The Mime Order (The Bone Season #2) by Samantha Shannon
Pub. Date: January 27, 2015
Source: ARC via publisher (Thank you, Bloomsbury!!)
Summary: 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.
Genre: Sci-Fi, Dystopia
Recommended for: Die-hard fans of The Bone Season who have a much better memory than I do
Guys. GUYS. When The Bone Season came out in 2013 I was a little skeptical about it being hailed as The Next Harry Potter. However, I read it and fell hard. The world building was phenomenal (MAPS!!), the magic system was impressive, and the author was still in college. No, it wasn’t anything similar to HP apart from having the same publisher and being 7-book series. Instead, The Bone Season was its own separate entity, fully capable of standing on its own and Bloomsbury was right to throw so much time and money into the marketing campaign.
So when The Mime Order arrived at my door I couldn’t wait to tear into it (gently though, since the ARC was wrapped in a beautiful map – OMG the maps in this book). It kills me, absolutely breaks my heart to say that this book doesn’t hold a candle to the first and bored me to the point where I couldn’t finish.
Thank God for the Recaptains’ recap because The Mime Order takes place immediately after The Bone Season ended and Samantha Shannon doesn’t bother to get anyone up to speed. The first thing you need to know about these books is that they’re big ol’ doorstops of novels. Not only that, but there was over a year in between these two AND this world is extremely complex complete with its own language. A quick little “previously on..” or Paige/some other character summarizing What Went Down would have helped immensely.
Can book two of seven suffer from Second Book/Middle Book Syndrome? I guess technically it is the second book. So much happened in The Bone Season and I just didn’t get that here. Paige made it out alive and I felt that for 200 pages (until I finally admitted defeat and set the book down) nothing really happened. Sure, things took place, but not the heart-racing action of the first book. It reached the point where I found myself doing laundry or dishes just so I could walk away from reading. And you know what? That sucks. I LOVED The Bone Season so much and was completely, absolutely, 100% excited for another big, sweeping series to get into. The Mime Order utterly failed.
Normally I’ll give books 50 or so pages before calling it quits. I have no shame at all in abandoning books, but I wanted so badly for things to get better. I wanted The Mime Order to build up speed and so I held out hope and kept reading…for over 200 pages. Usually by page 200, things are already winding down in other novels. Here, however, I was barely halfway in and so I kept going, kept pressing myself to continue. Even now I still want to know what happens (Warden!) and someday I might give this one another shot because I’m not yet ready to call it quits with this series. The Bone Season was an excellent start to this series and it’s a shame The Mime Order didn’t have the same punch. I ended up stopping 44% of the way through.