Vivianne's Reviews > The Song Rising

The Song Rising by Samantha Shannon
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really liked it
bookshelves: a-owned, a-owned-and-signed, z-to-re-read, z-4-stars, z-series-on-hold

“Jaxon had been right about words. They could grant wings, or they could tear them away.”

This has been one of my most anticipated releases of 2017. I absolutely loved the previous two books and “The Mime Order” left me begging for more from this world. However I did have some issues with the previous books, one of them being that these book are quite complicated and hard to read. And the third installment “The Song Rising” wasn’t an exception to this. Yet another world is added and there are so many new characters introduced. But it was so worth it to power through! Paige is just amazing, and she has developed so much from the first book. The world building is outstanding, the side characters are fantastic and the plot is surprising and daring!

The Bone Season: 4 stars
The Mime order: 4 stars

Contains spoilers for the whole “The Bone Season Series”!

“‘That is what humans do. We make. We remake. We build, and we rebuild. And yes, sometimes we paint with blood, and we tear down our own civilizations, and it might never stop. But if we’re ever to unlearn our darker instincts, we have to be free to learn better ones. Take away the chance for u to learn and I promise you we never will.’ I looked her in the eyes. ‘I’m willing to fight for that change.’”

Design (3,5 stars)
I’M JUST SO MAD ABOUT THESE COVER CHANGE!! If it wasn’t for the limited edition I would have gotten the ebook. The old designs where so pretty and the new once are just plain white covers, not an improvement! Lucky for me they also fabricated a limited edition, which does fit the old designs and is absolutely gorgeous! AND IT’S SIGNED! I also love how the maps are evolving with the books and are completely different from the other two books (however I did still miss a map about the districts in London because it’s still a bit vague who rules where and how many there are). And I missed the pedigree with The Seven Orders of Clairvoyance.
“If I can tell you one thing about Rephaim, it’s that there’s always more to it than they see fit to tell you.”

Start of the book (3,0 stars)
I was literally shocked by the revelation on the first pages, I don’t know if I forgot about this or that this was the first I heard about it but I was so stunned. If I think back on the other books, I could have known but yeah it just never crossed my mind that Jaxon… was the traitor off the Ranthen all those years ago.
Mannn… Shannons books are complicated! Book three and we get another world, another group of people and sooooo many new characters. I like this so much about Shannons books, she keeps it interesting and never falls back on the old systems or world building. But like her other books, the beginning is super complex and really hard to read, which makes it tough to get into the story. For her books you really need to sit down for and give the story time to evolve! ‘In the end everything will make sense just like the other books’ I told myself while the plot kept dwindling and I didn’t understand names or choices. The beginning had A LOT of new names, it was quite overwhelming since I read the other books a year ago and in Dutch. So I couldn’t remember all the characters from the previous books, but there were also soooo many new names! They could have used some more introduction. But, yeah, all my bickering aside I was so happy to continue with this series and to be back in Paige her head and this amazing world!

The writing style (5,0 stars)
I love the writing style in this book. It’s one off the stronger aspects about this whole series. And I can just see Shannon’s improvements with every book she puts out. Some quotes are just WOW! That about war (on page 7) was just so good. And though I didn’t agree with every decision she made about the plot or about Paige I do agree with every word in this book.
The only thing I want to mention real quick is that I think that this book would have been a 5 star read if it was told from multiple POV’s. Besides that Paige is starting to get on my nerves, I think the world would become so much more alive if multiple POV’s are introduced. There are several moments in this book that The Mime Order splits up and I was so disappointed that we didn’t get that side of the story or just quick summaries. We haven’t heard from The Beneath since Paige left for Manchester and that is such a shame! So I hope we get that in future books considering the end of this one and everyone splitting up all over Europe.

