In 2059 Scion London, where those who possess clairvoyant powers are unnatural and treasonous, Paige is a dreamwalker – one of the most powerful tiers of clairvoyancy. Employed by Jaxon Hall, leader of an underground group of rebels, Paige is tasked with breaking into people’s minds to obtain information. Her potential doesn’t go unnoticed and she soon finds herself kidnapped and transported to Oxford, a prison city where other clairvoyants are kept and tested by another race of beings called the Rephaim. She needs to escape but she knows that she is never meant to leave this city alive.
What a massively ambitious story. Jenn and I laughed that we had picked such a hefty read for our Brunch Book Club‘s shortest month. The reader is thrown right into the mix of the Scion world from the first pages which was both good and bad. There is so much back story and history to this book that it would have taken up way too much time to describe the lead up to the state that they are in now, however I found it a bit difficult to wrap my head around what was going on at times. I struggled at times to keep the characters straight and was confused to the motivation of some because I didn’t know why. Why was London like this? Why were the clairvoyants so shunned? Some of it is addressed later on, but right off the top I had way too many questions and felt the answers came too late into the book. The world building is huge in this and I think I would have understood the plot a lot more had I known some of the basics of their Scion world earlier on.
With such a large story, this being the first book of 7, and a large cast of characters it may be challenging at times to give enough development time to some. It was already difficult to keep straight all the people but then when Paige finds herself imprisoned and they’re all given numbers, it made it all the more tough to follow. There were dynamics between Paige and others that I would have liked to see more of (and maybe that’s coming in the future books) and others that felt a bit forced and off-putting. I won’t go into it here so as not to spoil it for those who haven’t read it yet, but will further discuss this in my brunch book club recap later this week.
In all honesty, I’m not sure how I feel about this book. I committed to it and flew through the first 1/3 fairly quickly but then completely hit a wall and struggled through the rest of it. I think I wanted to find out what was going on initially so much that I pushed through but then didn’t find the mental capacity to sit down and re-immerse myself into the world even though that’s actually when the action starts happening. Truly, it wasn’t until I had about 90 pages left to go with a scene from Paige’s memory that I felt any kind of connection towards the main character. There are also definitely moments that one might see coming from a mile away, some obvious tropes, but the author also succeeds in throwing in some curveballs to catch the readers off guard.
I do appreciate the sheer magnitude that Shannon has set out to do, and being such a young debut author who has created a huge imaginative world is not a feat to take likely. I am curious how the rest of the series plays out and may eventually find the time to get to the next book, The Mime Order. Also, I wish I knew there was a glossary at the back of the book that whole time. BTW: there’s a glossary at the back of the book.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ (3/5 stars)
Available: August 20, 2013
Goodreads | Book Depository | Chapters Indigo
Read as part of Brunch Book Club with Lost in a Great Book.
Wrap up discussion to follow in the coming week.