The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
Series: The Bone Season (#1)
Published: August 20th 2013
Blurb: “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.”
I can’t believe I’m going to say this but The Bone Season is one of the best books I’ve read. It’s exciting, addictive and above all freaking original. I’ve read some reviews that said the book isn’t original at all and that it makes the reviewers remember certain books and that might be true. I just can’t say that happened to me, for me it was a fascinating brand new story and plot. If it makes other people remember certain books please tell me what they’re called so I can check them out because this is the type of book I want to read more.
Even though I say this is an excellent book, I can’t say The Bone Season doesn’t have any flaws. actually, one this I found to be a bit of a turn off was the info-dumping in the first chapter. Now, don’t decide not to read The Bone Season because I just said this. First of all, this book has an extremely complex world building. It centers in the world in 2059, where some people are voyant or clairvoyant if you prefer. The twist here is that this special people are committing a crime just by breathing, they are called unnaturals and shouldn’t exist. You can probably see where this is going but what you don’t know is that you’re going to read a whole description and explanation of the world right in the beginning of the book. However, I know why the author did it and I actually didn’t mind it a lot. It’s essential that you understand the world you’re reading about and as soon as you finish chapter one you’re sent to a journey full of action and conspiracies. One thing that really bothered me though was the fact that the author was constantly changing the terms of certain things: sometimes she’s call one thing by its usual term but then would make the characters use slang. The switch at the beginning was a bit confusing. It’s true there is a glossary in the end of the book but I don’t like having to check it every time a new word appears and that sucked a bit. TBS is a different kind of dystopia, I might say, it introduces a new species (that remind me of faeries) but in its essence is a dystopia book. The only dystopias I’ve really liked so far were The Hunger Games series, Under the Never Sky series and Blood of Eden Series so, for TBS to make the list of good dystopias it’s because it was, without a doubt, an awesome and don’t-study-read book for me.
Onto the characters… Paige, the heroine, might be one of my top favourite female characters now. She is strong but makes mistakes, she isn’t fearless but she’s always there to help her friends, no matter how dangerous it might be. Paige, right there with Rose from Vampire Academy, is the person I wouldn’t mind being. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t want to be in her place, but her personality rocks. She’s freaking amazing, it’s what she is! Some characters, like David, an oracle, were mysterious and you don’t know their exact role in the whole story but I can say they’ve peaked my interest and I want to know more about them.
Ah! But what you really want to know is if there is any romance *wink wink* When I first began reading the book I wasn’t expecting any kind of romance but then a certain character appeared and I thought to myself “Okay, there will be romance in this book.” The character in question is Arcturus, or Warden if you want. I didn’t like him at the beginning like many don’t probably. I don’t know if I wanted him to become romantically involved with Paige, I wasn’t sure if I wanted romance in this book. The plot was so complex already and I was extremely happy with what I was reading. And truth to be told most of the book doesn’t have a romantic plot. However! However, there were so many build up moments. Paige and Warden have to many “Just kiss now for fuck’s sake” scenes that I suddenly was just screaming at the book “DO IT NOW!”. I liked their interactions but I have to be honest, I still don’t know the Warden’s motived to go against his own kind. Okay, I know he wanted freedom, real freedom, but if the Rephaim aren’t supposed to feel a thing, I don’t know how this whole Warden has emotions and freedom came to be. BUT BUT there was something that really intrigued me. There is this flower that is that is dead. However when the Warden and Paige finally kiss, the flower is no longer dead, it’s in full bloom. Is the flower tied to the Warden?
Also, the Warden had rebelled 20 years before the book. Why, WHY, did the blood-sovereign (the “queen”), Nashira, keep the Scared Ones alive and make Warden her fiance? It just doesn’t make sense.
Paige’s backstory is told in memories and dreams but it didn’t interrupt the flow of the story. It’s amazing how Paige became part of the criminal world, how she became one of the Seven Deals. Nick, one of the members and her saviour, might be one of the most important characters in the next book and I do hope so! We don’t have many scenes with him but I feel like we’re going to see more of him.
The ending is kind of perfect. Even though it’s a little predictable, it leaves you wanting more. I want to know what will happen to Paige and all the rescued voyants, what will become of Warden and how the world is going to change. This is a seven book series, I don’t know why the author choose to write so many books, The Bone Season is already huge, but I know I’m going straight to an online bookshop to buy the next book as soon as it’s out. Incredible start to a series!