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The Pale Dreamer
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ebook Cover
Author Samantha Shannon
Release Date December 6, 2016
Publisher Bloomsbury USA
Pages 108
Preceded by N/A
Followed by The Bone Season

The Pale Dreamer is a prequel to Samantha Shannon's first book The Bone Season and comes in the form of an ebook.

Synopsis[]

"A dreamer is born - The exhilarating prequel to the ground-breaking, extraordinary Bone Season Series.

In the perilous heart of Scion London, a dangerous and valuable poltergeist is on the loose - and it must be caught before chaos erupts on the streets of the capital. Here, the clairvoyant underworld plays by its own rules, and rival gangs will stop at nothing to win such a magnificent prize.

Sixteen-year-old Paige Mahoney is working for Jaxon Hall, the most notorious mime-lord in the city. He thinks she is hiding a powerful gift, but it refuses to surface. Maybe this is the opportunity she needs to secure her position in this gang, the Seven Seals..."

Plot[]

It is 2056, and Paige Mahoney is sixteen and has been working for Jaxon Hall for three months. When she left school, she told her father that she was living with a friend and looking for a job in the service industry. He is disappointed that she has decided against applying to the university. However, Paige knows he would be even more disappointed if he knew the truth, that she has joined the clairvoyant syndicate and is a member of the Seven Seals. She has been trying to master her clairvoyant abilities as a dreamwalker, but without success. Nobody can agree on how to teach her to use them because she is the only known dreamwalker. Nick Nygård, Jaxon's second-in-command, has been teaching her how to use a knife, how to climb, and how to spool spirits. Paige is desperate to stay in the Seven Seals because she needs to learn how to hide and control her gift, so she is not caught by Scion. She also loves being part of the gang and feeling like she has a family. Lately Paige has been feeling frustrated because she has only been given menial jobs, such as making coffee and doing research. According to Nick, Jaxon always does this to new recruits, claiming it's a test of character.

One of the other Seven Seals, Eliza Renton, has been working for Jaxon for over a year. She is a bit jealous of Paige's addition to the gang. She arrives at their base, The White Binder's Den, with news. Jaxon's rival, Didion Waite, has been looking for valuable spirits to auction. He has found Sarah Metyard, a famous poltergeist. He hired an amateur binder to bind her, despite the fact that he himself is a binder. The hired binder messed up and now the spirit is on a rampage. Nick believes that Metyard is after the spirit of Anne Naylor, the teenage girl she murdered. Jaxon says they must deal with Didion, who by creating a rogue poltergeist, has broken syndicate law. He immediately calls Didion and blackmails him into allowing the Seven Seals to bind Metyard and claim her, as well as the right to bind Anne Naylor. Didion reluctantly and angrily agrees to avoid being reported to Haymarket Hector, who as Underlord, would most likely kill him for breaking syndicate law.

To Paige's surprise, Jaxon is giving her a chance to go into the field instead of doing desk duty. Paige and Nick will begin searching for Sarah Metyard in Anne Naylor's haunt, located in Cheapside. Eliza will research the poltergeist’s history before and after her death. Before leaving to begin their search, Jaxon gives Paige her alias, The Pale Dreamer. Paige is ecstatic because this makes her one step closer to fully being in the Seven Seals. She is desperate to impress Jaxon by bringing "the sparkle of ambition to his eyes."

Nick and Paige arrive in Cheapside, which is located in I Cohort Section 5, which is mime-queen Ognena Maria's district. She and Didion are waiting for them. Maria tells them that they can have Anne Naylor, but she gets Sarah Metyard. Nick calls to check the arrangement with Jaxon. He agrees to Maria's conditions, but only if when Maria sells Metyard she gives him the chance to buy her privately instead of in an auction. Maria agrees. Nick and Didion go to discuss Metyard. Didion tells Nick that Metyard was seen at the site of Tyburn, which is the location of her hanging. Meanwhile, Maria pulls Paige to the side. Maria tells Paige that being in the syndicate will toughen her up, but she shouldn't let it turn her to stone. She also tells Paige to stay humble and always question what she's told. She needs to remember what it's like to be an outsider and a nobody and to never look down on the people who end up at the bottom. If she keeps her mind open and looks out for the lowest people, she might find it repays her one day. Finally, Maria tells Paige that if she ever gets tired of Jaxon's bad temper, she can always come work for her.

As Nick and Paige arrive at Farringdon station, Anne Naylor's haunt, they are confronted by Haymarket Hector, the Underlord of the syndicate, and his gang the Underbodies. They begin fighting and end up disturbing Anne. This allows Nick and Paige to escape. While hiding in an alley, Paige tells Nick that she thinks Anne is not actually hiding from Sarah but wants to confront her. Paige believes both poltergeists want a final showdown. They call Eliza to see if her research has revealed anything. It has. Eliza has discovered that besides Tyburn, Brunton Street is another place of importance to her as it was where she lived when she was alive. Sarah was reported to have been seen there recently. Paige thinks the location of importance the two spirits are going to meet at is the sewer drain, or gully-hole, where Sarah disposed of Anne's body. With help from Eliza, they decide that the current location of the gully-hole is West Street, right near their base, the White Binder's Den.

Sure enough, both Sarah and Anne are there, facing off and circling each other. Sarah lunges at Anne, making her flinch, tormenting her even in death. While she can't kill her again, she can weaken and hound her, never leaving her alone. Nick and Paige lure Sarah into the courtyard behind the den and try to hold in her place so Jaxon can come and bind her. When Sarah realizes what Jaxon is trying to do, she hurtles toward him. Paige jumps in front of Jaxon, giving him time to complete the binding. Jaxon, Paige, Nick, Eliza, and Anne are battling against Sarah, trying to hold her in place. The binding isn't working. Suddenly, Paige realizes that this isn't Sarah Metyard, it's her daughter, Sarah Morgan Metyard. She tells Jaxon her realization. Just as Paige thinks holding off Sarah is going to kill her; Jaxon successfully completes the binding. Anne returns to her haunt, while the Seals return to the den to recover. Sarah is now bound to Jaxon and enters the den as well, no longer on a rampage.

After falling asleep, Paige is woken by Eliza who takes her to the neighboring cookshop known as Chateline's. Paige thinks Jaxon is going to let her go, but Nick and Eliza assure her that he won't. Eliza tells her that everyone, including Jaxon, was impressed that Paige was able to hold back Sarah on her own, while they can only repel spirits with spools. Eliza also explains that Jaxon had a strong suspicion that the two spirits would confront each other at West Street, but he wanted to test Paige by seeing if she could work it out herself. He was delighted when she did. Eliza and Nick invite Paige to join their tradition of getting breakfast for supper ever Friday at Chateline’s. A few weeks after the capture of Sarah Metyard, Jaxon offers Paige the position of mollisher, which she accepts.

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