The Song Rising by Samantha Shannon- The Prologue

TheBoneSeasonTheSongRising

I have been a huge fan of The Bone Season series by Samantha Shannon since the first book released and I’ve been positively dying to read the next book, The Song Rising. The release date is closing in (March 7th 2017- still far too far) and as a TBS Advocate we were sent the prologue and let me tell you- AHHH IT WAS AWESOME. The Mime Order ended on such a crazy cliff hanger and I am so pumped I guessed what was next correctly.

My thoughts on the prologue…

When what you guessed at the end of the last book was RIGHT. Still. Wow.

When what you guessed at the end of the last book was RIGHT. Still. Wow.

Benedict-Cumberbatch-as-Sherlock-Holmes-in-ooh-this-is-getting-rather-fun-isnt-it-GIF

Now Your Turn

If you’ve read both prior books I invite you to read the prologue yourself and let me know what you think!

Be aware- this prologue is FULL OF SPOILERS. So, if you are new to the series or haven’t read The Mime Order DO NOT READ THIS PROLOGUE. I don’t want you to be spoiled.

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Here’s the prologue for The Song Rising (there ARE spoilers)

THE SONG RISING prelude

Did you see that Bloomsbury has changed the covers for the books? They look gorgeous and I can’t wait to add them to my collection. For those, like me, that have the hardcovers they are making a special collector’s edition for the books that will match the old design! How awesome is that!? You can find more info about the cover change here.

About the Book

TheSongRisingCoverThe Song Rising
By: Samantha Shannon
Release Date: March 7, 2017
Publisher: Bloomsbury

Summary:
The hotly anticipated third book in the bestselling Bone Season series – a ground-breaking, dystopian fantasy of extraordinary imagination

Following a bloody battle against foes on every side, Paige Mahoney has risen to the dangerous position of Underqueen, ruling over London’s criminal population.

But, having turned her back on Jaxon Hall and with vengeful enemies still at large, the task of stabilising the fractured underworld has never seemed so challenging.

Little does Paige know that her reign may be cut short by the introduction of Senshield, a deadly technology that spells doom for the clairvoyant community and the world as they know it…

Blog Tour- The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon Review + Giveaway

Last year I had the pleasure of reading The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon. I was immediately blown away with her world building, creativity and writing ability. I have fallen hopelessly in love with her characters-their journey has become my own as I read how it unfolds. I am so pleased to be able to share my review of the second novel in this series, The Mime Order.

In Samantha Shannon’s world anyone with a clairvoyance falls within a certain order which can be determinded by the ability and also the color of aura the person exudes. Taken from Samantha Shannon’s website:

KristenWilliams

If you could see auras this is how I would appear

I. Soothsayers – Purple – Require ritual objects called numa to connect with the æther
II. Augurs – Blue – Use organic matter, or elements, to connect with the æther
III. Mediums – Green – Connect with the æther through spiritual possession
IV. Sensors – Yellow – Privy to the æther on a sensory and linguistic level
V.  Guardians – Orange – Have a higher degree of control over spirits
VI.  Furies – Orange-red – Subject to internal change when connecting with the aether
VII. Jumpers – Red – Able to affect the aether outside their own physical limits

 My Review of The Mime Order

TheMimeOrderCoverThe Mime Order
By: Samantha Shannon
Release Date: January 27th 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Format: Print ARC
Source: Publisher

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

My Rating:
star

Summary:
Paige Mahoney has escaped the brutal penal colony of Sheol I, but her problems have only just begun: many of the fugitives are still missing and she is the most wanted person in London.

As Scion turns its all-seeing eye on Paige, 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 center 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. Will Paige know who to trust? The hunt for the dreamwalker is on.

The Story:
What can I say about the storyline for this book and series? I’ll start here- it is fabulous, incredibly complex, detailed and intriguing. I absolutely love the world Shannon has created and her ability to add to it with each book. I felt that The Mime Order was a great sequel to The Bone Season because it gave me more insight into how the Seven Dials ran and also more about the mime-lords and queens. I’m really blown away with the level of depth and creativity shown in this series thus far.

I felt that the first section of this book was slow paced but I adore Shannon’s writing so I didn’t mind. The stakes weren’t all that high and my favorite character, Warden, was absent for the first part of the book. The Mime Order focused many, many pages on Paige reentering her old gang life and how the gangs were run. Once the action picks up the stakes get much higher and I felt the pacing was faster and smoother going.

Be aware, this series is considered to be an adult fiction–the content itself doesn’t seem overly adult themed but the pacing is very much slower than your typical young adult book. Knowing this about the series should help you enjoy the ride and slow burn of these books. These are long books but the payoff is so worth it. If you are like me and appreciate a slow burn then you’ll love this series.

