One of my goals for 2015 is to get back to my roots and read more books. As the great Frederick Douglass said, ‘Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.’ Books are a passion – nay, an obsession of mine and always have been. I grew up in the library and my parents fostered my love of reading and learning. With books I have lived a thousand lives, found myself absorbed in different worlds, and learned immensely more than I could have otherwise. So put up your feet, grab a good paperback and let’s get reading!
“The Mime Order” is the second novel in the seven part series by Samantha Shannon. We left off at the first book, “The Bone Season,” with our heroine Paige Mahoney escaping the penal colony where she was held captive. This book opens right where the first left off, with Paige and crew on the train heading back to the Scion citadel of London. Paige is wounded after leading the uprising and they are all still in danger. Within hours, she is the most hunted outlaw “voyant” in the city, her face on massive screens everywhere one looks. If caught by the Vigiles — clairvoyants used by the State to track their own — she will be imprisoned in the Tower of London, then executed.
For her own protection, Paige is forced to go back into service for Jaxon Hall, mime lord of the Seven Seals gang. He welcomes her back to her old position as mollisher, with promises she will take his place in a few years. She doesn’t quite fit in as she did before due largely to what has learned in her time at the penal colony. A race called the Rephaim created a puppet government in London almost 200 years before she was born. Paige is hunted by their leader Nashira Sargas, but Jaxon refuses to fight them, maintaining his stance that Paige is safe under his care. Jaxon spends much of his time drinking and preparing to take over leadership of the Unnatural Assembly after the last leader is killed. Paige follows his lead, but knows she must not give up her fight- even if that means becoming Underqueen herself.
NPR books sums it all up perfectly: “In The Mime Order [Paige] comes into her own. She forges alliances, fends off poltergeists and monstrous Buzzers, rescues Warden from a secret dungeon in Camden, and risks her life to travel to London’s most notorious slum to find out who assassinated a rival and his gang. She engages in combat with the toughest of the mime lords and mollishers. Even Jaxon. Shannon’s haunting dystopian universe is rich in detail, consistent, suffused with familiar afternotes. Just when the bloodshed seems over the top, she turns to shimmering descriptions of Paige’s dangerously illicit tie to Warden. When Paige seems toughest, Shannon reminds us of her empathy for the downtrodden. “Hope is the lifeblood of revolution,” Shannon writes. “Without it, we are nothing but ash, waiting for the wind to take us.” Like Paige Mahoney, Shannon now has proven staying power. Her fans will be calling for more.”
Click here to see my goals for 2015