The Bone Season

Samantha Shannon
The Bone Season
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Bloomsbury USA
Release Date
August 2013
Romantic Science Fiction/Futuristic

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.

Book Review by Ashia (reviewer)
Sep 11, 2013   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
149 people found the following review helpful
I am speechless. This story is amazing. The worldbuilding is magnificent in scope and breadth, and yet, for all that was revealed, there is the potential for more. And I can't wait for the projected sequels.

Paige Mahoney lived in the year 2059, and she is clairvoyant, specifically, a dreamwalker. Just having such a power is death in her world. She works in the criminal underworld of Scion London, but one day, when she was captured and arrested for a wrongdoing, she encounters a force more sinister than Scion.

Apparently, she was taken to Oxford, a place that was erased from the map two centuries ago, but is in fact occupied by an otherworldly race. They captured voyants (people with psychic powers) to build an army in the fight against the Emim (another otherworldly race). And in this new place, she has to live by the Rephaims' rules in order to survive. One of those rules is being trained by her keeper, a Rephaim by the name of Warden, a being with mysterious motives, which caused Paige to have ambivalent feelings. Who is the real Warden? Is he her enemy? Or a potential ally?

On starting the story, I was confused. There were so many unfamiliar terms and names. As I was reading on my Kindle, I didn't know there was a glossary at the end. Well, even if I had known, I probably wouldn't have liked jumping back and forth either. I think that's one of the disadvantages of an e-reader.

Anyway, I skimmed over the first few pages, clinging to context to provide myself with a basic understanding of what was happening. When I reached the part where Paige and a stranger were about to be apprehended on the train, the action and excitement begins. So, just hang in there. It won't be long before you'll be caught up in the story and you'll get the hang of what the words mean, even if you don't fully understand them.

Paige is a complex and rich character. She's smart, strong and incredibly loyal. She doesn't trust easily, which is why she has ambivalent feelings about her keeper (Warden), when he doesn't beat her or treat her badly like the other Rephaims do the humans under their care. In the midst of oppression in the camp, her humanity shone through in the way she tried to help the other humans in the camp, humans who are in the lowest rung of the social ladder. Her will to survive and escape, to do what is right at the risk of her life, is admirable.

As I've said, the story is rich in worldbuilding, with vividly described details and facts. However, it feels like only the tip of the iceberg, that there is more to the Rephaim, the voyants, the crime syndicate and the Emim than what the author has revealed so far. And I can't wait to find out more!

The pace of the story was right for me, with action-packed scenes to up the excitement, mixed with slower paces of revelation and dialogue. There wasn't much romance in the book, though there were interactions (of course!) between Warden and Paige, but maybe that was because this is the first in a projected 7 books in the series. However, I wasn't bothered by it, as the story was engrossing and the storytelling compelling enough to make one forget mealtimes and sleep.

THE BONE SEASON is an excellent read, which I highly recommend. Don't miss it!
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