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


The Bone Season by Samantha ShannonThe Bone Season (The Bone Season #1)
Samantha Shannon
Published: Aug. 20, 2013 (Bloomsbury)
Purchase: Book Depository or Amazon
Review source: Borrowed from library

Reviewed by: Amy

Rating (out of 5): 3 stars

The year is 2059 and a security corporation called Scion is in control of many of the major cities of the world. Scion’s goal is to eradicate clairvoyants (unnaturals). As you can imagine with (clair)voyants being public enemy No. 1 there isn’t much they can do. Many, like Paige Mahoney, work for the underground crime syndicate. Paige is a rare kind of voyant known as a Dreamwalker. She has a connection with the aether (spirit realm) outside her own body. Her job with the Seven Seals is to spy on ethereal activity. At nineteen Paige has been with the syndicate for three years, but she’s still learning about her power.

After accidentally using her power to kill another person, Paige is apprehended. Voyants were always under the impression that upon capture by Scion they would be taken to The Tower. When Paige wakes up, however, that is the furthest thing from the truth. It turns out that voyants have been shipped to what was once Oxford, and now has been colonized by a species known as Rephaim. They have been taking Scion’s voyants and making them soldiers in their army fighting against creatures known as Emim. Beneath the layer of seeming acceptance toward the voyants, the Rephaim clearly have another  more sinister, agenda. Warden is Paige’s Rephaite keeper and it soon becomes apparent that he has his own mysterious motivations. Paige will need to decide if trusting him will get her killed or get her home.

There is a lot to take in while reading this book. The Bone Season definitely suffers from the first book curse of being responsible for world building. With all the terminology thrown at readers, along with alternate/slang uses of every terms, it can get a little confusing at times. Once I was able to focus on the main story, I found it was a pretty interesting set up.

Voyants are basically considered slaves. There are varying levels and all start out at the bottom. Through different tests they are able to move up in rank. Paige is conflicted as to whether or not she wants to play into the Rephaim’s plans. She can fail her tests, but then she would be out with the rabble scrounging for food. The most interesting parts of the book for me were between Warden and Paige. He’s vowed to help her hone her power, and as reluctant as she is to help the Rephaim, she’s very interesting in strengthening herself. It’s through their training sessions that Paige begins to see that Warden’s different than the others. I think one downfall of the book was the fact that these sessions, in the grand scheme, were few and far between.

Samantha Shannon devoted a lot of page time for Paige to have various recollections of her life. While informative, I felt that many of these instances dragged the book down. There was a reason for all the flashbacks, but by the end, without giving anything away, it felt more of a convenience than anything else. It was time that could have been better used for more page time between Paige and Warden physically (not necessarily that way, get your head out of the gutter!).

Overall, I think something interesting was started with The Bone Season. The end leaves me wondering what will come next after what began in this book.

Sexual content: Sex

One Response to “Review: The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon (Bone Season #1)”

  1. Amit Agarwal says:

    What I love about this book is that there is not a word in this book that’s uncalled for. I don’t believe in ghosts, that’s reality. But this book can take you far away from that, as far away as your silver cord allows it to (Don’t worry you’ll understand once you’ve read it). The chapters are quite small and very visual, and at the end of each, you’ll be drawn into the next, meaning you can’t put it down once you’ve started. The language feels natural and hence easily understood. About the protagonist, I can only say that, you’ll learn from her the true meaning of courage and grit. At the beginning, you may find it hard to keep track of the terms, but don’t worry, they are used repeatedly, and so, by the end of the book, you’ll be an expert on all types of clairvoyants and related terms. Good luck and welcome to the world of spirits:)

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