The Characters:
I’m a huge fan of Paige and really all the main cast of characters. Shannon gives them their own internal dilemmas and they are all shrouded in a level of mystery that the reader slowly gets to see through. As with the first book Paige was driven, brave and overall kick-ass. She doesn’t wait for someone else to dictate her future but took things into her own hands. I enjoyed her as much in this book as the last.

As mentioned, Warden was my favorite character. Though he was vastly absent from this book he was still true to his character and wonderful. I loved getting to learn more about him and each of the few scenes with him and Paige were perfection.

The Mime Order spends a good amount of time with Jaxon. He was such an intense and complex character you can’t help but be intrigued with his storyline and motivations. I still can’t get a handle on his allegiance completely and I love that he alluded me.

Final Thoughts:
The Mime Order was a satisfying sequel though the pacing was slow for the first section of the book but once the action picks up you’ll not be able to stop reading. For me, Shannon’s writing was beautifully done and a pleasure to read even in the quieter moments. Though Warden and Paige don’t have that many scenes together the ones they do have count. I highly recommend this series to reader that want a complex world populated with intense characters.

Giveaway:

The lovely folks at Bloomsbury have been nice enough to provide a hardcover of The Mime Order for a lucky reader. This is US only. Enter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Extras:

  • Audio sample from The Mime Order audiobook which will release January 27th:

MimeOrderBlogTourschedule

Blog Tour: The Bone Season Lego Character Art + Giveaway

Why create Warden and Paige as Legos? Why not?

Summary (via Goodreads):
It is the year 2059. Several major world cities are under the control of a security force called Scion. Paige Mahoney works in the criminal underworld of Scion London, part of a secret cell known as the Seven Seals. The work she does is unusual: scouting for information by breaking into others’ minds. Paige is a dreamwalker, a rare kind of clairvoyant, and in this world, the voyants commit treason simply by breathing.

But when Paige is captured and arrested, she encounters a power more sinister even than Scion. The voyant prison is a separate city—Oxford, erased from the map two centuries ago and now controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. These creatures, the Rephaim, value the voyants highly—as soldiers in their army.

Paige is assigned to a Rephaite keeper, Warden, who will be in charge of her care and training. He is her master. Her natural enemy. But if she wants to regain her freedom, Paige will have to learn something of his mind and his own mysterious motives.

Extras:
What to read more? Be sure to read my review of The Bone Season and my interview with Samantha Shannon.
Like Lego art? Check out more.

Giveaway- US and Canada
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out our other giveaway

Interview with New York Times Bestselling Author Samantha Shannon

  

Immediately upon finishing The Bone Season, I knew that I had to have Samantha Shannon highlighted on my blog. I was honored (and admittedly fan-girlie) when she agreed to an interview. I’m so excited to share this interview on the 2013 Debut Authors Bash blog tour hosted by YA Reads.

The Bone Season is a brilliant book that has layers upon layers of depth; the type of novel that with each reading new ideas and themes will emerge. Upon my first read through these were the questions that most intrigued me.

The Bone Season is the start of a seven part series; do you have the specifics mapped out or just a general direction the story is headed?
I use what I call the ‘flesh-and-bones’ structure: I know the key points in every book and what I want to achieve in each one, but I let the characters write themselves to some extent – they flesh out the story. I think it takes the fun out of writing if you have every tiny detail planned. I know how the last book will end.

Are the following books going to stay in Paige’s point of view?
Yes, Paige will be a narrator for all seven, although I’m considering a split narrative with another character from Book 4 onwards.

Paige Mahoney

When I read a book/series featuring a world and cast of characters as prolific and in-depth as you have created I imagine the author to need a nook or room dedicated to character sketches, outlines and maps. Is this true of you? 
I do have a notebook in which I sketch out information about the characters – family history, key motivations and so on – but to be honest, I hold most of the information in my head. I know my characters very well, particularly Paige, Warden, Nashira, Jaxon and Eliza.  

In The Bone Season, people gifted/cursed with clairvoyance, or Voyants, are considered criminals and are hunted down by the Scion organization. Did you research the supernatural and if so what specifically?
I wanted my clairvoyant society to be a cross-section of historical types of divination, extending to encompass twenty-first century parapsychology. I did quite a bit of reading about classical and Renaissance impressions of augury, soothsaying and so on. After that I moved on to nineteenth century Spiritualism, mainly using The Book on Mediums by Allan Kardec. I also integrated Native American legend for Paige’s gift. Although I did a lot of research, I wanted to put my own spin on each type, hence the Seven Orders classification system. I wanted there to be a sense of inheritance and progression, a coming together of legends and phenomena.

Did you base the Scion Organization and the Seven Seals on anything specific?
The name ‘Seven Seals’ comes from the Biblical seven seals that herald the Apocalypse. The aliases they use are all tributes to the source – ‘White Binder’, for example, refers to the white horse ridden by the first seal. Scion has some echoes of Nazism, and also plays on the conspiracy theory that there might be a shadowy person or organisation behind the government, pulling the strings.

