Thursday, 19 September 2013

Review: The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
Publisher: Bloomsbury UK
Publication date: 20th August 2013.
My rating: 4 stars.


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. The Bone Season introduces a compelling heroine—a young woman learning to harness her powers in a world where everything has been taken from her.

Lately I’ve been quite lucky in picking up books which have received a lot of hype before their release dates. Samantha Shannon’s The Bone Season had been promoted as the next Harry Potter and she had already signed a seven book deal even before The Bone Season had been released. As always I had my wary cap on before going into this book but after finishing this book I can safely say the faith that everyone had in Shannon in being able to deliver a stunning debut novel was fully justified. 

I did admit I did really struggle with getting into The Bone Season, I was really intrigued by the whole concept and found myself drawn to our strong MC Paige, but there was just so much to wrap my head around. I think that if I had realised in the beginning that there was a glossary at the end of the book this would have made my reading experience a whole lot easier. So it did take me until about 40% to really get into The Bone Season, but I’m glad I continued with this book because the second half was so worth it. 

The world that Shannon created in The Bone Season was just out of this world. The amount of detail she included to make this world appear so real was done wonderfully. I had no problem in imagining Paige practising with Warden in the fields, making her way through the woods or even battling her way through everything else. Some may say that Shannon added too much detail and created such a complex world, but I don’t think that this was the case at all. Without all of this intricate detail I don’t think this world would have been believable at all. 

Paige found herself in Sheol I, Oxford because of her ability as a dream walker, if there were any dream walkers around they were either pretty limited, so Nashira the blood sovereign to the rephaim was lucky to finally get her hands on one. Nashira was one of those characters who were quick to evoke feelings of anger within me. (The same could be said on Suhail and the rest of her cronies too). Every time she made an appearance all I wanted to do was to scratch her eyes out, but being the blood sovereign that she was and having five angels by her side I knew she was a truly unstoppable force to mess with. But I admired Paige’s courageousness to continue to find a way out. She was left battered and bruised so many times, but she never gave up on going back home to Citadel. What I also admired about her was that she did anything she could for her friends, even if this resulted in her getting a beating. Paige was a truly excellent character in just the first book, so I can’t wait to see how her character will strengthen and develop in the rest of the series. 

Paige’s relationship with her keeper Warden was a really complicated one. It didn’t help that Warden was such an enigmatic character, that I never realised until the very end what his real intentions were. But this rephaim definitely grew on me over the course of the book. What is it with big scary rephaim that always win you over afterwards?
Click to view spoiler!
I had an inkling of which way things would go with Warden and Paige, the way his character was slowly softening towards her, helping her out indirectly, believing in her in using her powers for herself, and so I think the way the romance developed was handled beautifully by Shannon, yes Paige did hate Warden with an intensity, but when this other side to Warden slowly began to creep its way through, I know I would have a tough time, rejecting his advances too. 

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What I also enjoyed about The Bone Season was the way Shannon gave us Paige’s back story. We were treated to small stories over the course of the book which helped us understand Paige’s character a whole lot more; how she had matured into this incredible character and why she was the way she was. It was also a great surprise in discovering in how we were getting “access” to Paige’s memories in the first place. 

The Bone Season was a brilliant start to what I believe will be a promising series. I would have loved to have the chance to get to know more about the seven seals, the glimpses we did get, were thoroughly entertaining. But I’m sure there’s plenty more to come from this fantastic bunch in the rest of the series. There’s nothing more for me left to say about this brilliant book but other than believe the hype.


23 comments:

  1. Thanks for the review. I was in two minds about whether to read the Bone Season or not but I think you've swayed me into reading it!

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  2. I have heard nothing but amazing things about this one and I'm so happy you liked it. I usually love when fantasy books are slow and hard to get into at the start as it usually pays off at the end. Great review Jasprit :)

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  3. Yay! I'm so glad you enjoyed this one, despite the slow start, Jasprit! I think there really is so much going on with this series already and the characters are so well-fleshed-out and deep, so I love that. I can't wait for the sequel now!(: Wonderful review, dear!

