being herself and following the cause she believes in, she’s human.

And, the cause she’s fighting is one that really seals the book’s draw. Time and time again a heroine calls for revolution, and people follow; there’s hurdles, but the cause is immediately just. Paige faces suppression: she’s top of the wanted list, conspired against and silenced and has to return to being a lackey just to maintain protection.

More so, it has these little nuances to the plot with undertones that make you smile: the written word is important, powerful, it can change things. The idea that while a corrupt society is falling apart, someone could turn to the power of storytelling is one of those little oddities that’s just simply nice.

Why I like Samantha Shannon’s series is that she’s created her own little world in a known entity. She talks of streets in London, though I don’t live there, I’ve been there; Camden market is a key part of their world, masquerading as something unknown to many. And within that is a cast of well crafted characters, none really bowing to clichés. This may cause you to violently will things to happen in the plot and overreact if they do happen to occur about 80% in, but that’s kind of the point. I read a lot of books, but it’s rare I’m so invested in the moving along of the plot.

I won’t mention the Warden. After the last book, I feel I could double the length of this ramble by touching on it. But, I will say: well handled.

If you haven’t yet, go read The Bone Season, then go read this when it comes out, because already, mere minutes after finishing it, it’s a fair bet that the third book in the series is going to be absolutely crazy.

I kind of loved it. Can you tell?

27th Jan 2015| Bloomsbury

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