The world building (4,0 stars)
I love the whole London Shannon created with this different layers and Scion as this dystopian aspect. The Unnatural Assembly, The Mime Order, The Underqueen… I loved all these terms so much and it so well put together. It just works! I enjoy it so much that with every book the world building changes and becomes even more layered and detailed. And we FINALLY get more from other country’s! I loved to know about the riot in Bulgaria, about what really happened in Ireland with Paige and about Sweden (although I still don’t fully understand what countries are under Scion’s spell and what are the free countries). And I loved that we finally got to experience how England looks outside of London! The world building of Edinburgh and Manchester reminded me so much of the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century. I learned about this in history and just experiencing it through this book was heartbreaking. People living on the streets in such poverty while working 18 hours a day, orphans missing fingers, people begging, having nothing but the clothes on their back, just the exploitation by the factories.. it made me so mad! Some scenes almost made me cry. Shannon did such an amazing job to sketch these people’s situation. There is such poverty in Scion England.. It made me so sad. I was so happy to experience other cities in London and to experience their clairvoyant community.
There are some scenes in this book that are so incredibly written, such that it feels like I’m there. That scene when Paige is trying to find the leader of the clairvoyants in Edinburgh when it was super dark and there was such a horrendous smell. I felt like I was there, that I couldn’t see and was in that situation. I almost started panicking.
But what was also done great was that the world doesn’t stand still when Paige wasn’t around. And that you can experience that the world doesn’t revolve around her but that things are happening when Paige leaves a city. For example when Catrin killed Roberta, that was such a shock for me! (was a shame is that we didn’t get to experience the battle) I really hope that we get more from the characters in the city’s in the next books.

I just want to say that before I dive in the things that didn’t work for me or that I missed that I did think the world building was amazing! And I wouldn’t give it 4 stars if it wasn’t. There are 4 more books in this series and I understand that we can’t have every secret spilled in book three, but I expected some more answers and more explanations about certain topics.
First of all I missed more Emim excitement. They are such cool creatures and though they get mentioned I still missed them appearing and causing a scene. I also missed more debt on the powers of the unnatural assembly. While I know what a oracle does, or a dreamwalker, I’m still left clueless on most of the other orders and there are just soo many! Since this book doesn’t contain the pedigree I was really doomed to the internet for looking up when one of the orders was mentioned and that was quite annoying.
The third thing that I really miss is; how does the rest of the world look? Okay we get some more inside about Bulgaria, Sweden and the leaders of two other countries are mentioned coming over to view senshield. But I’m still left clueless on most things. What is the deal with Australia or America or Asia? Who rules the other countries? Do they have clairvoyants? Do they have such poverty? I also can’t imagine that Scion can grow more bigger and other countries not doing anything. I mean for other countries Scion is a huge thread! And they just come to visit and see what senshield is all about? And while I understand because they also see clairvoyants as a thread, I can’t imagine that they would just give themselves over to Scion. It’s just not realistic that other countries just sit on the sideline and let Scion grow and enlarge till it reaches their country! But maybe we get a little more inside on this since they are now going to Bulgaria, Sweden and France.
A thing that is hard to grasp for me is; how in the hell did England take such a step back in such little time! Like I mentioned the world building reminded me of the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century. That was 300 years ago.. So you want me to believe that the progressive, rich England from now can go 300 years back in time in about 40 years??! No way! I get that this book is fiction and that we also have things like clairvoyants and ghosts but I think Shannon could have thought out more of the details about the year that the story takes place or she could have given us a little bit more detail about how this could have happened to England.
And now we are on the topic of history, how did the clairvoyants came to existence and how did Scion arise (although there was some inside given about some king it remains vague)? Another thing I still missed in this book was background on the Raphaim. This is the third book they have been mentioned and I don’t even know where they came from, why they are here or why they can’t touch this red flower. I have soooo many questions about these things, and I won’t bore you with all of them but I just want to make clear that the foundation that the world building rest upon and the past of Scion England is still really vague and not worked out like I wanted it to be in a third installment.

Main Character (4,0 stars)
“I wasn’t made to stay behind.”

