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The Bone Season

The Bone Season 4

by Samantha Shannon
Publication Date: 21/08/2013
4/5 Rating 4 Reviews
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. The Bone Season introduces a compelling heroine and 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.
Contemporary fiction
Publication Date:
Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Country of origin:
United Kingdom
Dimensions (mm):
Samantha Shannon

Samantha Shannon was born in west London in 1991. She started writing at the age of fifteen. Between 2010 and 2013 she studied English Language and Literature at St Anne's College, Oxford.

In 2013 she published The Bone Season, the first in a seven book series. The Mime Order followed in 2015. Both were international bestsellers and have been translated into twenty-six languages.

The film rights have been optioned by the Imaginarium Studios and 20th Century Fox. In 2014, Samantha Shannon was included on the Evening Standard's Power 1000 list. The Song Rising is her third novel.

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Average Rating

5 / 5 (4 Ratings)
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  • A great read for fantasy lovers!

    by on

    It was the plot summary for The Bone Season that drew me in - as soon as I read it, I knew that I had to give the book a go. It's definitely worthy of its hype.

    The concept of Scion drew me in straight away and I can only applaud Samantha Shannon for creating such a rich and interesting world. I not only loved the supernatural element with the voyants, etc., but I also found the roots of the world very interesting to read about. At the beginning of the novel, it can be quite overwhelming coming to grips with the world structure and slang terms that are introduced. I was personally hooked from the start but from another perspective, there is a lot of information being thrown at the reader from an early point in the book. The reader has to get to grips with the world - and terms - being thrown at them. Its the first book in a series so thats inevitable. (Tip: Theres a glossary printed at the back of the book that you might want to refer to). As its so detailed, any reader will have a wonderful time with this book and their imagination. I could vividly picture everything happening while I was reading. Sometimes I feel that books in this genre focus more on plot and pace that I feel disconnected from the environment, but I feel that The Bone Season combined all essential story elements to a tee.

    There are a lot of characters introduced in The Bone Season at various points and initially, that can be a little overwhelming too. While there were many minor characters, I feel like I dont know them too well yet. There was obviously a lot of focus on the protagonists and they developed a lot as the story progressed. I liked Paige as both a narrator and a character, and I enjoyed reading from her perspective. I really did root for her. I appreciated the fact that she has a lot of admirable qualities without just being the typical badass, even if it took some time for me to distinguish her from other leads in similiar books. As others have mentioned already; shes the kind of protagonist that both young adult and adult readers could like and relate to. Some of my favourite parts of the book were those that flashed back to her past, particularly in Ireland, and I liked her relationship with Nick. Nick was one of my favourite minor characters - there was just something about him, and what he represented to Paige, that I had a soft spot for. All I wanted was for him to find her. I liked other characters with small roles, like Julian and Liss, but I just dont feel like I got to know them much. As for Warden, theres definitely more to him than meets the eye. He was intriguing, mysterious, and all that jazz. The romance was predictable but the way it was done was refreshing. I actually felt that Paige and Warden had genuine chemistry and even so, if wasnt paraded around unnecessarily. The story didnt function because of the romance - it worked with and around it. Books of this genre usually force romance early on in a series and I dont find it believable. I liked it here, even if it wasnt my favourite aspect of the book, and Im looking forward to seeing how it progresses as the series does.

    Unfortunately, it took me quite a while to actually finish the book. The beginning drew me in slowly, tempting me, and the ending left me breathless. I read the last 150 pages or so in just one short sitting. However, I struggled around the middle of the book. Something just knocked my interest and it took a lot of effort to read on. I just cant help but feel like the book was too long at 450 pages and that if it had been just slightly condensed, Id have no issues finishing it in just a few sittings.

    The Bone Season is an interesting and exhilarating read, set in a wonderfully crafted world. Its the kind of book that both young adult and older adult readers could enjoy, as it connects elements of the two. Its a must-read for fans of the fantasy/dystopian genre. For the first book in a series, its definitely done enough to ensure Ill be sticking around for the sequels.

  • Lived up to the hype!

    by on

    The Bone Season was a book that screamed, HYPE! HYPE HYPE HYPE HYPE HYPE. A comparison to J.K Rowling heeeere, most extraordinarily-talented-amazing-revolutionary-paradigm-shifting author over theeeere; basically, it was being predicted to be the next worldwide best-seller. And we all know, with hype comes expectations, and more often than not, these expectations aren't met. I mean, we book-nerd consumers are tough. These authors have to compete with the power of our imaginations, and when a book is built up so much, we expect no flaws (somehow), for the plot to blow our minds (somehow), for the swooniest of swoony romances (somehow)..

    BUT! I must admit, I was not disappointed at all. In fact, the more I read, the more excited I got. This is no thin book, the size intimidated me at first (nearly 500 pages) but it completely sucked me in and soon enough, the chapters were flying by. WELCOME TO SCION. dun dun DUUNNN!

