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. But where is Warden? 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.
I loved The Bone Season, and could not wait for this to come out (it was originally scheduled for October of ’14). Well, the wait was worth it, this book was amazing. It started a little slow, but all the information was important. Paige was struggling with how to proceed after the prison camp, not wanting to go back into power struggle with Jax, becoming a wanted fugitive by Scion, trying to protect other escapees, and becoming a target within her own community – ya, there was a lot going on.
Watching Paige cope was really interesting, she had moments of PTSD and was constantly looking for a way to change the way the syndicate worked to get word out about Sheol and how voyants were treated. I also loved her shifting perception of Jax. In the first book she basically idolizes him, even while admitting that he is a douche; but by gaining her freedom in the first book, she’s come to realize that he’s little better than any of the wardens in Sheol. The power struggles these books focus on are so interesting and complex. Most characters when in situations like these just leave and somehow make it on their own, but Shannon is realistic with Paige, her options are really limited if she is going to make a difference for anyone beyond herself.
And let’s be honest, part of the reason the beginning of the book felt slow was because Warden wasn’t there. As soon as Warden and Paige are back together they work seamlessly as a team. That’s why I love them! And their chemistry is exicuted beautifully, even though their intimate exchanges are a minority of the story, when they are together the depth of their relationship is redifined each time and made stronger. And when they are working they never stand in each others way or ask for anything the other can’t give. Both of them realize they are in a “doomed” relationship (though I hope they somehow persevere of course), and whenever the other is doing something dangerous, instead of begging them not to risk anything, they acknowledge that the other has to do this to remain true to themselves and support each other – it’s just such a great example of a mutually respectful relationship.
Beyond the complex personal relationships, the depths of depravity within Scion and the syndicate is crazy. Shannon has woven such a complex and detailed world. And seeing the voyants using their various gifts in this book was really interesting, the bloodless battle they can wage on each other was so intense and imaginative. And the foreshadowing in this book has me thinking of a lot of plot twists to come, I hope I am right with some of them!
Basically, I can’t wait for the next book. This is supposed to be a 7 book series, and while I am excited it will last that long, I also can’t stand that I have to wait 5 years to get them all!