Review: The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

Posted June 11, 2014 by chooseyabooks in britishbookschallenge, reviews / 0 Comments

I received this book for free from Bloomsbury in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The Bone Season by Samantha ShannonThe Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
Series: The Bone Season #1
Published by Bloomsbury on August 20th 2013
Genres: Fiction, General
Pages: 368
Format: eARC
Source: Bloomsbury

It is the year 2059. Several major world cities are under the control of a security force called Scion. Paige Mahoney works in the criminal underworld of Scion London, part of a secret cell known as the Seven Seals. The work she does is unusual: scouting for information by breaking into others’ minds. Paige is a dreamwalker, a rare kind of clairvoyant, and in this world, the voyants commit treason simply by breathing.
But when Paige is captured and arrested, she encounters a power more sinister even than Scion. The voyant prison is a separate city—Oxford, erased from the map two centuries ago and now controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. These creatures, the Rephaim, value the voyants highly—as soldiers in their army.
Paige is assigned to a Rephaite keeper, Warden, who will be in charge of her care and training. He is her master. Her natural enemy. But if she wants to regain her freedom, Paige will have to learn something of his mind and his own mysterious motives.
The Bone Season introduces a compelling heroine—a young woman learning to harness her powers in a world where everything has been taken from her. It also introduces an extraordinary young writer, with huge ambition and a teeming imagination. Samantha Shannon has created a bold new reality in this riveting debut.

Review: The Bone Season intrigued me early on with its prepublication hype and also the fact I’d heard it described as an adult/crossover novel with YA appeal. While not necessarily my usual type of read, I did find myself enjoying this book and getting swept into the world of The Bone Season.

For the first 10% of the novel, I have to admit I was very confused. We are immediately thrown into the novel’s world and it is a complicated one. The language, alternative history and level of detail did make me consider giving up as I felt a little overwhelmed. However, after taking a break I persevered and I am glad I did as I became quickly engrossed and accustomed to the world. The novel begins in London with Paige, a secret voyant, working for the criminal underworld. Paige is thrown into a series of unfortunate moments that lead to her being taken for the Bone Season.

The Bone Season despite its somewhat difficult start is very readable and I found myself speeding through the book and wanting to follow Paige’s journey. The book really came into its own for me once we arrived at Oxford. The world of the Bone Season is cruel and disturbing; there is slavery and Paige’s ‘master’ Warden becomes a key character. Although I guessed his allegiance early on and felt he was a little cliched at times, he was a strong presence. At times, I felt his relationship with Paige didn’t work for me due to the ‘owning’ dynamic and this was hard for me to overcome however their friendship develops slowly and didn’t feel rushed.

Paige was a solid narrator and developed well throughout the novel. While aspects of her character could be seen as cliched, for example her ability and general strength, I think Shannon did a good job on making her feel original and making the reader relate to her.

Overall, The Bone Season is a book I’m glad I persevered with and I would definitely read book two. While at times, I felt a little swept away by all the detail Shannon has created an accomplished and well imagined world and compelling novel.

I received a free egalley from Bloomsbury  for reviewing purposes. My review is honest and its tone and content unaffected by the means in which I received the book.


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