I loved the Paige I saw here! She was so awesome and I loved how she handled her gift. I liked to see her grow and loved some of the choices she made regarding The Mime Order. She made such a character improvement from the first book and I really loved the new Paige. I loved how she could silence people by just raising her hand and how people finally treated her with some respect. I am on the other hand still a little underwhelmed by her dream walker powers. I mean come on this is book three, and though we have come a long way since book one and Paige has learned a lot, I still expect a main character to be able to protect her friends after three books. I get that there are four more books in this series so there is a lot off time to still see Paige her ability shine but I expected more in this one. I was really disappointed every time something failed and Paige just collapsed from exhaustion or when she complained about an headache especially in crucial situations. Later in the book this did get a lot better and I loved her in the factory.
I could not deal with her blaming herself and the paragraph’s about her hating herself or making other choices or have other outcomes where just annoying. Come on it already happened, and some things aren’t even your fault! I got so tired of Paige wanting to give up and giving away her title as Underqueen. I wanted her to be brave and to become more confident once the book continued. But now she just dwindled and though I loved the character improvement she got on my nerves sometimes.
Another thing I’m so annoyed about is her and Warden… And her choice making regarding a few things, but I’ll talk about this later.
But the last pages made me so in love with her again! For her not giving away the Mime Order was so brave!

Other characters (4,5 stars)
There are soooo many side characters in this book (so I won’t go into that much detail)! And then I mean so much that I lose track of them and don’t even remember if some had been already introduced earlier in the story. And though I think that this book needed to have a lot off new side characters, regarding that Paige visited a lot off other places and needed to meet people, they needed a little more introduction. I loved loved loved the friendship between Paige and Nick and the friendship that is formed between Paige, Elisa, Maria and Tom. This was seriously my favorite thing in this book! The most present side characters where so well developed! I think that every character in this book was displayed and put down perfectly. Some you felt sorry for, some you hated, some you loved. Shannon did this so incredibly good!

Romance (2,5 stars)
The romance in this book had me a bit annoyed. I still ship Paige and Warden even though I found them both annoying in this book. The first 100 pages of the book Paige ignores Warden because something Jaxon said to her. I got so frustrated with this because he was finally out her live but still had such a big grasp on Paige (although I loved how this tells us that) I hated that after three books they still couldn’t be together!! I hated the way Warden responded every time Paige wanted to talk about this. He was okay with staying together but also didn’t care if Paige broke it off. His responses where just so.. dry. I didn’t care for him in this book. Don’t get me wrong I understand that Paige broke it off, but I would have loved to see them together and to become this power couple (Though I’m certain this will happen eventually). Now it was just awkward.

