A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Samantha Shannon's The Mime Order, the sequel to The Bone Season, is an intricate fantasy -- the second of a planned seven-part series -- set in an alternate future where clairvoyants are able to access the spiritual plane know as the "aether." There's occasional strong language ("hell," "damn," "piss," "bastard," "bitch," or "s--t," with a rare "f--k" in two or three heated exchanges), and there are passionate embraces in two major scenes. The level of violence -- including swordplay, gunfire, and magical assaults -- is high throughout. The various physical and psychic beatings are not described in graphic detail, but the final chapters, in which characters indulge in a free-for-all duel to the death, are particularly intense.
What's the story?
Having escaped from the Sheol I, the penal colony run by the mysterious, otherworldly Rephaim, 19-year-old "dreamwalker" Paige Mahoney finds herself suddenly the most-wanted fugitive in London. She depends on the assistance of her manipulative mentor, Jaxson Hall, but the deadly intrigues that roil through the city's criminal gangs threaten to eclipse an even more pressing danger. Paige finds herself accused of murder, and she must turn to her former Rephaim captor, Warden, for help before considering the ultimate sacrifice.
Is it any good?
Picking up directly from the aftermath of The Bone Season, Book 2 gets off to an action-packed start, as Paige returns to London and tries to reassemble the pieces of her life. She interacts with a colorful cast of characters with conflicting, often deadly agendas, and faces constant danger.
Gradually, however, the pace of the novel slackens, and much time is spent on heated conversations that seem to lead nowhere. Everything falls into place in the final chapters, however, when Paige and her enemies confront each other, with surprising results. This series makes significant demands on its readers, but many will find the effort worthwhile.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about dystopian fiction and why it's so popular. Why do you think author Samantha Shannon chose to depict a disaster with a supernatural origin rather than a scientific one?
What makes a good mentor? How much do you owe someone who has taught you important lessons about life?
Why are readers fascinated by the notion of psychic powers? Would it be a good thing if people were able to read each other's thoughts?
- Author: Samantha Shannon
- Genre: Fantasy
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Friendship, Great Girl Role Models, Misfits and Underdogs
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
- Publication date: January 27, 2015
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 15 - 18
- Number of pages: 528
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
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