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  4. I agree with you, Jasprit! I thought the detail really fleshed out the world-building and made the story all the more richer. It does take some time to understand everything, but I don't think that's a bad thing. :) I loved that everything fell clearly into place after a while. I'm so glad that you enjoyed this! Lovely review as always. :)

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  5. I couldn't believe it when I saw that they were promoting this as the next HP. Way to kill a book, people. Still, I really did enjoy this (more of a 4-star read than 5-star, HP-quality, though). Paige was definitely an interesting character and I liked how the world formed. Want to know more about Warden -- he's so mysterious and what's up with the dying flower?!?

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  6. I have this book although I still haven't read it yet. I'm a bit scared of there being too much info-dumping in the first 40%. I think it would make me hard to get into the book too and that's not something I'm looking forward to.
    It's good to know that things do pick up in the second half of the book. I've heard interesting things about this Warden. I'm excited to meet him myself because you know how much I love an enigmatic character.
    Lovely review, Jasprit! I'm glad you enjoyed it overall!

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  7. Awesome review. <3 I'm glad you enjoyed this book :) Though I did not, had to stop at about 160 pages :\ but I'm hoping to give it another go at a different time :) Thank you for sharing your thoughts. <3

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  8. I actually feel bad for Shannon that this series is being compared to Harry Potter from the get go, that is a crazy high bar to set for an author!!! I'm glad the hype seems so well deserved though, I don't think I've read a bad review yet. Everyone seems to struggle at the beginning as you did, so I'm happy to know that before I start. I have this on my list to read in a few weeks and I can't wait to meet Warden, sign me up for enigmatic characters! Fabulous review Jasprit!

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  9. I have heard on more than one occasion that it's hard to get into, but I'm so glad you pushed through and thanks for reminding me that whenever I give this pretty a try, I'll have to do the same if I were to struggle at the beginning:) I love a character who is not afraid to get one's hands dirty to save one's loved ones. (lol that last part of this sentence sounds weird. too many ones :D) Oh so her backstory isn't just her re-telling the events to us, readers? That sounds awesome! I want this book:))))

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  10. I reviewed this last week and really enjoyed it too. Lovely review!

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  11. The world building sounds great and so glad to hear that Paige was a good main character

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  12. That's good the hype was warranted for you and that you pushed through to find an awesome novel. I'm not sure this is really my type of book to be honest though.

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  13. This sounds lovely, Jasprit. I'm glad you ended up liking it despite some initial problems. I, myself, would probably fall asleep with too much details but sometimes, a book can only be told one way, you know?

    xoxo

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  14. Lovely review, Jasprit! I've also been cautious about reading this one due to the hype, but I've been reading so many positive reviews that I've come to realize I really do want to read it, and it's probably a story I would have been interested in even if there wasn't a ridiculous amount of hype surrounding it. It sounds so inventive, so unusual. The glossary is a good thing to note, though - I'll definitely look out for that! Glad you found this book to be worthy of its hype. :)

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  15. I was lucky enough to get the audio just days ago, and even though it's over 14 hours long, for some reason, I'm very much looking forward to it. I'm glad you weren't disappointed, a recommendation from you is more than good enough for me.
    Lovely review. :)

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  16. This one was quite hard to get into but I fell in love right after the story picked up. I second that about her detail in the world building!

    Fab review, Jasprit! <33

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  17. Wow! I didn't even know that she signed for a 7th book deal. I'm wary about the hype, but you made me less so! But I am very excited to get into her fantastic-sounding world :) Great review, Jasprit, you've convinced me!

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  18. Oh, a comparison to Harry Potter is a HUGE deal. I'm glad to see The Bone Season lived up to hype, Jasprit. Lovely review!

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  19. I haven't read fantasy novels in a long time, but I've been hearing only good things about The Bone Season - hell, even Zemira from YA Fanatics loved it and she doesn't like books that easly.
    Great review, Jasprit.

    Glass @ Way Too Hot Books

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  20. WOW more than 40% to get into the book? Hmmm.. not sure I will check it out or not.Nowadays I don't have that much patience with my books. Great review though Jasprit

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  21. Ooh great review! I must've missed all the hype on this (sometimes I live in a cave) but next HP?! wow! I'll be picking this up.

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  22. Wow, this is some high fantasy! I do enjoy those reads and Bone Season is most definitely in my to-read list. I love anything dream-walker or weaver related, I find that ability very fascinating. I'm glad that you ended up loving this book, Jasprit! I can't wait to find out what the hype is all about. Fantastic review!

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