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Book review: 'The Mime Order' is intelligent, immersive

"THE MIME ORDER," by Samantha Shannon, Bloomsbury USA, $25, 528 pages (f)

In "The Mime Order," readers return to Samantha Shannon's futuristic London where The Syndicate, voyants and Rephaim abound and more is revealed about The Scion and The Seven Seals.

Readers may remember "The Bone Season" as being overwhelmingly complicated as far as the details of Shannon's world and characters. "The Mime Order" is no different, even adding layers upon the already discovered layers. This is not a discredit to Shannon, only a compliment to how well-developed this fictional world is. Shannon acknowledges this, even putting a refresher course on her website at samantha-shannon.blogspot.com, catching up readers on the information from the first book, and readying them for this second installment.

"The Bone Season" ended with 19-year-old Paige escaping the prison camp of Sheol I, and "The Mime Order" picks up with her, the other escapees, her Mime Lord, Jaxon and crew on the train on their way back to London. While Paige and the others are immediately thrust into the danger and secrets that await them, including the murder of the current syndicate Underlord, "The Mime Order" starts off in the same fashion the first installment followed: slow.

The political intrigue is an important part of the story, as is the dilemma the characters face as to how to tell their fellow voyants about the world of the Rephaim they have discovered. While there could be much less of it, it does set up the second part of the book well, making for an exciting last half and a surprising ending.

Paige grows as a character in "The Mime Order." Readers are introduced to more of the world where she came from and see how difficult it is for her to make certain decisions and know who to trust. Shannon expertly reveals how conflicted Paige's view of the Rephaim is, considering the threat that they are, but also regarding her feelings for The Warden, her Rephaim prison guard from "The Bone Season."

Paige, or the Pale Dreamer as she is known to the syndicate, becomes wanted, hunted and has to decide what she values more, Jaxon's protection or Warden's company.

With a unique plot, impeccable world-building and important character connections, "The Mime Order" outshines its predecessor and becomes and intelligent, adventurous read.

"The Mime Order" contains frequent swear words, depictions of violence and no sexual content.

An audio version of this book is available on Audible.com. A sample of the audiobook is posted below.

If you go ...

What: Samantha Shannon book signing

When: Thursday, Feb. 12, 7 p.m.

Where: The King's English, 1511 S. 1500 East, Salt Lake City

Web: kingsenglish.com, samantha-shannon.blogspot.com

Note: Places in the signing line are reserved for those who purchase a copy of the featured book from The King's English.

'The Mime Order' book trailer

Tara Creel is a Logan native and mother of three boys. Her email is taracreel@gmail.com, and she blogs at taracreelbooks.wordpress.com.