Review: THE BONE SEASON by Samantha Shannon



THE BONE SEASON (The Bone Season #1)
Samantha Shannon
Published: August 20th 2013 by Bloomsbury USA
Pages: 466

The year is 2059. Nineteen-year-old Paige Mahoney is working in the criminal underworld of Scion London, based at Seven Dials, employed by a man named Jaxon Hall. Her job: to scout for information by breaking into people’s minds. For Paige is a dreamwalker, a clairvoyant and, in the world of Scion, she commits treason simply by breathing.

It is raining the day her life changes for ever. Attacked, drugged and kidnapped, Paige is transported to Oxford – a city kept secret for two hundred years, controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. Paige is assigned to Warden, a Rephaite with mysterious motives. He is her master. Her trainer. Her natural enemy. But if Paige wants to regain her freedom she must allow herself to be nurtured in this prison where she is meant to die.


“Knowledge is dangerous. Once you know something, you can’t get rid of it. You have to carry it. Always.”

The Bone Season was… a lot. It was almost 500 pages of this intense, incredibly complex, and dark story. There was just so much packed into this first installment, so many things to keep track of, that I had to be very careful with my reading to make sure I understood everything that was going on. That made this a rather heavy book for me, mostly because it forced me to really pay attention to everything. That said…

The world-building in this was amazing!!! It was so extensive and, while it was a bit hard to follow at times, it made the story so rich. And, in my opinion, it was done really really well, because there was not a moment in which I thought it was taking away from the plot.

It took me a little while to really get into the story, mostly because of what I said above. But as I learned about this new world and immersed myself in it, I was hooked. The Bone Season did an amazing job at grasping my attention and keeping me invested, even through the most difficult parts.

The jumps in timeline did seem a bit choppy to me, though. Some passages were in the present time, while others went as far back to Paige’s childhood, and there was a bit of how she came to work in the criminal Underworld. They disrupted the flow of the story a little, and a couple of them felt unnecessary.

A little bit about Paige: she was actually a great character most of the time. She had her strengths, which she was not afraid to use if it meant surviving another day, but she also had her weaknesses. One of those weaknesses was that she put her self-worth in the hands of other people. She didn’t think she was anything more than her gift unless someone else loved her. That was something I struggled a bit with, but hopefully that will turn into something she overcomes as her character develops throughout the series.

As for the other characters, Warden was probably the one I had most problems with. It was clear we were supposed to both distrust him and feel sympathetic towards him as the plot progressed, but I just disliked him. He was Paige’s master and he violated her privacy and stripped her of her agency so many times along the way that I honestly just wanted her to leave him to die, basically.

So you can guess that I also had a huge problem with the romance. I have no idea what made the author think this was a good idea. And I don’t know why none of her editors stopped her and pointed out why this kind of thing was Not Okay.

Overall, The Bone Season is a book that will take you to a whole new and imaginative world, if you don’t frustrate easily and have the patience to focus on the very extensive world-building. The ending is action packed, and despite the Very Bad romance, it is still an enjoyable read with a lot of potential. I’m curious about where this is going, enough so that I will pick up the next book: both because I want to figure out what happens, but also because I want to see where this train-wreck romance is going.


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