The Song Rising by Samantha ShannonThe Bone Season #3
Published on March 7, 2017 by Bloomsbury USA
Genres: Adult, Dystopian, Fantasy
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 stabilizing 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 . . .
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So. I had two main thoughts right after I finished this book. First, these books have serious pacing issues. I swear this one was all over the place. Might just be me, but it’s something I had an issue with in the last two books. But I’ll get to more of that in a bit.
Second, there wasn’t enough of a certain Mime Lord. At the end of The Mime Order, that plot twist finally had me hooked on these books. And then… the turncoat that shall not be named is basically non-existent from this book beyond a few mentions here and there. That’s what I was excited for! To see the stand-off between them and Paige. But… nothing. There’s a scene near the end but it didn’t warrant the ending of the previous book.
Alright, so it’s three books into the series. I had my issues with The Bone Season and The Mime Order but ultimately the books seemed to be getting better. I can’t say that isn’t true now having read The Song Rising but I’m thinking that I’m just never going to like this author’s writing style.
Also this is going to be hard while also avoiding as many spoilers from previous books as I can, so keep with me here for a sec.
Paige has taken on a LOT of new responsibilities as Underqueen in London. It’s a constant battle for her, with her own emotions and decisions that need to be made, with her “subjects,” with the Rephaim she’s partnered with. I liked that each of these conflicts is brought out and developed, that Paige has to make the tough calls and face the consequences of her decisions.
On a lesser note, I am so tired of the Paige/Warden romance-baiting! We have three pretty massive books and now is NOT the time for them to cool their heels. Come on! If this is supposed to lead to some big revelation I will not be happy for being strung along this far. And it wouldn’t surprise me if that’s what happens based on the last scene.
This book actually reminded me a lot of the Hunger Games trilogy, specifically Mockingjay, in that way. Girl turned revolution symbol must take down the evil government. The darkness, the reality that sets in during the course of The Song Rising makes it very real. Granted, there are far more books coming up in this series so Paige still has a lot of work to do.
Now book 3 here is shorter than the previous installments which was great for me, first, in part, because of the pacing. It just wasn’t consistent. For 75% of the book, I saw all of this real stuff going on but it was always written in a way that was either too slow and I became bored or too quick and was gone before the details set in. Now the last 25% was action scenes one after another. Something was always happening, tensions rising, and it was great. The ending? Eh, not sure how I feel about it but that comes in to the other part of the book length.
The world has expanded from London in The Song Rising, and I can see how the series will be shifting directions from the Mime Order out into something bigger that might warrant the 7-book series. Might. We shall see. But while the world grew, the details weren’t around. I felt like the books went from drowning the reader in world-building to not including enough.
I’m just… I don’t think “underwhelmed” is quite the right word for this book but I felt like while it improved on some things, it failed on others. This wasn’t the continuation I was hoping for but it’s the one we got and I’m just wondering where this series is going and if it’s getting too big for these characters and this story.