Artwork done by Leiana at Artist’s Inquisition

You capture the feeling of living in fear and secrecy wonderfully, especially in Paige’s life as a member of the Seven Seals, what did you draw upon to demonstrate these emotions to your reader?
I suppose it was just the sense of being ‘different’ or ‘abnormal’ in some way. I think everyone feels that way at some point in their lives. I’ve never had to live in fear the way Paige does, so it’s really pure imagination and conjecture – I’m glad you think I capture it well!

Each character you introduce is well rounded and immensely drawn out; did you create them or their world first?
I laid the groundwork of the world before I started writing – the clairvoyant types, the basic idea of Scion, the spirit world – but really, Paige was the first fully developed element. I put her into my embryonic world and her voice just brought it to life. Warden is my longest-standing character; he’s been with me for about six years. He was there before I even started to imagine The Bone Season.

As you are constructing your characters do they ever rebel against your plans for them or surprise you with the direction they take?
Sometimes they rebel, yes, especially with dialogue. I might picture Paige saying something, but it just doesn’t work when I type it out. She’s a bit of a loose cannon – she pulls me along more than I pull her along.

Warden

The Rephaim race is as haunting as they are beautiful. They are, in essence, domineering and elite—enticingly villainous in their disregard for individuality and the human plight. Yet, you are successful in giving them dimension, and in Warden’s character, the reader is even able to empathize. How were you able to tackle this fine line of being relatable yet distinctly otherworldly?
The Rephaim’s motives and divisions will be explored in more detail as the series goes on. Nashira, for example, comes across as insurmountably evil in the first book: she has no regard for humans whatsoever and really treats them as chattel – yet she does have reasons for being intolerant. Good and evil aren’t black and white, as George R. R. Martin has taught us time and time again. For me, the Rephaim are primarily an exploration of what it means to be ‘human’. It’s something Paige will have to tackle as her relationship with Warden develops.

Is there anything in particular you wish for your readers to take away from their reading experience?
I think any good book should make readers think; so long as it does that, I’m happy.

Thank you Samantha!

Check back this Wednesday, September 4th for my stop on The Bone Season blog tour where I will share My Friends Are Fiction’s interpretation of a character or two in Lego form. Also, there will be a giveaway.

Thank you Leiana for letting me use your Bone Season artwork! Check out her site here.

Debut Authors Bash at yareads.com
Take a look at the rest of the 2013 Debut Author Bash tour schedule:

September 1st
YaReads – Geoffrey Girard
Swoony Boys Podcast – Jane Nickerson
Kristi’s Book Readery – Page Morgan
September 2nd
Book Bandit – Laura Lam
The Word Mineur – Mindee Arnett
My Friends Are Fiction – Samantha Shannon
September 3rd
Nose Graze – Jessica Verdi
Between Printed Pages – L. M. Augustine
You’ve Been Blogged! – Jody Casella
September 4th
Skye’s Scribblings – Kasie West
Lose Time Reading – Emily Murdoch
The Eater of Books – Kelsey Sutton
September 5th
Book. Blog. Bake – Lauren Miller
Bookend 2 Bookend – Jennifer Salvato Doktorski
Musings of a Blogder – Heather Reid
September 6th
Magical Manuscripts – Shaunta Grimes
The Reading Vixens – Sarah Ashley Jones
September 7th
Books for Birds – April Genevieve Tucholke
Book Blather – Romily Bernard
September 8th
Inspiring Insomnia – Stephanie Kuehn
September 9th
Kissed by Ink – Ellen Oh
Sleeps on Tables – J.R. Johansson
Always YA at Heart – Amanda Sun
September 10th
Lisa Loves Lit – A.G. Howard
whYAnot Reviews – Liz Fichera
Samantha Clark – Claire M. Caterer
September 11th
Rampant Readers – Leah Miller
Emily’s Crammed Bookshelf – T. Michael Martin
September 12th
The Uninterrupted Reader – Cat Winters
The Book Beacon – Christina Mercer
September 13th
Read & Reviewed – Lindsay Ribar
Paranormal Book Club – Kit Grindstaff
September 14th
Books as You Know it – Mary Gray
Paranormal Reads – Elsie Chapman
Bibliophilia, Please – Helen Douglas
September 15th
The Book Cellar – Erin Bowman
Fantasy Book Addict – Miriam Forster
September 16th
Pond Across the Pond – Laurie Crompton
YaReads – Debra Driza
September 17th
Teen Librarian Toolbox – Mindy McGinnis
Le’Book Squirrel – Kimberly Ann Miller
Finding Bliss in Books – Lydia Kang
September 18th
Rachel Reads – Errica Lorraine Scheidt
Kentucky Geek Girl – Holly Smale
September 19th
Turning Pages – Amy Butler Greenfield
Beauty and the Bookshelf – Alison Cherry
September 20th
Synchronized Reading – J.L Spelbring
Reading is My Treasure – Kristin Halbrook
A&C Book Junkies – Carey Corp
September 21st
Playing Jokers – Lenore Appelhans
Lizzie’s Dark Fiction – Elizabeth May
September 22nd
Sandwich Making Book Bitches – Anne Applegate
Little Bookwork Reviews – Jennifer Iacopelli
September 23rd
Moosubi Reviews – Megan Shepherd
Little Miss Trainwreck – Julianna Scott
September 24th
Fictionators – Emma Trevayne
September 25th
Breath of Books – Steven dos Santos
Jennzah – Chelsea Pitcher
September 26th
Nightly Reading – Liz Coley
Pandora’s Books – Kelly A. Barson
September 27th
Forever 17 Books – Amie Kaufman
My Bookopolis – Jamie Blair
September 28th
Nick’s Book Blog – Jennifer McGowan
Curling Up with a Good Book – Leila Howland
September 29th
Ex Libris – Mindy Raf
September 30th
YaReads – J.J. Howard
Fiction Freak – Kate Karyus Quinn

