Review: The Song Rising by Samantha Shannon

28260402Following 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 . . .

31451267PLEASE NOTE This book is the third in a series, if you have not read The Bone Season or The Mime Order, please, please, please read them first. This post may contain unavoidable spoilers for the first two books. However, it should not contain spoilers for the third.

But how, Elou? How did you get your mits on The Song Rising, it’s not out for another month?! Well, dear reader, I am lucky enough to be an advocate for the series, meaning I get each book early for shouting-about-it-everywhere purposes.

You may have seen me shouting, loudly, on twitter and for good reason. I love this book. Starting where we were left at the end of The Mime OrderThe Song Rising leaps straight back into the action. Even though there has been quite a gap between the second and third installments, it’s like the series has never gone away, I was instantly transported back to Scion London and enveloped in Samantha Shannon’s world of clairvoyance, intrigue and somewhat intimidating paranormal beings.

Paige is, as ever, a strong protagonist not without her moments of weakness. I love Paige and I will love her until I am withered and tiny. All of the characters in these books are brilliantly well thought out, I love each new character. Even the ones I love to hate. Once more, we are introduced to new members of an already excellent cast. So much of the world in these characters is built through its characters that it’s so important for them to be exactly right. Spoiler alert: they are.

The stand out thing about this book is the departure from Scion London, seeing other parts of the UK was in equal parts exciting and intriguing. I’d long wanted to know what the rest of the country was doing while London was falling more and more under the heavy thumb of Scion and its not-at-all human helping hands. I was more than satisfied. Everything about the locales we visit in The Song Rising is great – I won’t say too much more because I am desperate not to spoil anything.

What I will talk about is my favourite part of the book. Everyone who has read The Bone Season and The Mime Order knows that the titles always appear in the books in some way. I love it when a book’s title is thrown into a book nonchalantly mid-sentence. Or not nonchalantly, the sentence in this book is not particularly nonchalant. It is my single favourite bit of the book. When I read it I squealed “She did the thing!” aloud. It’s the little things. You’re going to love this one.

I said in my last review that the writing had gotten even better with the second book and the same is true of the third. This series is going from twisty-turny strength to strength and it’s well worth the hype. This series is like nothing I have ever read before and I know that I could never in my wildest dreams have thought of this myself. I love books that catch me off guard. Of course, every book is predictable on some level (in a romance novel, you expect a romance and so on and so forth) but it’s the things that surprise you that matter the most. There are a fair few surprises in this book. Gut-wrenching, belly-churning surprises. I love it.

It’s a wonderful addition to the series and I can’t wait to see where it’ll lead. Things happen in this book that I wasn’t expecting, it managed to surprise me multiple times and I bow down to Samantha Shannon’s imagination. It’s a cracker. The wait may have been long but, boy, was it worth it. She can take all the time she needs. It is a privilege to be able to read her work.

Go buy this book. Pre-order it and receive super cool swag. (You have to love a book that comes with swag.) You know you want to.

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The Blog Catcher #1: Charlieinabook & MassiveHassle

theblogcatcherPlaceholder graphic… it will get better

Welcome to the first in a series of blog posts, which I am tentatively saying will appear every Thursday for the forseeable future. The Blog Catcher is my way of sharing the great blogs I stumble upon/read regularly with you guys! Each entry will feature two or three blogs and this is the first. How exciting!

As this is the first, I thought I would feature people who I know who also happen to have brilliant blogs.

Charlieinabook is run by Charlotte Morris, who also writes reviews on MuggleNet and creates content for InclusiveMinds. As you may be able to tell by the name, it has a lot to do with books but not just books: publishing. Charlie goes to all sorts of wonderful publishing events and writes about them in her blog, the latest being held at The Story Museum about Fairy tales!

Under her belt, Charlie has lots of great internships and experiences, from David Fickling Books to Headline, including a day assisting Neil Gaiman, of which I am insanely jealous. Her blog is a great place to haunt if you love Young Adult and Children’s fiction, especially inclusive fiction, and marketing/publicity/social media greatness. She’s also incredibly good at live tweeting, giving her a follow on Twitter is highly recommended too.

The second blog is very different and run by Marianne, MassiveHassle.com is a feminist goldmine. She writes very candidly about things that matter, a recent post wrote honestly about her attitude towards her body and how that attitude came to be – Marianne’s blogs really get you thinking. They can be snarky or serious but they’re always entertaining to read.

She doesn’t just blog, she also creates various link farms (one of which introduced me to the beauty that is Mary Lambert), sharing things she finds interesting, which I have found I find interesting too! If you’re interested in pop-culture, gender, feminism and a bit of healthy fangirlism then MassiveHassle is your kind of place. Plus, she collects fictional maps – who doesn’t love a good map?

If you have any blogs you think I should check out, let me know in the comments! I always love recommendations. If you have a blog, I’d love to see that too!