Friday, December 12, 2014

The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon:
A review-discussion with Jen @ YA Romantics (PART 1)
+ Giveaway

It's time for another review-discussion with Jen @ YA Romantics. This time we're tackling all things Paige (and Warden) in The Mime Order, sequel to The Bone Season. 

I've got Part 1 of our chat below. You don't want to miss Part 2 on Jen's blog, especially, because that's where we discuss the romance :). 

Thanks to Jen's generosity, we also have a giveaway! Make sure you scroll all the way to the bottom to find the rafflecopter. 

The Mime Order
by Samantha Shannon
Read: November 9 - 13, 2014
Published: January 27, 2015 by Bloomsbury
Source: NetGalley (THANK YOU!)
Tags: Fantasy, London, Magic, Adult

Series: The Bone Season #2
Find: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository 

Paige Mahoney has escaped the brutal penal colony of Sheol I, but her problems have only just begun: many of the fugitives are still missing and she is the most wanted person in London.

As Scion turns its all-seeing eye on Paige, the mime-lords and mime-queens of the city’s gangs are invited to a rare meeting of the Unnatural Assembly. Jaxon Hall and his Seven Seals prepare to take center stage, but there are bitter fault lines running through the clairvoyant community and dark secrets around every corner.

Then the Rephaim begin crawling out from the shadows. But where is Warden? Paige must keep moving, from Seven Dials to Grub Street to the secret catacombs of Camden, until the fate of the underworld can be decided. Will Paige know who to trust? The hunt for the dreamwalker is on.

NOTE: The Mime Order is book two in a series. Please see my thoughts on The Bone Season. The following discussion contains spoilers for the first book. I've marked anything that I think could be considered a Mime Order spoiler, but as I'll reiterate from Jen's post: "both of us felt that this book didn't have a lot of huge plot twists. Just one big surprise, and that will NOT be spoiled here…"


LAUREN: A lot of this book felt like transition/set up to me. Information gathering and moving key players around, without a lot of change in positions happening until late in the story. 

JEN: I completely agree. I've been trying to figure out whether my impatience with this book’s pace was due to the fact that I preferred the first book’s setting, whether I might not have the stamina for a six-book plot arc, whether there was too much world-building and not enough plot, or something else.

LAUREN: I think all of those elements may have played a factor in the pacing for me as well. In particular, I thought this installment had a very slow first half, without a lot of clear direction or tension. Much of it was about Paige making decisions about what she would do after the events in The Bone Season. It was clear to me almost immediately what at least three of her decisions would be, so it became tedious to wait for her to figure out the answers for herself. Especially, when not a lot else was going on. I thought the pacing picked up a bit in the second half. Though, I agree that it isn’t until the end that it really gets going.

JEN: By Paige’s three decisions, are you referring to 1) resolving her relationship with Jaxon, 2) finding a way to warn people about the Senshield and 3) trying to find Warden? Did I miss anything?

LAUREN: See? Lots of decision-making happening! The three to which I was referring – 1) What would Paige do now that she's back in London (work/live)? 2) How would she warn London about the Rephaim? 3) How would Paige resolve her relationship with Jaxon? - This one's the same! And the Senshield and Warden are two others.

JEN: Okay, I’d call what was happening “pondering” rather than “decision-making.” But let’s talk about all of those…


JEN: In the first book I did like the London setting, then found myself feeling extremely disappointed that this book took place in London. The Oxford and Sheol portion of book one had so much tension and, as we discussed, I felt like the first two-thirds or three-quarters of the book was describing the Mime Lord set-up and Paige’s growing dissatisfaction with her place in it

LAUREN: I agree. London was boring, though I’m not sure if it’s the place or what was (i.e. the fact that not much) was going on there. This book starts where the last one ends, and I wonder if it would have been faster, and also more interesting if we’d started later in time and gotten briefer recaps of the first half? But I definitely think the Mime-Lord stuff dragged on too long.

JEN: That's a good point – maybe some time compression could have helped. I also think that part of the appeal of Sheol was that Paige was out of her element and in danger. In this installment, even though her time in Sheol has clearly changed her, she hems and haws around forever instead of taking action.


LAUREN: I became exhausted by Paige’s constant bending to Jaxon's will throughout this book. It was an endless pattern of: Jaxon bullies Paige; she capitulates to him (on the surface), while grumbling to herself and being secretly subversive. It felt very stagnate for too long.

JEN: By the end of the book I (sort of) understood why their relationship dynamic was set up that way, but I agree that it took too long to change. To me, Paige’s relationship with Jaxon feels almost like a father/daughter thing, with her needing to break free of his control. I wanted the emotion cranked up more on their relationship.

LAUREN: After everything Paige faced in Sheol I, I just didn’t find Jax to be a compelling enough antagonist - if that's what he was. Sometimes he it seemed like he was a villain, sometimes as you said, fatherlike. But instead of fearing him, I was mostly frustrated with Paige’s inability to change their relationship status. Why it played out this way does eventually make sense, but that doesn’t erase my problems with it throughout the book.

