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The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon
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it was amazing
bookshelves: gimme-2015-k, readathon-day-2015, i-d-give-you-the-stars

How do you convey your feelings for a beautifully complex tale that brings ace character growth, world building, philosophical ideas and tinge of romance? Basically, you don’t. Not really.

When you look at the brick that is The Mime Order, you’re bound to be intimidated. Intimidation festers into stress which then turns into my favourite pastime—feigning ignorance. AKA pretending that it doesn’t exists until the very last second, further perpetuating stress levels and ensuring bounteous hair loss (how I still have hair is beyond me. My babies fall out like I’m a shitzu and it’s shedding season come early.) Against all odds (or perhaps not, I’ve been known to look past info dumping), I adored The Bone Season to bits. The world was delectable, albeit fed in plentiful doses. The characters delightful tragic, dark and mysterious. The circumstances dismal and layered in political lies. But a girl doesn’t forget info dump, not such an unprecedented amount. And so when I saw the size of The Mime Order, I let it stew. I sat on that arc for months and months while others raved and took to the world wide web. But once I managed to hype myself up and sit down with the copy, making the tragically amateur mistake of reading at midnight, before work, I was hooked. Eye stinging aside, I devoured this book with no regrets.

Fear not, for that world building has just paved way for a riveting fantasy world. I get it. Fantasies are always hard to crack into once you’ve waited a year or two, and the high of the previous book has died off. Oh, I get it. Couple that with a heinous attempt at memory retention and you have me. I am as bad as it gets. I’m stubborn and am constantly in a battle against time. I don’t do refreshers. I don’t reread. And when you think of The Bone Season, you’d think, Jess, you really dug a hole for yourself this time. Guess who wasn’t confused, at all. Far from it. By some miracle unheard of, everything just clicked. So you know what? For once in my goddamn life, I’m going to thank the previous instalment for it’s bounty of information because it seemed to have ingrained a thing or two in me. Like muscle memory (you get me, don’t you?) The world of Scion, the Netherworld, it is all so crisp, so detailed in my mind. Returning was blissful. Shannon has crafted a world so rich in detail. It is immersive. She’s taken her world and made it almost tangible. Scion, itself, is not a beautiful place. It is dark, desolate, desperate. It is so tightly choked by a leash, so indoctrinated by rules and lies fed by its governing body, its people oppressed and living content—complacent—purely out of fear. And thus, it is a feeding ground for corruption, for the power and allure of the dollar bill, for food that is greater than a grain of rice. Power is money. And for the Unnatural Assembly, that is all it takes to keep the resident clairvoyants, the oppressed from society, in line.

The Mime Order brings a forth a plot that unfolds at its organic speed. You may think me deluded for a second. Organic? Has she lost her mind? Mind me not, I purely mean, The Mime Order and its events unfold at a speed that feels natural and authentic to its aim, its story, its tale—the tale of Paige, the lies, of the corruption, of the people living in fear of those orchestrating history. That being said, in normal terms, the plot builds slowly. It’s a speed that I mind not, but I can see it bothering a fair few of you. While I think it a necessity, it may be a factor hindering enjoyment for some. But keep in mind, every scene, every piece of dialogue, every description has a purpose. While it builds slowly, the plot remains delicious and multilayered.

I admire the main character with my every fibre. What a tenacious, strong willed and intelligent lady. She knows a little thing or two about patience (something that I need to take notes on), and it’s captivating to see her bravery as she undergoes her journey for justice. Paige is not without her flaws, but it only makes her an even more multifaceted character. In the world dancing comfortably in the grey area, she understands her morals, her beliefs, far beyond any one else. She has tunnel vision and it’s aimed at justice. In The Bone Season, Paige had her bildungsroman. She woke up from smelling the flowers and realised that the world was caked in lies and money, greed and power. And she realised, maybe it’s not as cracked out as it used to be. While Jaxon and the rest of I-4 live happily under the allusion of yesterday, Paige lobbies, desperately, for justice. And she understands the risks she must take in order to achieve a voice, to ignite a flame.

I also loved all the secondary characters. It’s a stark difference to a cast that you’d be used to. It’s because everybody has a price. We’re talking about a cast who a driven away from society, forced to be lured into the magnetism of the dollar bill.

