BOOK REVIEW: THE MIME ORDER

Rating

8/10

Synopsis

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 of the shadows. Paige must keep moving, from the Seven Dials to Grub Street to the secret catacombs of Camden, until the fate of the underworld can be decided.

Review

As promised, I’ve finished this one two days after I started the first, I’ve been fully swept into the world of Scion’s Republic of England. And I’ve not been able to get a break! Shannon has crafted an excellent world here, full to the brim of clan intrigue, politics, and a hugely original magic system – I won’t go into the world-building again. I touched on my enjoyment of that in my first review and all will add is that it continues in masterful force here. This is a dystopian fantasy in the same realm as the Game of Thrones, The Wheel of Time. But only in the way of how epic, huge and well-crafted the world is. Obviously, Shannon punches her own hole into the genre, one that doesn’t borrow from either of the previously mentioned series.

Paige, the main character, really grew in this book. I cheered for her all the way, wept with her, and didn’t want to leave her – though, I know she can handle herself alone. Quite literally, she broke out of the confines set for her in the first, and developed way past anyone who was trying to stifle, own or suppress her. If the first book was about escaping a horrific, physical prison, this second book was about doing that again, but mentally this time as she grows into the voyant and leader that we always knew she was capable of being. She shows us here that you do not stay silent in the face of suppressors, inaction does nothing; the only way to confront something is actively, and sometimes, violently. There’s a lesson here for us all – one that resonates strongly with current affairs, and one that is handled most deftly.

Now, I didn’t find the setting of this book as horrifying as the last – there was something very, very unsettling about an ‘abandoned’ Oxford, left to the devices of the Rephaim. Something terrifying about this inter-dimensional, god-like, and aura-thirsty race being the captors. They presented an ever-present, inhuman danger that wasn’t there in this book. There was a sense that they’d been overcome – an unknown danger is one that is most horrific. That being said, there was a mystery element to this. A danger that wasn’t quite seen, as well as the ever-impending threat of Scion (Paige has a lot on her plate).

The magic system came to the forefront in this; we got to explore this is combat a lot more, and anyone who knows me knows that I’m a sucker for magical fights. We were even treated to a duel and a tournament of sorts. So, to say this was action-packed, would be an understatement. The battle scenes were clear, but sometimes I felt that characters found chairs to throw, or did things in the battle that contradicted a previous sentence. However, the prose saved it all as it is beautifully written. The overarching story elements took a break here so that we could see Paige grow within herself, which was fantastic, and the promise, finally, of the evil that remains, was most magnificent.

I enjoyed this one thoroughly, loved the focus on the character, and the human element. Which is always more brutal than the supernatural. An evil that wears a human face is always something that gives me the shivers – it is all a bit real. Anyway…off I go to start book three: The Song Rising. I’m determined to finish them all this week – not that I have a choice, they are so damned gripping!

Check this book out:

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