    The world building in this novel is incredible, it's definitely the most complex aspect of this book, and the thing that will inspire the rants, and the lost nights of sleep. One of the greatest strengths of this book, is that the blurb gives us the barest hint to the world that is Scion, so the reader discovers it completely anew and each revelation is certifiably squeal worthy. I don't even know where to start, I don't think I could do it justice. It literally takes a couple hundred super exciting pages to discover one side of Scion, no doubt allowing the rest to slowly unravel in this 7 book series. Everything in it is so well thought out, the amount of detail is phenomenal, Samantha Shannon has created a world entirely unique that she knows down to the minutiae. When you open the novel, there is even a double page feature of charts showing 'the seven orders of clairvoyances' detailing the types of people, their abilities, how common they are, categories they fall under and so much more. So many charts I didn't understand. It built intrigue, so much intrigue. Basically, plot holes, you will not find.

    The Bone Season revolves around this idea of clairvoyance; there are poltergeists and tarot cards and spirits and all these other supernatural aspects that do not usually interest me at all. But instead of making me feel eerily uncomfortable, Shannon's completely original style in HOW she blended these aspects together completely captivated me. Second to world building and originality would be her characters. What is with bad ass heroines and fantasy just going so well together?! It's fantastic, and Paige did not disappoint. This novel is told in first person, and even though I usually prefer fantasy in third person, it really worked in Shannon's favour because it preserved the mystery of the novel. If we only get Paige's POV, Scion's secrets are safe until she discovers them. And WARDEN! AAHHHH love him, love him so much. No instalove, hooray! Adversely, the romance wasn't so dragged out in the face of six more books that I got bored.

    I'd like to emphasise, there is nothing boring about The Bone Season. It's chunky and magnificent and will appeal to young adult and adult readers alike. No matter what your views on this book are, from the blurb, from all these reviews, you won't really understand the world of Scion until you read this from cover to cover. The power of world building should not be underestimated, Samantha Shannon did a formidable job.

  • Brilliant Debut Novel!

    by on

    Im always nervous to read books that have a lot of hype surrounding them. I dont want to feel let down and so it was with some trepidation that I started to read The Bone Season. The first in a seven part series, this debut novel by twenty-one-year-old Samantha Shannon is an adventure into a world similar but so very different from our own. The story begins in 2059, London with Paige Mahoney, a nineteen-year-old clairvoyant dream walker. Clairvoyants (or voyants as they are also known as) are forced into the criminal underground or risk being caught and locked up by the Scion the current ruling body of the continent.

    Whilst she may be on the other side of the law, Paige has a nice set up. Working for Jaxon (Jax) Hall and breaking into other peoples minds from a distance for their secrets and information, Paige is safe from the reach of the Scion. That is until an incident causes everything to change. Paige gets captured and taken to the Tower. And things are just getting started.

    Theres so much that goes on in this novel. The blurb doesnt even begin to touch on Paiges troubles. Theres an alien race known as the Rephaite who feed on the voyants and need them to keep alive. Their way of life and their parasitical nature is simultaneously obscene and compelling. I loved how this book began. Paige is one of the good guys despite working for an underworld lord like Jax and some of the things she has to do to keep alive throughout the novel. Shes intelligent and resourceful and well-intentioned. But shes not a pushover and she does have her flaws. There were times when I felt like some of the circumstances around Paige were a little too fortuitous and convenient (like the length of stay in the Tower compared to others) but I understand that these things were essential for the overall big picture.

    The other characters are just as interesting and three-dimensional as Paige. Jax who isnt seen very much in this first book but has so much potential fascinated me. And then theres Warden. Hes mysterious and its unclear as to what his endgame is just yet but you just know that its going to be worthwhile continuing reading to find out. There are a whole cast of other characters I could go on forever about. What I like most about them is that every character human or Rephaite has their own agenda. Be it world domination or just being alive to see the sunset tomorrow Shannon has done an amazing job of bringing them all together in a way that feels right for each individual character.

    As should be expected in the first novel of a long series is some world building and there is a fair amount of it in The Bone Season. Whilst essential to help build the plot and understand the race who inhabit the universe thats been created, there were times when I did start to feel a little overwhelmed with just how much was going on. That said the Seven Orders of Clairvoyance, the mysterious Rephaite colony in Oxford and criminal syndicate in which Paige worked are all beautifully created with a lot of depth and detail.

    This is a long novel and I was impressed with the level of research that you could tell went into the story. Ive heard people call this book a young adult novel but thats not how Id describe it. I think its an adult book which many teenagers would enjoy. It gets quite dark sometimes with Shannon treating the characters she created quite badly at times but there is still an element of hope. I cant wait for the second book which Shannon is currently writing to be released and have high hopes of what is to come next in this series!

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