Plot (3,5 stars)
The plot in the beginning was pretty slow and in my opinion quite boring. We just see Paige dealing with problem after problem. And I kind of missed the part about her starting the Mime Order; things like her choosing her commanders (since I had no idea who half these people where), setting up a whole other division in the districts where things that I missed and I felt like 20 or so pages could have been dedicated to that.
This book revolves around Senshield. And I…. I’m just not a fan. It became more like a quest then this rebellion that I was expecting to see. I just didn’t like it! It was also really vague throughout the whole book what senshield actually was and what this core was (though it does get clear in the end). I understand that the clairvoyants didn’t know so the reader is kept in the dark to make you keep on reading. But for me it was just not working. I wanted more Paige and Warden, more London, more of the unnatural assembly and especially more about the powers.
And then my real problems started with the trap from Scion. This was sooooo predictable and I can’t even believe Paige fall for this. I also couldn’t believe her not telling Terebell and Warden about this. They had this huge fight about something similar earlier and about trust and then Paige just goes rogue and takes some huge risks that I didn’t find necessary. I get that she is trying to prove herself but this was not the time! My other problem was with how the trap was designed by Scion. If you are going to catch the biggest criminal leader of the country who has supernatural abilities you send more than a woman on a television screen, a net that can be cut down by one bullet and 8 paratroopers? This was a little strange from their point because they are known to be ruthless. And the way this trap was designed and unmanned was just way to easy. And how did Paige resurface from being under the ice again? If you can walk over ice it needs to be at least 8 cm so that doesn’t break that easily if you’re under it and panicking. And didn’t Paige mention the current was dragging her? How the Hell was Warden able to get her out from under an 8 cm thick layer of ice when she was dragged by a strong tight and might already been dragged several feet from the hole. And I also found it extremely cliché that Warden just happened to end up there and save Paige.
From the point that they went underground it became interesting again. I really liked the new world building of this whole hidden city and I think it was really smart of Shannon to involve also the underground. What I didn’t like was that the whole unnatural assembly, besides four, got put on hold so Paige could do her thing.. I just didn’t like it, Paige finally had her army. I understand in this situation that it was best but I just hated it.
So next Paige goes on this quest for senshield, and like I mentioned before I didn’t like this. What I did like was that it brought back the action that the first halve of the book was really lacking. I liked the mission in the fabric although I was a little disappointed that Price got killed so fast! He felt like a villain I would love to hate. I loved meeting all the new clairvoyants and seeing the communities in other cities. This was just awesome to read about.
I was so so mad when Paige gave herself up to Scion, not knowing her plan. I had lost my faith in her and I was ready to close the book and not looking back on this series ever again. Luckily I didn’t do that because the last part of this book was soooo good.

The ending (4,5 stars)
So after Paige was arrested and I figured out her plan I was really impressed and I loved how everything unfolds. All the double agents, the secret notes, the codes, just the layers upon layers you unravel while reading those last few pages was truly amazing. The involvement of a play (that was written extraordinary good) was super clever, I loved the statement the dancer made (although I wished there was a little more time spend on it in this book). The amount of growth Paige has shown was breathtaking, I have so much respect for her, for not breaking at those hard conditions! Unfortunately we already knew Paige was going to survive, since there are four more books to come. That took away so much of the tension. Mostly when the main character is taken captive the writing goes really bland and the plot dies a bit. But here the plot bloomed, it shined! I was so impressed by Shannon to make this happen! Paige bends little by little but never breaks or gave up!
The only thing I didn’t really like was how this book ended. Paige is SHIPPED OFF to Paris! I was so mad at this! On the one hand I did really like that other countries get involved in the story (praying for multiple POV), but for me the story played in England and I want Paige to take Scion down from London! It feels so unfair because Paige destroyed the core for The Mime Order, and then she can’t even go back to them to tell them what she did? They are just supposed to believe she is still dead? And the other thing that made me infuriated was that she finally proved herself and then she gets an assignment from a really vague never before mentioned “ Domino Programme” and is ‘ordered’ to go to Paris for an assignment. After enduring this I think Paige deserves to make her own choices.

Okay despite my nagging on small things I still loved this series and I’m looking forward to the next installment! (not for the long wait though)

Thanks for reading my incredible long review!

“We are caught between being torn apart by monsters, or being ruled by them.”
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Quotes Vivianne Liked

Samantha Shannon
“War has often been called a game, with good reason. Both have combatants. Both have sides. Both carry the risk of losing.”
Samantha Shannon, The Song Rising
tags: game, war

Reading Progress

June 14, 2015 – Shelved
June 14, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read
April 12, 2017 – Shelved as: a-owned
April 14, 2017 – Started Reading
April 14, 2017 – Shelved as: a-owned-and-signed
April 16, 2017 –
page 100
27.55% "A little slow but yayyy Paige and the dreamworld!!❤"
April 23, 2017 –
page 210
April 27, 2017 –
page 289
April 28, 2017 – Finished Reading
May 12, 2017 – Shelved as: z-to-re-read
August 17, 2017 – Shelved as: z-4-stars
May 28, 2019 – Shelved as: z-series-on-hold

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