The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon

The Mime Order continues the story of Paige Mahoney picking up immediately where the Bone Season left off with Paige and others making a daring escape from Sheol I – a brutal prison camp where those people known as voyants are taken and treated as slaves.  (Bone Season review here).

Be warned – this is the second in series and as such this review may contain spoilers.

The escape from Sheol I doesn’t go completely smoothly and the rag tag bunch of escapees are forced to separate and seek cover.  Scion, of course, are pulling out all the stops to find the fugitives and Paige quickly heads up to the top of the most wanted list!

To be honest I probably enjoyed this book more than the Bone Season.  I really liked the setting and appreciated the opportunity to find out a little more about the psychics and their capabilities, which on reflection I don’t think was fully explored in the first novel or maybe just not explained well enough.  To be honest this is a fairly extensive area and I admit that there is a lot to pick up and run with but I felt that this area was better developed in this instalment.  We also have a little more back story on the Rephaim which was interesting and gives a little more idea about why they’re so split!

The Mime Order gives us a very detailed exploration into the shady underground world that the psychics inhabit.  This is  dark and seedy, filled with desperate characters and plenty of deception.  A good deal of the story centres around the politics between the different gangs, particularly the dynamics between a Mime Lord and a Mollisher, how the different gangs interact and the whys and wherefores of selecting a new Mime King or Queen (or overlord).

On the face of it, and boiled down to a few short words – the plot isn’t massive or sweeping in scope.  The escapees are trying to survive, avoid recapture and warn the rest of their community of the impending danger that looms.  Not easy in a world where not only is everything not always what it seems but people are more often than not duplicitous.  The task is also not made easy due to the general ambivalence or lack of interest of the inhabitants of the underground to anything other than the goings on within their own realm.

This is quite a weighty novel to be sure  and I guess you could be forgiven for thinking the pace less than speedy particularly given the actual amount that it moves the story forward but in spite of that I really enjoyed it.  The setting was interesting and the detail provided lends the story a little bit more depth.  The first half does carry a weight of information but this is then alleviated by a much more pacy second half where death and deceit pretty quickly take centre stage.

In terms of criticisms.  Well, personally, and I realise I’m in a minority here, but I’m not enamoured with the romantic side of the story.  It feels a little superfluous at this point and is one of my bones of contention at the moment where it seems to have become par for the course that a story must have some sort of romance.  That being said this instalment barely touches upon that element of the story and whilst that may be a disappointment to some I found it a bonus.  I also can’t deny that, whilst appreciating the inclusion of more detail, the number of psychic distinctions is a little bit overwhelming to grasp.

In terms of the characters.  In the Bone Season I felt that Paige definitely came across as a flawed character and this continues in the Mime Lord.  I do like her but I don’t love the character and surprisingly the character I really enjoyed reading here was Jaxon, Paige’s Mimelord.  Don’t get me wrong – he’s not a lovable character at all but he has a deliciously wicked streak that puts me in mind of a Dickensian type villain.  In fact the underground, the gangs, and the slum like setting all had the feeling of something straight out of a Dickens novel and, as the central theme of the book seems to revolve around Jaxon and Paige this definitely made the book a good deal more enjoyable.

There’s a lot of sneaking around and tension filled moments – not least as we near the conclusion and Jaxon and Paige reveal their true intentions!

I really enjoyed the Mime Order, it’s a perfect setup for the next in series and I look forward to reading that when it becomes available.

I’d like to thank the publishers for approving me for a copy of this through Netgalley.  The above is my own opinion.

16 Responses to “The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon”

  1. Tammy

    I wasn’t a huge fan of The Bone Season, so I’m not sure if I’ll continue this series, although I am interested to see if I like The Mime Order better. I know lots of bloggers love this series, not sure why I don’t.

    • lynnsbooks

      I definitely prefered The Mime Order – I think it was the squalid and dark Victorian setting! It is a very lengthy book though, particularly given how far the plot actually moves forward!
      Lynn 😀

  2. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    Oh, I’m more excited to read this now! It already sounds better than The Bone Season. Like Tammy I read the first book and wasn’t sure if I wanted to continue, though I probably enjoyed it more than she did (3-3.5 stars, if I recall). Now I’m definitely going to check it out.

    • lynnsbooks

      I actually preferred this one. I enjoyed the setting more and the romance part was reduced! I think some people have been disappointed that there wasn’t more on the romance angle and a few found it slow to start. I can see that the first half is definitely slower and maybe that could have been reduced slightly but I didn’t find it at all difficult to read.
      Lynn 😀

  3. Steph

    I loved this. I’m is strong agreement that the romance was the weakest part of The Boone Season and was glad it was a small part off this book. Jaxon I love. He is the perfect example of a villain you can sympathize with and love. He has charisma. How about that ending?!

  4. romeorites

    I like the sound of this one. Will have to read Bone Season first though. 🙂

    • lynnsbooks

      Apparently there are 7 books in this series in total! It’s a very ambitious tale and I’m interested to see where it goes next.
      Lynn 😀

      • romeorites

        Ooh! A nice lot to get your teeth stuck into.

      • lynnsbooks

        Yeah, they’re both quite large books as well – I’m assuming the rest will be so as well.
        I am looking forward to seeing where it all goes.
        Lynn 😀

  5. Molly Mortensen

    It’s great when a sequel can surpass the first book. I wasn’t too enthused about this one, but I like the sounds of the psychics. I agree, ometimes a book just doesn’t need a romance. I love an interesting villain like character too. I think I have to add this series now. 🙂 Nice review.

    • lynnsbooks

      Well, I can’t deny it’s a very lengthy series! 7 books and all fairly chunky – thought I’d just throw that out there!!
      I definitely liked the second more than the first, but some people were disappointed at the lack of romance and the weighty feel – I didn’t mind either of those things though.
      Lynn 😀

  6. Tabitha (Not Yet Read)

    I guess I must get around to reading the first book then sometime this year. I had just heard such conflicting things some loves and some hated seems it went either one way or the other.

    • lynnsbooks

      I liked the second better but that was more for the setting which has this really grubby Victorian slum feel. I think there was mixed reviews for the first and even some for the second. Some people feel the romance isn’t strong enough – and yet I actually quite like that it’s more in the background, and some find it overly long – the first half is undoubtedly slower paced and then it kind of takes off.
      Lynn 😀

  7. Tabitha (Not Yet Read)

    yeah I always have issues with really slow moving books especially if they are thick you know?

    • lynnsbooks

      Yeah, so this series might not be for you – the second half of both books increases the pacing but it’s getting through that first 300 pages!! I can see why they’re structured like this because both books have had different settings and for both there’s a hell of a lot of information to get across..
      Lynn 😀

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