Sunday, January 25, 2015

[Book Review] The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

The Bone Season (The Bone Season #1) by Samantha Shannon

Publication Date: August 20th, 2013
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Genre: Adult Fantasy
Source: Personal purchase


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.
(Courtesy of Goodreads)

My Review

What a fantastic book! I've had The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon on my shelf for over a year now and I can't believe it took me this long to finally read it. I think I’d been putting it off for so long because of all the hype surrounding the book. Let me just say that it definitely deserves that hype. Shannon has created this whole alternate history of the world in The Bone Season and done it nearly flawlessly.

I think one of the most amazing part of this book is how Shannon managed to essentially alter history as we know it. She created an alternate universe to the world we live in know, speculating what would have happened if this clairvoyant power suddenly came into existence. You can tell just from this first book that Shannon must have piles and piles of notes on the background of the world she created because of how well-thought out the story is.

The only reason that this book doesn't get five stars is because of the "learning curve" I found with the terminology associated with the magnificent world that Shannon creates. There were times when I just had to let myself keep reading and not get bogged down by the jargon associated with clairvoyance. The glossary at the back of the book definitely helped whenever I needed to refresh my memory, but sometimes it felt like a lot to keep track of.

Otherwise The Bone Season blew me away. The world-building was amazing and the character development was on point. I think one of my favorite characters is Warden because of his complexity. I know my first impression certainly changed by the end of the book. I really do hope we see more of him in the coming books. I also can't wait to see how Paige develops more in the later books. She is an excellent protagonist and Shannon builds her backstory so intricately that she feels very realistic. Even the secondary characters have such fullness to them and you know that even if we don't see every detail on the page, in Shannon's mind they are fully fleshed out characters.

Overall, The Bone Season is a beautifully written novel by debut author Samantha Shannon. This series is looking to be one of my all-time favorites. Just this first book was one of my favorites of 2014. The only reason I'm glad I waited is because I don't know how I would have waited so long for the sequel. With the sequel, The Mime Order, coming out this week, I highly recommend picking up The Bone Season if you haven't already.

4 out of 5 stars

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