The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon Review











I. AM. BACK!!!! After having a tumultuous school year, I have finally finished! As such, I am working on all of the books I have read but yet to review. I will begin with the Mime Order, which I received as an ARC on Netgalley.

The exciting second installment in the Bone Season series, The Mime Order, starts exactly where The Bone Season left off.  All of those that managed to escape, along with the Seven Seals, are on a train headed back to the city, directly towards Archon.  While the beginning of the novel is high paced, it slows down after the initial chapters.  The allowed the reader to see the true impact Sheol had on Paige.  Being in the colony left not only damage to her dreamscape, but psychological damage akin to PTSD as well.  That is what the first quarter or so of the novel truly dealt with: Paige rebuilding her life, and herself, in London again.  She eventually returns to her job as mollisher, however reluctantly.  At nearing the halfway mark is when the action really picks up.  The Rephiam (of course) make a reappearance.  Mass murders, sabotage, and subterfuge ensue.  An event entitled the Scrimmage/Rose Ring gives the reader something new to grasp on to.  Shannon managed to weave an intricate tale that delves deep into the crevices of human emotions and the darker side of humanity, while balancing it with a delicate hope.

Characters

Paige 

Paige may be one of my favorite heroines in young adult literature.    At 19, she is slightly older than the average protagonist.  It helps with the narration of the book.  So instead of pretending she’s vastly mature, she is just acting her age.  It was a refreshing change.  She goes through a lot in this novel.  It is apparent in how she has evolved from the beginning of the Bone Season.  She still has her tough girl attitude, but it’s been toned down from her initial cockiness at the beginning of the series.  Now she understands her skills as well as her limits.  She’s beginning to be aware of her flaws.  I love how her character has changed and adapted.  She is dynamic, and truly has grown.  

Warden 

The following is my love letter to that spectacular man (creature) named Warden:
Acturus, Acturus, Acturus.  What can I say about you?  The more we (the readers) learn about your character, the more questions we have.  Primarily, what did Nashira do to you all of those years you were engaged to damage you badly enough to change your perception of yourself.  You, my poor broken Rephiam, become more human in my eyes with each interaction with Paige.  You long, you hurt, and you love.  Your character, albeit complex, is overwhelmingly good.  You do what is necessary for not just yourself, not only the Rephiam, but for the humans as well.  While you may not have had as much page time as I would have liked, I forgive you due to how amazing those pages were.  For these reasons Acturus Mesarthim, I love you (I think). 

Jaxon 

We get to see and learn infinitely more about Jaxon in this novel.  About his past (as told by him), and about his present personality.  How he is not the benevolent benefactor of the first novel, but in actuality a power hungry man with control issues.  He must have the final say, and must always be in control of every aspect of his followers’ lives, particularly the Seven Seals.  I will say I did not actually see the final twist regarding his life, though. 

Nashira

Can you just die already?

Romance 

This novel, actually the series thus far, is not very romance centric.  It is there, it is part of the plot, but it is not the crucial ingredient within.  Majority of the Mime Order went without the appearance of Warden.  I was fine with that.  I prefer to have romance as a subplot, not the main one.  In this case, I got just enough to make me happy.  Granted, I would love to see more of Warden in the upcoming novels, but not if it takes away from Paige being awesome. 

Spoiler 

The two of them have amazing chemistry together.  It smolders on the page.  Whether it is a simple look or touch, as the reader you can sense the spark of electricity.  The two of their feelings for each other is, in essence, incredibly simple.  


However, the world outside is the problem.  From the prejudices of the Rephiam to the hatred from the humans, it is a constant uphill battle and struggle to deal with that mixed with their feelings.  It comes across several times (such as the dance/fighting scene) where they did not succumb to how they felt due to outside influences.  They (particularly Warden) allowed the thoughts of the people keep them from love and happiness.  


But finally. FINALLY! He gives in.  He understands (as does Paige) that the outside influences will always be there, but that should not reflect his feelings and interactions with her.  


The hot and steamy make out scene that I’ve been craving finally arrives! It was glorious and amazing, but I really wanted them to have sex.  



Mainly just to see what Rephiam sex is like, but also because I want that bit of happiness for those two.  Although I am now curious.  Could they have a hybrid baby? A little Rephiam/human mix love child.  However, it was a sweet and sexy scene between the two culminating with them sleeping together (but not SLEEPING sleeping together).  I’m obsessed with this quote from that scene, “With Warden it was like having two heartbeats rather than half a one,” (p. 416).  


It really shows the level of caring on Paige’s part.  It helps add to her character, showing she can be vulnerable instead of constant badass.  Warden also says a marvelous quote about when a Rephiam falls in love, they stay in love for eternity.  It was beautiful and also heart breaking, considering the differences in their life spans. 

Thoughts 

Can I say, once again, that I adore this series? Because I truly do.  Mime Order was one hell of a roller coaster for my emotions.  While it does have the pacing issue involved in the Bone Season, it’s because of the massive amount of world building.  So I forgive the slow build.  Primarily because the explosion that is the last half/last quarter of the novel.  Shannon packed more into that area than most authors can put in an entire novel.  It was amazing, and I give her props for that.

I also love that Shannon addressed Paige having Stockholm Syndrome.  I never truly felt that she did, because she never excused his actions.  She understood them, but did not make excuses to validate Warden’s choices.  I feel this quote sums up what Shannon was trying to build between the two, and also how I felt their relationship dynamic was truly like. “That the mental strain of captivity had forced me to develop an irrational degree of empathy towards Warden…But Warden cared if I laughed. He cared if I lived or died. He had seen me as I was not as the world saw me. And that meant something.” 

Spoilers ahead, again. 

That ending scene!  I must say, it took a second read through to honestly catch that giant ass bomb dropped on us as readers.  Primarily because I didn’t want to believe I was right on the first read through.  


Jaxon has lied the entire bloody series!  He was the damn escapee from Sheol! 


I am assuming he was the one to rat on the rebellion, because well, I really am hoping he becomes villainous completely in the later novels.  


Regardless, a lot makes sense now with his actions regarding Paige and the escape.  I had a heart attack, and honestly sat in shock for a few minutes when it truly registered with me.  That was a huge twist.  I always thought he was skeevy but this is beyond what I could even guess.  I give it to Shannon for throwing that in there.  


However, it does make me even more curious as to who Rag and Bone man is.

Final

Overall, this book was not a disappointment.  It avoided the sequel slump.  And it lived up to my (albeit lofty) expectations. 4 Stars!


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