Sunday, July 6, 2014

The Bone Season: Review

17853114The 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.

If I was to describe The Bone Season in one word it would be ambitious. Of course, I live for ambitious stories. They could arguably be my favorite type of book, if they are well done. Key word: if. The Bone Season did have a compelling concept, but some issues ruined most of it for me.
This book had quite a bit of publicity surrounding it before its releasing, and if I recall correctly, Samantha Shannon was hailed as the "next J. K. Rowling." Upon hearing that, I immediately felt wary. In my past experience books that were being called the next thing...usually fell flat. However, I was still intrigued because it sounded like it had a solid plot. The Bone Season was generally enjoyable, even with its major and minor problems.
The Bone Season is narrated by our usual strong heroine: Paige Mahoney. The problem with Paige is that she fell into the typical strong heroine type. What do I mean by that? The answer to that: While being strong can definitely be a good quality in characters, sometimes it feels like I'm reading the same character that I did in the last book(ex: Cecile in Stolen Songbird). Girl sacrifices herself in the face of danger. Girl ends up starting a revolution. You get the gist. I really want to see a girl in a book who feels unsure of herself during one point in a book. Paige was obviously different from everyone else because she was clairvoyant and all, but most of the time I didn't really feel like she felt different. Another problem with typical strong heroines: I really, really wish I could say that I would sacrifice myself for a stranger, but sadly, I'm not that brave, nor that courageous. The problem is that I just can't relate to strong bad-ass characters as much to an average teenage girl protagonist. It becomes even more of  a problem when your basic dystopian or futuristic novel consists of only strong heroines. I really wanted some character growth in this book. Disappointingly,  Paige didn't seem to have that.
If you remember, I called this book ambitious. Ambitious is entirely the correct word for the world Samantha Shannon created. The world is very in-depth and you can easily tell while reading that Shannon did her research. However, again, I ran into a major problem. The most common problem when you're introduced to a new world: infodumping. While maybe this wasn't a major problem for some people, it was for me. It was very disorienting in the beginning, and for that reason I had trouble getting into it. The beginning should have been compelling me to read more, but instead I felt extremely confused. The good side to this: After the initial confusion, I then(overall) enjoyed reading the rest of the book.
 One thing you should know before reading this book: THERE IS A GLOSSARY. Man, I really wish I could have known that before I started reading. It would have been majorly helpful.
The plot, along with Paige, felt like the usual dystopian novel. Government is evil. Girl starts revolution...blah blah blah. I will add that the action and side characters did compel me to read more. But, again I ran into a problem. The middle was action-packed and not too easily predicable, but the ending...yes, I knew the ending from the beginning. And because of that, it fell flat for me.
The romance was touched on a bit in this book, and I usually never say this, but I wish that the romance would have waited until the second book. For the first half of the book, Paige basically hates Warden, the love interest in this scenario, even if he treats her mildly okay.(You have to understand that he's pretty much an alien who is supposed to hate humans and especially clairvoyants. I think he treated her way better than all of his other people. But for some unknown reason, Paige had to hate him the most.) Then, suddenly, she understands him towards the end and his motives...and bam romance. It felt rushed to say the least.
In conclusion, The Bone Season was a very ambitious, imaginative novel. It held alot of potential, and it met most of that potential with a few exceptions. Fans of futuristic or dystopian books should give this a try.


  1. Awww, I'm sorry this didn't' work for you. I agree it was very ambitious and I think comparing Samantha to JK Rowling really isn't fair. I don't think the books have anything in common. Great review and hope you enjoy your next book more.

  2. It does sound good but not good enough to buy, you know?


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