Review of The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

The Bone SeasonThe Bone Season (book 1)
By: Samantha Shannon
Release Date: August 20, 2013
Publisher: Bloomsbury

An electronic copy was given in exchange for a honest review.

My Rating:
star

Summary (via Goodreads):
It is the year 2059. Several major world cities are under the control of a security force called Scion. Paige Mahoney works in the criminal underworld of Scion London, part of a secret cell known as the Seven Seals. The work she does is unusual: scouting for information by breaking into others’ minds. Paige is a dreamwalker, a rare kind of clairvoyant, and in this world, the voyants commit treason simply by breathing.

But when Paige is captured and arrested, she encounters a power more sinister even than Scion. The voyant prison is a separate city—Oxford, erased from the map two centuries ago and now controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. These creatures, the Rephaim, value the voyants highly—as soldiers in their army.

Paige is assigned to a Rephaite keeper, Warden, who will be in charge of her care and training. He is her master. Her natural enemy. But if she wants to regain her freedom, Paige will have to learn something of his mind and his own mysterious motives.

The Story:
What a complex and complicated world Shannon has created in The Bone Season; a society split between voyants (those with clairvoyant abilities) and the amaurotic (those with no ‘unnatural’ abilities). Voyants, with a variety of differing skills, are considered to be unnatural and criminal by their more ‘natural’ peers. A governing body called Scion works at weeding out any voyants and sending them to a prison ruled by an otherworldly race.

With the terminology, slang and different voyant types it can get a bit overwhelming for the reader to grasp the hierarchy of the world and keep track of what is happening. Some readers might find this tedious, but I loved having to really focus on what I was reading and trying to pull it all together so that I could visualize Scion and its inhabitants.

Though some of the descriptions were hazy to me, I still felt emotionally moved by many aspects of the book. I found myself completely wrapped into Paige’s story. I attribute the emotional pull to Shannon’s writing style which is rich and detailed but also realistic. I never doubted her knowledge of her world or her characters and had every confidence that she would pull everything together in the end.

The Characters:
I really loved following Paige throughout Scion with the Seven Seals and then old Oxford as a captive of the Rephaite. Even though she was thrown into situations that were fantastical and she had a powerful voyant ability Shannon was able to make Paige human and relatable. She was a tough and capable female lead that thought through her decisions and adapted to her surroundings.

My emotional connection didn’t stop with Paige. I also cared deeply for the secondary characters and worried about them and their fate. I was really interested in all the members of the Seven Seals and liked that we got to see tidbits of the past featuring them and their interactions with Paige. I felt that they were all well rounded and Shannon paid attention to giving them depth and a unique characteristics. I knew that they each had motivations for their actions and I could understand why they acted the way that they did.

As for the Rephaite race I was intrigued with what they are and where they came from. Shannon left most of these questions unanswered but I’m sure she will delve into them as the series continues. I could feel the intimidation that Paige felt by their otherworldly-ness and size. The Blood Consort, Arcturus Warden, was a wonderful three dimensional character that I immediately felt drawn too. I loved how much I could tell about his character from his body language alone.

Final Thoughts:
The Bone Season was an entrancing read that had me reading through it so fast that once I finished I regretted not savoring it and reading slowly. I am impressed with the creativity and lavish world building that Samantha Shannon was capable of in her debut book.

Look for The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon out in August 2013 by Bloomsbury.

Check out the website for the book.

A pronunciation guide for the novel

You must see Leiana Leatutufu’s artblog Artists’ Inquisition dedicated to The Bone Season

The Bone Season Book Trailer: