cover image The Mime Order

The Mime Order

Samantha Shannon. Bloomsbury, $25 (528p) ISBN 978-1-62040-893-3

This intricate second installment in Shannon’s ambitious seven-book series, after 2013’s The Bone Season, follows dreamwalker Paige Mahoney, a peculiarly opaque protagonist, after her daring escape from the penal colony of Sheol I. Now on the run from Scion, the organization that controls the London of 2059, Paige’s only hope for survival is to return to the Unnatural Assembly, those who control the community of clairvoyants who rule London’s underground. In order to destroy Scion and alert her fellow voyants to the existence of the mysterious, often malevolent Rephaim, she decides to seize control of the Assembly and become the new Underqueen of the syndicate. To do that, she’ll have to truly master her powers, avoid relentless authorities and occasional hit men, and possibly betray those closest to her. Though the story starts slowly, it quickly picks up speed, racing toward broadly telegraphed plot points in unexpected ways. Shannon’s world-building is original and intriguing, especially the complex, almost mythic voyant underground. However, this installment does rely heavily on knowledge of the previous one. Agent: David Godwin, David Godwin Associates. (Jan.)