The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
Published: August 20th, 2013 (Bloomsbury)
Series: The Bone Season, #1
Buy the book: Bookdepository
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.
It has been a while since I read this book (it was our November Book Club pick) but I never found the words to write an actual review, which is why it took so long for me to type this one up. And to be honest, I'm still not sure if I can put into words what I thought of this one, so please excuse any incoherent sentences in this review. I'd say I'm sorry, but I'm really not.
So. Let's talk a bit about my reading experience. When I picked it up, I was a bit daunted by its size, as it's a whopping 466 pages and the book is pretty huge. But I'm not shy of a challenge and I find that the biggest books often give me the most satisfaction when I finish reading them (I know I'm an oddball) so why not? To be fair, and also to warn everyone who is thinking of picking this book up, the first 100 or so pages are one massive case of infodump. I mean, REALLY. There's a map in front of the book, as well as a list of all known sorts of clairvoyants AND the back holds a glossary. That should tell you enough about the world the story is set in. But don't let it hold you back. Because once Shannon has introduced you properly to the world, Paige and the Rephaim, you'll slowly find yourself falling in love.
To be honest, the infodump is both the book's weakness as it is its strength. It takes you a while to figure everything out and to be able to place everything because the world is so complicated and thought out, but once you do, the book is fantastic. It's as actionpacked as it is intriguing, both the world of the clairvoyants as the world of the Rephaim. I found myself falling in love with the book from around the 120 page mark and I still found myself in that state, although maybe slightly more fangirlish, at the end of the book.
Paige is one feisty ass motherfucker. She feels real, and she's not perfect by any means. She has flaws, she makes mistakes, but she is real about it and she learns from them. She is kicking ass without being arrogant, if you know what I mean? I mean, she is still figuring stuff out after being thrown into the world of the Rephaim, but she's not afraid to give it her best shot. I admire that about her. She was a fantastic character to accompany on her journey and I loved experiencing everything with her.
And then there's Warden. Warden is in a league of his own, let's be real. From the moment he was introduced, I was curious about him. When I got to know him, I was fascinated. By the time I was halfway through The Bone Season I was shipping shit so hard it was hard to focus on all the other stuff going on. I mean, I turned into a complete fangirl. And I still am a groupie; I think I may be going through Warden withdrawal as we speak.
I loved the dark and twisty plot and all the storylines. It takes a while to kick off, partly because of you being dunked into the world with a whole shitload of facts about the world, but when it does, you seriously cannot stop reading. The plot was well put together and set up REALLY well for the sequel (WHY DID IT HAVE TO END THERE, SAMANTHA?! ARE YOU TRYING TO KILL ME?!) and I feel like I've already been waiting YEARS for The Mime Order to come out, even though it's only been a couple of months. If this was only the first book, I am excited to see what Shannon has in store for us in terms of the story arc over the next books. I bet it's gonna rock my socks off!