Adult Books

The Mask Falling by Samantha Shannon – ARC Review

Thank you to Bloomsbury publishing for the arc in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Dreamwalker Paige Mahoney has eluded death again. Snatched from the jaws of captivity and consigned to a safe house in the Scion Citadel of Paris, she finds herself caught between those factions that seek Scion’s downfall and those who would kill to protect the Rephaim’s puppet empire.

The mysterious Domino Program has plans for Paige, but she has ambitions of her own in this new citadel. With Arcturus Mesarthim-her former enemy-at her side, she embarks on an adventure that will lead her from the catacombs of Paris to the glittering hallways of Versailles. Her risks promise high reward: the Parisian underworld could yield the means to escalate her rebellion to outright war.

As Scion widens its bounds and the free world trembles in its shadow, Paige must fight her own memories after her ordeal at the hands of Scion. Meanwhile, she strives to understand her bond with Arcturus, which grows stronger by the day. But there are those who know the revolution began with them-and could end with them.

I have to say I have mixed feelings about this book. I liked some parts and some not so much. I enjoyed the slow burn of Paige and Warden’s relationship. I think in this book we finally get to see their relationship develop as they have the chance to actually discuss how they feel.

I liked seeing other parts of this world and what’s happening outside of England and the characters we are introduced to and some characters we had previously met made an appearance again but I really missed Nick and Eliza. I hope we get to see them again in the next book! They were y favourite side characters and I truly think this book was weaker without them in it with Paige.

I had issues with the pacing and how slow the book was. It took me a while to get through it as I would put it down and not pick it up for days but the ending was more interesting. A lot happens at the end and I wish we could have gotten more of that instead. We get lots of revelations that have been building up in the last two books and it was interesting to get some answers of some of the mysteries and revelations of who was pulling the strings behind the scenes.

I’m still not sold on Paige and Warden as a couple though. I still think we don’t know much about Warden and how he feels and thinks outside of Paige’s perspective and it just meant that I couldn’t really connect with him despite being four books in. We get some more information about the Rephaim but they are still very much a mystery. By this point it made them less interesting as characters especially as we barely see them in the book. Also I feel a bit annoyed by the fact that some Rephaim have names like Arcturus and Terebell and yet the antagonists have PoC sounding names like Nashira and Suhail.

This book deals a lot with Paige’s recovery and how she manages after being tortured and the PTSD she has. I thought it was dealt with quite well seeing her struggle and freeze because of it. The lasting effects it had on her body physically. I really liked seeing that in the book.

When we first met Paige I really loved her and I loved how much she grew in the Mime Order but since I have felt she has become more reckless and runs head first before thinking things through which resulted in a lot of problems in this book and I just felt that someone who is supposed to be running a revolution needs to be less reckless. I think that’s why I missed Eliza and Nick a lot too because I felt they grounded her and guided her to be less reckless and think things through. The ending especially regarding Warden and how Paige dealt with it was something I wasn’t a fan of because we see them develop and yet Paige easily believes what happens at the end without questioning it until it is too late.

Overall I liked this book but I do have some issues with pacing and Paige’s arc (or seemingly lack thereof). I feel like there wasn’t a lot of progress in the book as to her goals to lead a revolution. It takes her the whole book to make the alliances necessary. I am hoping that the next book will have some more progression and we will hopefully see the characters from previous books again.

Adult Books, Fiction Books

The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon – Book Review

I reread this book as part of a readalong that I took part in over on Instagram. And I loved it even more reading it the second time around! I am so looking forward to continuing this series with the next readalong!


Rating: 5/5

So if you don’t know this is book two in The Bone Season series. The first three books have been released and book four is set to release in 2020 currently.

If you don’t know what The Mime Order is about here is the synopsis from Goodreads:

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.

This book is freaking amazing! Samantha has created this intricate, complex world complete with an alternate history of England. There is a slow build up with an explosive ending and it was done so well! It allows us to slowly put the pieces of the mystery together from the information we are given as the plot progresses but still leaves us shocked by the end.

I think main weakness of the first book, The Bone Season, is that due to how intricate the world is there was a lot of information thrown at us and that can feel a bit overwhelming but in this book we are already familiar with the world so we can enjoy it more.

The syndicate was so interesting to read about from it’s power dynamics and how there are specific social conventions even within an underground criminal organisation. There is a lot of politics involved and Paige has to navigate it all. The way it’s set up and how the flaws in the syndicate is what leads to the ending.

Paige is a wonderful character! She is brave, resilient, driven and will stand up and fight for justice no matter where that person is in the hierarchy of the syndicate. She’s smart and learns to play the long game to be able to make any changes in how the syndicate is run. Her character development is so great as she does make mistakes and she learns from them. She has flaws and sometimes has to do resort to killing people to be able to save others but it doesn’t come easy for her and she doesn’t take pride in it like others.

Warden is the Rephaim who helped Paige in the first book yet we still know very little about him, he’s dark and mysterious but I hope that we will learn more in later books! The Rephaim in general are mysterious and we know very little about them and what we do know is quite scary!

I know this is probably an unpopular opinion but I am not a fan of the Paige and Warden ship. I just don’t see them together but I know there’s lots who do!

Another interesting character is Jaxon Hall who is essentially Paige’s boss. He is another mysterious and complex character and we learn very little about him. He has interesting power dynamic with Paige who does stand up to him, unlike the others who work for him. I am so looking forward to seeing more of him!

Nick and Eliza also work for Jaxon and they are also friends with Paige. I love how throughout this book they develop a closer relationship. They support and protect each other and I especially love Nick’s and Paige’s relationship!

The build up at the end of the book was done perfectly! It was intense and kept me on the edge of my seat. The fight at the end with Paige having developed her powers throughout the book was amazing to read and then not only are there plot twists then we also get another huge plot twist right on the very last page! It will be a huge game changer in the story and what will happen in the next book and I am so looking forward to being back in this world soon!

I highly recommend you read this series, it’s such a unique dystopian book with an amazing story and great characters.