Paige Mahoney has escaped the brutal prison camp of Sheol I, but her problems have only just begun: many of the survivors are missing and she is the most wanted person in London…
As Scion turns its all-seeing eye on the dreamwalker, 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 centre 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. 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.
Paige has escaped Sheol I, but at what price. The Pale Dreamer has now become the most wanted unnatural in all London and with her name and face shown regularly she struggles to get back to her day to day life and Jaxon’s mollisher. She knows the unnatural assembly should be warned about the Rephaim and their alliance with Scion but she is fighting a loosing battle. Jaxon will not let her speak out, and whilst she is a member of I-4 she has to follow his ruling. But there are things stirring, murderous things that will pit the unnatural assembly against each other and worst of all pit Paige against Jaxon. Paige will need to hone her skills as a dreamwalker and rely on people both friends and enemies if she is to survive.
I am incredibly happy that I chose to re-read this series before getting stuck into my ARC of The Mask Falling because I had forgotten SO MUCH of what happened. Re-reading this series has almost been like reading it for the first time & I forgot just how much I loved Paige and the dystopian London that Shannon has created. Paige is at a real impasse at the beginning of this book, she knows that someone needs to inform the unnatural assembly about the Rephiam and they threat they pose, but after quitting as Jaxon’s mollisher she has no way in. She has to decide between the lesser of two evils and eventually gets welcomed back to I-4 with, mostly, open arms. Her character growth in this book is truly tremendous, we see her open her eyes to what is around her. She realises that the man that has protected her has also been keeping her as a weapon, he doesn’t care for her or any of the other Seal’s more than the money that they bring in. She is tied between loyalty and the need to survive, not just for herself, but for all the clairvoyants of London, so when the opportunity arises for her to rise in the ranks, and be able to speak out about the threat she doesn’t hesitate to take the chance.
And it’s not just Paige, Shannon is one of those rare writers who brings in a wide range of side characters, each with their own personality and each built up brilliantly, some last for a page, some a little longer, but every single character plays a vital part in the plot. None more so than Paige’s fellow Seals and Warden. Nick, god I love Nick. He is like a big brother to Paige, will do literally anything to protect her, even if that means standing up to Jaxon. Eliza is a character that I struggled to bond with in book 1, but seeing her relationship with Paige grow, and learning more about her history cemented her as one of my favourites. Danica is a literal genius, the Seven Seals would struggle without the knowledge she brings from her job at Scion, and it helps that she created the oxygen mask that allows Paige to Dream Walk. Nadine and Zeke don’t play as big a role and are the two seals that I found myself struggling to bond with. The final member of the Seals, Mime Lord extraordinaire Jaxon Hall. Jaxon is one of those characters that you love to hate. He is an absolute bastard, and we as the reader can see how he is simply using the members of his crew for monetary purposes well before Paige and the others. And finally Warden. His relationship with Paige is beyond complicated, and as much as we know that a happy ending just isn’t in the cards for them, we can’t help but want it. Their forbidden romance makes for some swoon worthy scenes and I just loved the parts of the book they were in together.
While the majority of The Bone Season was set in Sheol-I, with The Mime Order we get a really in depth and brillaint insight into Clairvoyant London. Not only do we get to spend more time with the Seven Seal’s, delving more into their relationships with Paige and each other, we get a true look at the unnatural assembly in all it’s glory. We meet multiple new Mime Lords and Ladies as well as their Mollishers, and all the information about the different levels of Clairvoyance, that may have seemed like a bit of an info dump in book one, becomes invaluable. I really enjoyed being able to delve more into the criminal and clairvoyant side of London, and it is made all the better by viewing it through Paige’s eyes, with all the relationships she has built with being Jaxon’s Mollisher.
None of these books are particularly fast reads. They take a while to get going, Shannon likes to draw you into the story, giving you a breadth of characters and information that make the ending that much more spectacular. And what an ending it was… talk about well written fight scenes. I felt like I was right there alongside Paige and with Shannon weaving in the Characters clairvoyant abilities it made the fight scenes that much more epic. But it’s the slower scenes I really loved, how Shannon used them to build Paige’s family up until they become your family too. The little chats with Nick and Eliza, and the few scenes she gets with Warden.
I’ve already started The Song Rising before writing this review, mainly because after the ending of this book nothing else was going to sate me. You want cliffhangers… be prepared because this one is epic just when you think you’ve reached an already shocking conclusion Shannon goes and throws another massive spanner in the works that actually made me gasp (and maybe swear) out loud. Thank god I had the next book to hand, and have the ARC of book 4 because I have no self control. Shannon has long been a favourite author of mine, but I forgot just how good these books were and am incredibly enjoying re-reading them.