reviews of fancy books require a fancy name. And since the second installment of Samantha Shannon’s „The Bone Season“ series, „The Mime Order“, is a book of many fancy and poetic words, the following review is brought to you under the name of „A Small Survey Through The Language of Samantha Shannon’s ‚The Mime Order‘„ (Not quite yet published by the Grub Street) 😀
It contains no spoilers, but it will focus alot on language and style, so be warned! 🙂
If you haven’t read The Bone Season or The Mime Order you can also click >here< for some basic information concerning the series I shared a few months back on the blog.
Now, if you’re ready, I’m ready – it’s time to return to the syndicate of London!
On the 27th of January 2015, the second book in Samantha Shannon’s „The Bone Season“ series was released and man, did I crave that book! The first one blew me away on a multi layered level I only began to grasp a few days after I finished the book back in the summer of 2014. The reason it took me so long to actually read „The Mime Order“? Well, probably because waiting for the next installment in this series is particulary hard, especially after the end of this one…
But let’s start from scratch – with some basic information about the book:
Title: The Mime Order
Author: Samantha Shannon
Series: Bone Season #2
Published: 27th of January 2015
Pages: 501 + extras
First of all: I start to see a pattern with me and Samantha Shannon books: it takes me a while to adjust to the style and how the plot works, but the moment everything clicks into place I can’t put the book down – much like when reading Locke Lamora. So it is no surprise that it took me a while with the second book, too. But once that part was conquered, this book unfolded in something so beautiful and so unique, that I liked it even more than „The Bone Season“. And yes, a tall man with glowing eyes might be a reason for that, too…
Without spoiling anything plot-wise, I can share that the book picks up where „The Bone Season“ left and takes us back to underground London, the syndicate. We see much more of it than in „The Bone Season“ and we also learn that it is eating away on itself from the very core. Political masterplay and aggression is on the agenda of everyday in Scion, and not only between Mimelords and -queens.
But a fast paced and well structured plot is not yet the real strength of this book: it is Samantha Shannon’s style and the poetic language she gives their most iconic characters. Not only Jaxon and Warden – one with an almost Barden-like poetic everyday language, the other creating a complete contrast of that poetry by finding his way through a second language with utter care – but the whole book brims with a stylistic expertise that made me weep. (Not quite literally, but my brain was happy nevertheless)
„And words, my walker – well, words are everything. Words give wings even to those who have been stamped upon, broken beyond all hope of repair.“
– „The Mime Order“, p. 98
This kind of poetic language heightens the amount of attention you have to pay during the process of reading a book and together with the polit-thriller-dystopian-fantasy character of the book – and that’s just a bunch of things you can find in this book, don’t get me started on the romance! – and the complexity of the Scion society, it is not always easy to follow the book. Sometimes I feel like Samantha Shannon is a bit like the Matyred Muse, possessed by the spirit of Scion London, struggling to keep up with the speed of the story evolving – and I mean that in the most positive way there is! It is beautiful and unique, yet it is the only object of my criticism: sometimes I feel a bit left behind by it, like I can’t keep up with the syndicate and their residents. Part of it surely serves as a device to hide major plottwists in chaos, part of me got me a bit nervous – but then again, „The Mime Order“ is not a book that can be truly understood and cherished in one read-through (only).
Apart from the magic of words and language, the book had many other positive sides, for example the gender equality woven into the syndicate’s system, little jokes and sarcasm where you wouldn’t expect them, the aura-moves-before-the-body-part – I’m highly intrigued on that topic, because does it imply that there are more that conscious coordinated movements, at least in Samantha Shannon’s eyes? – and, of course, Arcturus Mesarthim or Warden. He was, is and always will be one of my favourite characters. His relationship with Paige is something so refreshingly different that I crave the next book in the series even more than just because of Jaxon Hall-reasons…
In conclusion, this book is once again a masterpiece of words and yet almost impossible to describe with the very same. It is unique, complex, fast and really, really gripping – and those are just the adjectives off the top of my head!
You, dear reader, should definitely give it a try some time! 🙂
Have you read „The Bone Season“ and „The Mime Order“? What do you think about the books and especially the plottwist at the end of Book 2?
What is your theory on Paige, Warden, the syndicate and Scion?
Let me know!