Review: The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

The Bone SeasonSource: Library
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Series: The Bone Season #1
Edition: Hardcover, 466 pages
Genre: Fantasy Dystopian
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository*
*I receive a small monetary kickback from Amazon purchases
Rating: 5/5

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.

The Bone Season is a book that has taken me by surprise. I knew going into it that it had extensive world building and that I was probably going to enjoy it, but I hadn’t expected to enjoy it so much that I flew through all 466 pages in a single afternoon and still wish I had more to read. It’s unique, detailed, and utterly addicting.

I don’t think I’ve ever used the words fantasy and dystopian in the same sentence, or at least not that i can remember. It’s usually the sci-fi genre that has it, but this is a different cup of tea. We have an alternate history as well as a future look of our own world where voyants exist. Claravoyants, are exactly what you think and more. They connect to the aether in some form and interact with spirits…and for this they are feared and persecuted. However everything isn’t as it seems and Paige is smack-dab in the middle of it. Now she must deal with a race called Rephaim, who treat them as slaves, and horrible creatures that have a taste for flesh. This book offers so much in terms of information, and the world building is some of the best I’ve read this year. The world is so detailed we get a flow chart for the different types of Voyants…and trust me there are a lot. We get new creatures to learn about and a new history, our own cities turned into something new. The Bone Season is rife with details and I just couldn’t get enough.

Shannon takes just as much care with her characters as she does with her world. Paige is a girl with a tough past and a tough personality. She’s definitely someone who can take care of herself but in many cases is forced to ally with people to gain what she needs. I really loved her, even though her outer toughness and her need to remain stubborn could get frustrating. I love that because she’s so different from other Voyants she’s had to protect herself, but because of that difference she’s also had to distance herself and remain closed off. Then there is Warden, the Rephaim now in charge of Paige. I’ll admit that it barely took a few pages before I was ready to claim him for the ever growing book boyfriend harem…even though Paige wasn’t falling for him, I definitely was. He’s hardened to  most things and they exist on different levels, which is quite interesting. I enjoyed seeing them interact with each other and the different layers of their relationship. Then there are the other Rephiam which I wasn’t so fond of, especially Nashira who is as cold and selfish as it gets. Even the characters we only get a few chapters of are worth noting, like Jaxon, Nick, Liss, and Julian.

I’m definitely glad I decided to grab this one from the library and I’m glad I took the chance to read it before it was due back. I’ll be eagerly awaiting the next book in the series, which apparently will have 7 books total. I need to know what is going ot happen with Nashira, Warden, and Paige. There is just so much I need to know.

5 stars

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4 Responses to Review: The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

  1. Oh wow, you make me want to read this one. Great review

  2. Great review Michelle, I’m glad you finally picked this one up! Like you, I absolutely loved the world building and wish there was more. I found the relationship between Warden and Paige to be completely plucked out of thin air though!

  3. Squee, I am so glad you loved this as much as I did. The world-building was fantastic and I loved the characters. Warden took me by surprise and I cannot wait for the other books.

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