I’m not going to say too much about The Mask Falling because I know that Kate hasn’t read it yet. I do try not spoil things for her (whether she likes it or not) but I will say it was very satisfying installment into the series. We get to see more of Scion outside of the UK and how far it’s reach is growing but also the cracks from within. Paige and Warden are now hiding out in Paris and it allows her to interact with new groups of voyants and non-voyants and discovers more about the Rephaim and tests her own relationship. So good.
What I did like the most is that in the back of the book was a review of the cast of characters and glossary. Before I started reading this book, I searched out recaps online because it’s been a couple of years since the last book came out and it’s so dense and has so many characters and needed a reminder of what has happened. I could have reread the previous books but I wanted to dive right in. Even with reading all the recaps it was still super helpful to have those resources right in the back of the book. I really do hope that more series follow suit because it was super helpful. I’m sure authors and publishers hope that readers will go back and reread the previous books in between releases but let’s be honest that is just not realistic. So why not devote a few pages in the back to character descriptions to help to jog readers memories. Especially series like this one that have so many characters and subplots. (looking at you Game of Thrones) In conclusion this was really good. It ended on quite a cliffhanger and who knows, I might go back to the beginning and read them all again since it’s probably going to be another three or four years before book five comes out.
**Spoilers. I was lucky enough to get an Advance Copy of this book back in December. Spoilers will happen in the review so be prepared.**
Well this is a game changer for the series. We are getting to the Prisoner of Azakaban territory as we begin to expand the world and up the stakes. Paige is now the Underqueen of the Unnatural Assembly but when Jaxon jumps over to the Rephaim side, she’s blindsided. Not only does she have doubts about her abilities, her mentor is working with the enemies, giving them all of their secrets. The Mime-Order’s partnership with the Ranthen is tenous at best. She must first prove to the voyants that she is worthy to follow and to the Ranthen’s that she worthy to be funded. After a disastrous mission to take down senshield, a device that can detect the auras of Voyants, Paige takes off to investigate leads in Manchester. Trying to stay ahead of the evil military mastermind, Vance. Nothing has been easy for Paige and that is definitely true but she really comes into her own. Paige very much wants to what’s best for the voyant community and end Scion but she has to combat so many things. She has to prove her worthiness to her people and to Ranthens. Making things complicated is Jaxon, who many people still support and don’t believe that went over to the Scion. Others see Paige’s youth as another drawback. When Paige makes the mistake of acting on unproven intel and that makes sensheild even stronger, she has to move everyone underground. Paige may not see it at the point but I think this was a pivotal point for her. It proved her willingness to make the hard decisions but also it outsmarted her enemies. Jaxon admits that even he couldn’t figure out where they disappeared too. As the story plays out, we see more and more of cruelty of the Scion and how it’s not just the Rephaim who are committing it. The introduction of Vance is an example of a human doing unspeakable things on other humans for advancement or for their own enjoyment. It almost seemed like Vance sees her role as more of a game then anything else. To me that makes her scarier then the Rephaim. Samantha Shannon is getting better and better with each book. It’s almost as a writer she is learning more about herself, as Paige is doing the same thing on the page. The ending leaves as many answers as it does questions but also opens us to even more possibilities. I will do my best wait patiently for book 4.
So 2016 is almost over. Thank God or Oh No. Who knows what 2017 will bring but we do know it will bring plenty of good books. Here are 10 I’m really looking forward too.
Pyromanticby Lish McBride. – I was lucky enough to get an advanced copy of this one and it was everything I hoped it would. I can’t wait for it to come out in March so I can read again.
A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas – The second book was one of my favorite books of this year and the way it ended makes me even more excited for it. Feyre is back in the Spring Court with Tamlin but this time she knows who she is and who he really is.
Always and Forever, Lara Jeanby Jenny Han – I didn’t even know this was even in the works when I read To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before and it’s sequel P.S. I Still Love You earlier this year. I found the two books to be very charming and sweet. I loved Lara Jean and Peter and I thought their story was over but I guess not. I’m still holding out for Kitty novel.
The Song Rising by Samantha Shannon – This is another book I got an early look at and for all of you still waiting, it’ll be worth it. I’m going to re-read The Bone Season and The Mime-Order again before this one comes out.
King’s Cageby Victoria Aveyard – Mare gave herself up to Maven and who knows what that sadistic bastard has planned for her. Will Cal save her or will she save herself? Will Farley forgive her? The rebellion continues
Carve the Markby Veronica Roth – This Veronica’s first book since the Divergent series ended. No matter how you felt about Allegiant you have to admit that Roth is one brave storyteller.
Strange the Dreamerby Laini Taylor – If her last series, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, is anything to go by this one is going to be a real crowd pleaser!
The Ship of the Deadand The Dark Prophecy by Rick Riordan – Rick Riordan has been on a winning streak lately with both his Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard and The Trials of Apollo series’. Not only are they imaginative they are truly fun. Riordan hasn’t been afraid to take on tough subjects and bring a diverse cast of characters to his books and make them both relatable and accessible. It’s going to be a busy year for Percy Jackson.
Silver Starsby Michael Grant – In this revisionist history story we met three brave women who are fighting in World War 2. The end of the last book saw our three heroines have all survived their first battle but the war is still a few years from ending. There are more battles to be fought before our heroines get to go home.
What books are you looking forward to reading in 2017?
I didn’t realize that Samantha Shannon published two novella’s in connection to her Bone Season series. I was delighted that one of was Jaxon Hall’s infamous pamphlet. On the Merits of Unnaturalness. Fans of the series will be familiar with the title as it is bases of the clairvoyant community and what made Jaxon a major player in the syndicate. Under the pseudonym of the Obscure Writer, Jaxon goes through all the different types of Clairvoyance there is and grouped them in seven different orders. This also created a hierarchy among the community by ranking orders by difficult and by rare each gift is. I feel like this is a must read for fans of the books because it really clears up a lot of the different gifts that the characters have and how they relate to each other. It also explains why some are treated with more reverence then others. We understand that Paige’s gift of dreamwalking is rare but not only that, it’s part of the seventh order so it makes her even more powerful among the community and having her in his gang, it makes Jaxon more powerful too. It also cleared up more as to why the “vile augurs” were so despised and exiled to Jacob’s island. I feel like I have a better understanding on the syndicate and Paige’s life after reading this.
Speaking of understanding more about Paige’s life, the second novella is the The Pale Dreamer. It chronicles the early days of Paige in the Seven Seals. She has only been in the gang for three months and so far on desk duty. Aching to prove her worth, Paige gets a chance when a Poltergeist is set loose in London. We see that even three years before the action of the Bone Season, Paige was already brave, a little brash but a quick thinker. Her powers are still raw but you can see the glimpse of her strong she will become. This is also shows us why she goes by The Pale Dreamer. It was the name given to her by Jaxon himself. It was the events depicted in the novella that lead her to becoming his Mollisher. At the time the Seven Seals is only Jaxon, Nick, Eliza and Paige so we get the glimpse of their early relationship between these characters. Also it lays the groundwork to the future conflict between Paige and Jaxon but also not that surprising as to why Nick and Eliza chose Paige over Jaxon at the end of The Mime Order. It’s definitely worth a read for any fan but not necessary to enjoy the series as a whole as it doesn’t really add to the narrative. It just fills out the world and Paige’s backstory a little more. With a little less then a month before the release of The Song Rising, it’s a good read while you wait.