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The Bone Season

Samantha Shannon

Average Review Rating Average Rating 8/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Bloomsbury

Published : 2013

Copyright : Samantha Shannon 2013

ISBN-10 : HB 1-4088-3642-4
ISBN-13 : HB 978-1-4088-3642-2

Publisher's Write-Up

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.

'Samantha Shannon has a hugely inventive talent and an imagination with seven league boots. She's hit the ground running.'

Susan Hill

'It has conviction in spades... The Bone Season has the kids vs dystopia kick of The Hunger Games, but while it’s better written... It’s also got the star-crossed romance of Twilight.'

SFX Magazine

'A dark, embattled, highly wrought fantasy... Whatever the future holds, there is no doubt that Samantha is the real thing, her own sternest critic and a born storyteller.'

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Chrissi (300913) Rating (8/10)

Review by Chrissi
Rating 8/10
I came to this with no idea of what I was reading, Nigel having stuck it under my nose and refused to tell me what it was about.

The book is beautifully and lovingly crafted, and holds great promise for the rest of the proposed series. The central theme is of young people versus the system and is universal in many young adult (YA) series, although the central character, Paige, is nineteen at the opening of the book, making her one of the older protagonists at the start of a YA series. This allows rather more adult themes to be explored, although I am not sure that all of the book would be suitable for a young young adult. The popularity of these books may partially be in their ability to appeal to the rebellious teenager in all of us.

The world in which the story is based is an alternative England, where an outbreak of clairvoyant abilities years before has led to people with these abilities being driven underground, hunted and feared. There are categories of clairvoyance, the list of which was somewhat exhaustive, but suffice it to say, the more powerful, the rarer the talent and these rare talents have value to whoever has the loyalty of the clairvoyant. Paige is employed in an underground organisation, and whilst visiting her father in a different area of the city, she is faced with an identity check that she knows will result in her capture by the authorities. Her actions eventually result in her capture and subsequent transfer to Oxford, where she finds that all is not what she has been brought up to believe.

The feel of the book is more Philip Pullman or Susanne Collins than J.K. Rowling. This is not to do with the Oxford theme, but more to do with the style of the writing. There are a wide range of emotions generated whilst reading the book, but absent was any form of humour. Maybe the author was not sufficiently confident in her use of humour in her first published book, but without it, the feeling of the book is somewhat oppressive. This is compounded by the long slow building of the world in which the book is based. There is a whole set of terminology which completely lost me, which, whilst it showed a level of care and planning in her writing, was delivered without any background, and as such did not have any hope of staying in my beleaguered brain.

It would be nice to think that with the background set out, that the plot could be advanced from the opening of the next book, in which case I am very much looking forward to the continuation of the series. I would be concerned, though, that the prospect of a seven book series may cause procrastination and a mind-numbingly slow development of the storylines, but we shall see.
Chrissi (30th September 2013)

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