JEN: Definitely. I agree. In Sheol, Paige was battling people she considered enemies. In this book, she has to decide whether to betray someone who she’s considered a friend, an ally, even a father figure. This could have been emotionally wrenching but Paige just ended up seeming wishy-washy to me. 

LAUREN: In fact, the whole idea of a “villain” came across as nebulous for me in most of this installment. In the first book it was very concretely Nashira and the Rephaim. I was constantly on edge, worried about Paige’s safety. Here we have maybe Jaxon, the London government and their Senshield (more on that below), other Mime-Lords and most of the Rephaim. It seems like it would be terrifying for Paige to be facing so much, but the danger was not focused enough, and mostly discussed a lot, which made it hard for me to feel it.

I would consider the discussion below to contain very mild spoilers. But Jen and I do begin to talk about more specific plot details, so I wanted to give you fair warning. Skip down below the line if you want to avoid this part.


JEN: The Senshield -- a scanner that will help the London authorities detect people with clairvoyant abilities -- is something new to this book and the fact that it may soon be put into use is mentioned over and over. Paige is very concerned about it, and has trouble convincing other people how dangerous it will be. Okay, but I got really tired of hearing about it. Paige was like Chicken Little! 

LAUREN: Haha. True. The Senshield was talked about a lot, but we never really saw the full result of it, which made it hard to work up a personal connection or concern about it.  Honestly, it felt like she was stuck in a holding pattern for much of this book.

JEN: Yes, I’m guessing that this issue will come to the forefront in the next book, but as we keep saying, there are things in this story that keep getting mentioned but really aren’t incorporated into the story in a way that creates tension and suspense.


JEN: The Penny Dreadful subplot amused me: in order to get the word out about the Rephaim, Paige gets the idea to write a Penny Dreadful (a type of British fiction publication in the 19th century that usually featured sensational, lurid stories appearing in parts over a number of weeks, each part costing a penny.)  While I appreciated this historical detail -- a lot of the London details are based on 19th century history -- it felt a little meta. And a little ineffective, like trying to warn the world about a zombie apocalypse by using the National Enquirer. I think people in London would just assume the whole thing was fiction, like a War of the Worlds joke.

LAUREN: I actually thought this was a clever move. I’m also not sure it mattered that it was seen as fiction. The idea was that when the Rephaim revealed themselves to London, the people would have a reference point to know what the beings were and how to fight them. My problem was it took Paige a while to decide to commission the thing, when I could see it coming from the beginning. I kept waiting for her to figure it out.

End of Part 1

Now go read Jen's portion of this discussion, HERE. We talk about the romance! You don't want to miss it. 

Love Triangle Factor: None 
Cliffhanger Scale: Medium - Ends right after a big revelation during mild peril. 


Win a hardcover of The Bone Season and a paperback excerpt of The Mime Order

Giveaway for US residents only
You must be 13 years old to enter


  1. I've had this for waaay too long and just haven't gotten to it. I love these discussion reviews, though, and though I'm sorry to hear this wasn't as strong an installment as The Bone Season, I can't say I'm surprised. With a seven book deal planned and a complex plot that couldn't employ the ease, fun, or humor of the Harry Potter series, I knew that there were some nebulous times ahead for these books. I hoped otherwise, and am still glad there are positives to be found, but I'll be preparing myself differently before diving into this one--thanks for the heads-up, ladies! :)

  2. Amazing post you guys. <3 I.. DNF-ed book one. SAD FACE. It was just a little bit boring. Hmph. But I'm getting book two. And I will try book one once more. As so many people have loved it. I'm glad you loved the sequel too :) It do seem pretty amazing. <3 Thank you for sharing Lauren :)

  3. I was and guess still am so excited about this book because I love the world-building in the first. I hope I have the patience to get to the good parts you enjoyed. The original world the Rephaim came from absolutely fascinated me - I had so many questions that seemed essential to the plot. I hope we can learn more about that world through this book? although the London setting does worry me. I hope this series doesn't follow the pattern of The Discovery of Witches where mystery is piled on mystery and the reader is never rewarded answers until the very end...

  4. I loved The Bone Season and I managed to get an ARC of The Mime Order. It was amazing.

  5. I'm pretty excited about this one but it sounds like it's got some soggy middle bits going on. Too much pondering and such. Oh, and that capitulating would get on my nerves. No back-grumbling! However, I want to know more so I'm definitely in with this one.

  6. I STILL haven't started this series but SIX BOOK story arc? Did I understand that correctly? Oh my goodness gracious! There was a big hype with the first book and it didn't really feel like it was as widespread with this second book, so I think I'd go ahead and pick them up. Hmm, I wonder about the audios for these. Love this discussion...headed over to Jen's post.


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