Book Review: The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

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The Bone Season

by Samantha Shannon

Series: The Bone Season #1
Publication: Bloomsbury USA on August 20th 2013
Genres: Dystopian, Fantasy, New Adult, Paranormal, Sci-Fi
Format: eBook
Source: Library
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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.

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]his book seems to have taken the book blogger world by storm as of late, with its author being lauded as the next J.K. Rowling, and if I told you that wasn’t enough to make me pick up this book as soon as I was able to get my hands on it, then I would be a liar.

It becomes evident almost immediately that, while completely captivating, The Bone Season isn’t Harry Potter. Not by a long shot. In fact, the only similarity I can think of is that both series truly have fantastic world-building. So many details are laid out in this book in a manner that’s clear, believable, and not the slightest bit overwhelming. Being that I read The Bone Season in eBook format,  I wasn’t able to clearly see the chart of voyants or the map of Scion London, and the glossary in the back of the book was essentially useless to me–but the context in which the author’s created words are given left little room for doubt in their meanings, and when I did get to the glossary (by, you know, actually finishing the book), I was already familiar with the meaning of most–if not all–of the words.

The main character, Paige, is well-developed, and I loved her for her loyalty to her friends, her protectiveness over Liss and the Harlies, and her strength, of course… but I loved her more for her weaknesses. I loved that she longed for the protection of her friends in the syndicate, but at the same time proved that she’s no damsel-in-distress. Reading her history and her childhood spread throughout the book was heartbreaking and gave you true insight to the events that molded Paige into who she is in the book’s present.

Now, let’s get down to the thing that’s really bothering me–the romance. It’s not just me being a cynic; I really couldn’t buy into the relationship between View Spoiler ». It felt contrived. I saw no chemistry. I would have expected a sort of strained friendship between the two of them by the end, sure, but certainly not random make-out sessions. Maybe if their feelings had come to light in a later book I would have been better pleased with the way it unfolded, but I legitimately would have preferred if there had been no romance in this book at all. And the fact that the View Spoiler »? It cheapened the rest of the story for me.

Coming in at over 450 pages, one might think that The Bone Season would be a chore to work through, but this book was addictive, whether I approved of the romance or not.


  • Reply Kelley (Another Novel Read) October 1, 2013 at 2:43 PM

    I haven’t read this yet, but it’s on my TBR for October and I’m so excited! I skipped your review (for now) due to the spoiler warnings (thank you for that!), but I’m excited to see such high ratings you’ve given it overall. I am curious about the rather low rating in the Romance department, though! Was it just nonexistent, or you didn’t like the love interest(s)? Love triangle? Instalove? >_>
    Kelley (Another Novel Read) recently posted…TBR Tuesday – 10/1/13My Profile

    • Samantha Claire
      Reply Samantha Claire October 2, 2013 at 1:01 PM

      Kelley, I’ve been trying to figure out a way to tell you how the romance disappointed me without spoiling anything, but I’m having a hard time! I’ll try to be vague. For me, the romance lacked chemistry, and I think it was sort of instalove.
      Samantha Claire recently posted…15 Day Book Blogger Challenge | Day 2My Profile

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