“You helped me.”
“Do not labour under the illusion that I am a bastion of moral goodness, Paige. That would be a dangerous venture.”

All her characters are dark. They have pasts. They are flawed. But that doesn’t mean that they’re unlikable, that we, the audience, would be repelled. It’s a different cast up for offer and it’s a brilliant one.

Let’s talk romance for a second here. I know y’all. Let me ease that curiosity. While some were repelled by the romance in The Bone Season, I rather enjoyed it. Because it employed the whole antagonism to lust and lastly, to care (that’s right kiddos, I won’t say love. I didn’t think it was love by any means. Not the whole crazy let me throw myself in front of a train even though, hey ho, I lived millenniums without knowing you.) Warden is a mysterious figure. With semi questionable intentions, which were, I suppose, good at heart (hey now, I’m not justifying anything that he’s done). He’s not a good man. Far from it. He watched as his race kidnapped and enslaved humans. He was passive throughout, bidding his time. He didn’t agree with the methods, with the radicalism, but he wasn’t an active saviour. Warden sees the bigger picture. He wants liberation for all. He wants that unattainable greater good, the idealistic vision. And he’s not afraid to sacrifice a few lambs here and there on his way there. They’re a means to an end. But Paige kind of completes him. I won’t say change because she doesn’t, not really. But having Paige there has meant that Warden’s widened his horizons, learnt to see the glass both ways—half empty and full. And that’s all you can ask for, really. So the romance in The Mime Order? It had me oozing all over the place because it was vague, slow burning, an exploration of feelings that were so pumped with lust but also inclusive of care. There’s an attraction, an undeniable pull (which also puts them into a difficult position seeing as they’re from two races pitted against one another, and with a history of a slaver/slavee relationship) but also this need to understand the fact that this connection runs deeper. And it’s beautiful, seeing the two slowly explore that—seeing them cross barriers, learn a little about themselves. The thing is, the romance is never overwhelming. Ladies and gents, we do not, for a second, sacrifice plot for romance.

As always, Shannon ends with a stunningly dramatic, and highly shocking cliffhanger. One that had me snap the book close, chuck it to the side and blank out for a moment. That’s what I want from a book. That’s how you take your plot places. Shannon is building a heck of an empire out of her story. It’s a slow crescendo, the journey to liberation always is, and Shannon is taking us on one heck of a ride.

The Mime Order is stunning as a sequel. All the pieces slot into place. Sure, you may be in the dark, grasping for a familiar figure in the first few chapters or so. But once it clicks, oh boy, does it click. There’s no turning back with this series. It’s dark, deep and dangerously delectable. The Mime Order is mesmerising. Let loose, look for a bracket of time, and sit back and devour this series.

Many thanks to the publisher for providing an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review. All quotes used were obtained from uncorrected proof that is subject to change in the final publication.

Bone Season had me apprehensive. Mime Order has me sold. That's right, willing, unwilling, I don't care. I just want more of this series. Review To Come


Please excuse me while I go and nurse my betrayal, alright. That, up there, is legitimately me, for the past day or so. This world remains dense and rich in detail, multifaceted and brilliantly concocted with a series of characters who are dark and flawed and swayed by the powers of consumerism. Basically, everything I want in a book.
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Reading Progress

June 19, 2014 – Shelved
June 19, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read
September 12, 2014 – Shelved as: gimme-2015-k
September 22, 2014 – Shelved as: where-do-i-throw-my-money
January 22, 2015 – Started Reading
January 22, 2015 – Shelved as: readathon-day-2015
January 22, 2015 –
page 105
20.59% "My head just hurts a little bit (a lot, it's hard to take this series in lol) but damn, it's good to be back in this world. \n description"
January 23, 2015 – Finished Reading
January 24, 2015 – Shelved as: i-d-give-you-the-stars

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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message 1: by Julie (new) - added it

Julie Rogers Great review! I can't wait to read this. I really liked The Bone Season and it's good to know that the second book is just as good(:

Jess Julie wrote: "Great review! I can't wait to read this. I really liked The Bone Season and it's good to know that the second book is just as good(:"

The Mime Order is such a step up! I hope you enjoy it Julie! :D

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