Series: The Bone Season (Book 2)
Format: Hardcover; 528 pages
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA (January 27, 2015)
Author's Website: http://samantha-shannon.blogspot.com/
Notes: I got an advanced eARC from the publisher. Thank you.
What followed was Scion, a republic built to destroy the sickness. Over the next fifty years it had become a voyant-hunting machine, with every major policy based around unnaturals. Murders were always committed by unnaturals. Random violence, theft, rape, arson—they all happened because of unnaturals. Over the years, the voyant syndicate had developed in the citadel, formed an organized underworld, and offered a haven for clairvoyants. Since then Scion had worked even harder to root us out." (from 'The Bone Season')
After six months spent in captivity, Paige Mahoney has finally escaped Sheol I, the Rephaim stronghold. She, the seven seals, and those who escaped with them during the night of the bicentennial celebration may be out immediate danger, but they're not safe yet. Paige and her fellow escapees are Scion's most wanted fugitives and the predictions made by the clairvoyants and psychics in the Rephaim employ are getting closer to figuring out she and the seals reside within the I-4 district of London. While she may wish to escape from being under Jaxon's power, she'll need his protection now more than ever. For the Rephaim will do whatever it takes to keep their presence a secret.
Can such a powerful foe be defeated? Paige believes if the syndicate can be united against them, the human race may just stand a chance.
One of the things I love about this series is the incredible world building. I know some are a tad bit overwhelmed by the complexity of it, but I enjoy that feeling of stepping into a familiar yet very different version of our world. Plus, it's that very complexity that makes this series so great. Set in an alternate universe primarily around London and the surrounding areas, this series blends the familiar with the unfamiliar in an eloquent way that brings the story to life and makes it easy for the reader to picture and relate to. Additionally, I adore how Ms. Shannon has created her own supernatural beings, the Rephaim, that are a combination otherworldly beauty, intelligence, power, strength, and cruelty.
In this installment, we learn more about the workings of the syndicate and of the I-4 Mime lord, Jaxon Hall. The syndicate lives in a constant power struggle. The head of the organization always needing to watch his or her back, The Syndicate is only as powerful as the person who heads it. They can strengthen or weaken it depending on how they rule. The current Underlord/leader, Haymarket Hector, does not always do what is in the best interest of the majority, and while Paige wants to address the Unnatural Assembly, which consists of the thirty-six mime-lords and mime-queens of the citadel who oversee the London syndicate, and inform them of the existence of the Rephaim, Jaxon believes to do so would be unwise. This causes additional friction between the two.
Jaxon is a complicated individual that I loved learning more about. He's a hard man to get a fix on because he hides himself within his role of mime-lord. He truly seems to care for those who work under him and is much more lenient than others who rule in the underworld. The conflict between him and Paige seems to profoundly affect him, and I wasn't sure what to make of him until the very end. I think there will be even more surprises regarding Jaxon in the future, and I look forward to reading about them. Could he be one of the survivors of the failed uprising against the Rephaim that happened twenty years ago? I kind of hope so.
I couldn't help but give this one 5 out of 5 roses. It was one of the best sequels I've read and couldn't put it down once I started reading. So be warned that you need to give yourself plenty of time to read this one. One of the best parts of the book was seeing Paige start to come into her own and grow as an individual. I can't wait to see what she'll do in future. The ending had a great twist that left me grinning and wanting the next book immediately. I only had two minor complaints about the book. The first is that we didn't get to see a lot of Warden ( although having Jaxon's story made that forgivable). The second is that I wish the glossary was located in the front for eBook readers instead of the back. It'd make it easier to maneuvering between what I'm reading and what terms I need to look up. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one earned a Blush rating--at the beginning stages of romance where something is just starting to be stirred. I look forward to seeing the relationship grow between Paige and Warden grow. Is it doomed to end tragically like Romeo and Juliet or will Ms. Shannon allow for a happy ending? I guess we'll just have to wait and see.