5★ books | book review

The Mask Falling | Samantha Shannon | ARC-Review


*I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

Please be aware that this is the 4th book in the series and the synopsis and review will have spoilers for the previous books!

What is it about?

Dreamwalker Paige Mahoney has eluded death again. Snatched from the jaws of captivity and consigned to a safe house in the Scion Citadel of Paris, she finds herself caught between those factions that seek Scion’s downfall and those who would kill to protect the Rephaim’s puppet empire.
The mysterious Domino Program has plans for Paige, but she has ambitions of her own in this new citadel. With Arcturus Mesarthim-her former enemy-at her side, she embarks on an adventure that will lead her from the catacombs of Paris to the glittering hallways of Versailles. Her risks promise high reward: the Parisian underworld could yield the means to escalate her rebellion to outright war.
As Scion widens its bounds and the free world trembles in its shadow, Paige must fight her own memories after her ordeal at the hands of Scion. Meanwhile, she strives to understand her bond with Arcturus, which grows stronger by the day. But there are those who know the revolution began with them-and could end with them… (goodreads)

the mask falling

Book: The Mask Falling | Series: The Bone Season #4 | Author: Samantha Shannon | Publisher: Bloomsbury | Published: 26.01.2021 | Pages: 514 | Genre: paranormal dystopia | Rep: demi MC, queer LI, wlw side characters, mlm side characters, nonbinary side character | TW: blood, death, vomit, torture, PTSD, alcohol, loss of loved ones

My opinion:

Writing this review will be hard. Not because I can’t find words but because I have found so many of them and have to put them in a shape that makes sense. To be honest, this review could be simply a gigantic “AHHHHHHHHHHH” and it would express my feelings perfectly because in that scream every single emotion could be found. And believe me, reading The Mask Falling really had me going through every. single. emotion. I apologize in advance in case something doesn’t make sense but I cannot express how hard this book hit me. But I guess I have to start somewhere.

The book starts out rather quiet. Not slow, but quiet. It gave me something I have craved for 3 books: domestic Warden and Paige. And it was so well executed, two people who have gone through so much living together, things between them they can’t put into words. But there was such a gentleness and I am not lying when I say I would read five books of just Paige and Warden being domestic, walking around a house and not having to care about anything but themselves. That said, I loved their whole relationship throughout the book. It was just so well written, so on point. How they accept each other, how deeply they understand each other. It really was a beauty to read about.

But every single character is just written so well. *chef’s kiss*. Everyone has a backstory that made them what they are, each of them has their pack to carry and a certain set of abilities and knowledge. I can’t say in mere words how much the whole cast of characters means to me. In my opinion, the trauma was extremely well written. The characters, and especially Paige, act out of what has happened to them, they carry trauma and they act according to it. It is hard and painful to read, but it also feels like as if those characters lie down their souls to the reader.

I really, really enjoyed the new characters. They’re different from the characters we already know, but I have to admit that I took an immediate liking to them. There is so much to explore yet. There are so many questions and theories in my head right now when it comes to Paige’s new friends but also her new foes.

The setting of Paris was also truly a delight to read about. Paris is one of my favourite cities so I knew a lot of places Samantha Shannon was writing about and I could picture them in a Scion-world very well. I also enjoyed that not every single French word was translated but was allowed to stay for itself. I love seeing other languages in books, it makes them more real. And The Mask Falling is definitely no exception to that, oh no. The French made it richer.

And the plot. Oh, so much happened. There was so much action, so much happening and I was just sitting there, eyes glued to the page except for those moments I couldn’t take it anymore and had to put the book down and take a breath. I loved the action scenes that had a few quiet moments inbetween, before the next scene of drama came. Please, give the characters a break. And give me a break because my heart can’t take it.

I haven’t felt this much about a book in a very long time. I am deeply invested in the characters and their story, and this book, while it was so full of action, also furthered character development so much and so well. There was a lot of plot, yes, but for me the focus was always on the characters and how and why they act the way they do. Samantha Shannon managed to find the perfect middle of characterization and plot and I will forever be in awe over that. The Bone Season series is not one of my all time favourites for nothing and The Mask Falling just proved it yet again. I stand by what I said: an “AHHHH” would be the only way to correctly express myself and until I have stopped yelling, I urge everyone to read this series so I have more people to yell with.


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