What You Need To Know:
Title: The Bone Season
Author: Samantha Shannon
Number of Pages: 480
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Dystopia
Series/Standalone: First Book of Seven in the Bone Season Series
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication Date: 6th May, 2014
Rating: Three Stars
It is 2059 and Paige Mahoney, 19, is a part of the criminal underworld of Scion London. Her job: to scout for information by breaking into people’s minds. For Paige is a dream walker, a rare breed of clairvoyance and, in the world of Scion, she commits treason simply by breathing. Then suddenly her whole world changes: she is attacked, drugged, kidnapped, and taken to a city that shouldn’t exist – Oxford. It has been kept secret for two hundred years, controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. Paige is assigned to Warden, one of these strange creatures who will now be 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 mean to die.
I actually can’t count the number of times that I have tried, and failed, to read this book. I always pick it up, knowing that so many people adore it. But I end up DNFing it after thirty pages from the sheer excessive amount of info dumping and rather dull narrative. But this time, I forced myself to keep going. By doing this I knew that one of two things would happen: I would go into a reader slump or I would actually finish it. Thankfully, it ended up being the latter.
“Knowledge is dangerous. Once you know something, you can’t get rid of it. You have to carry it. Always.”
The main thing that I will say about this world is that Paige is a relatively reliable narrator. We are learning everything at the same time as her so the info-dumping kind of makes sense. But it really could have been played out in a better way, spreading it all out over the course of the book rather than giving it to us in the first fifty or so pages. My main example is the explanation of the different types of clairvoyants that are available. Straight away about this in large spurts that meant I had forgotten what most of them were about ten lines later. I understand explaining one or two but surely she could have introduced them as we learnt about a particular character with that skill. Anyway, back onto Paige. Her voice was relatively believable. People who have a harsh life do age quite quickly and it’s clear that she has had a harsh life. But so many parts about her life were inconsistent. Like a particular section with her cousin. If you’ve read the book, I’m sure you’ll know what section I’m going on about.
“Nothing’s worse than a story without an end.”
The idea of the parallel timeline was interesting since 2059 isn’t really that far into the future and unless I’m highly mistaken I don’t think there are that many people with clairvoyant abilities wandering about. I did enjoy that section of the history, that the first known voyants came were discovered two hundred years or so ago. And the link to Jack the Ripper – that was a nice little touch. But I wouldn’t have said that that (and the control of Scion) made it a dystopian. Some people might but for me it just felt like any old sci-fi or fantasy but it just wasn’t quite at the dystopian level.
“They’d branded me like some kind of animal. Lower than an animal. A number.”
One other thing. This plot sounded completely unique when I first looked at it. It sounded chilling and gripping. But now that i’ve actually read it and I’ve started to look back at it. It’s just a Shadow and Bone rip off really. Think about it, the protagonist is a teenage girl who accidentally uses her abilities; meaning that she’s sent off to a place for other people with magically abilities like her. There a man looks after her, someone who is dangerous and full of mystery and eventually teaches this teenage girl to understand her abilities. Oh and his is undoubtably sexy. Yep, it’s almost exactly like Smoke and Bone but just without the Russian twist and with some alien beings thrown into the mix.
“For the dreamers.”
I did have high hopes for this series and it wasn’t dire but it just wasn’t that brilliant either. Yet strangely I found that I couldn’t put it down. In my opinion, the hype really was over the top. It was good but not brilliant. And I probably won’t pick up the rest of the series.
“I like to imagine there were more of us in the beginning. Not many, I suppose. But more than there are now.”
Have you read this series? What are your thoughts on it? Feel free to let me know!
Book Total of 2017 – 45