The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
Summary (Goodreads): 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.
For me, The Bone Season was a combination of hits and misses. Overall, it took me a long time to get into it, although once I was in the thick of the plot and action, it began to pick up and I was left wanting more.
The idea to use clairvoyance itself, something so different in the fantasy genre for new adult audiences, was genius. No one else, in my opinion, had done something like that before. And to set it in London, well, just take my money right now please! I enjoyed reading about clairvoyance and the metaphorical relationship between gangs and authority figures.
This London was gritty and filled with an intricate society that feared clairvoyants, and even though I would be terrified if it were a real place, I found myself wanting more set in this ‘alternate’ London – which is something I hope the future books bring.
The dynamic and chemistry between Paige and Warden was intense, and just as electrifying. I’m a sucker for the ‘enemy to lovers’ trope only if it’s done well, and it’s safe to say that Shannon smashed it out of the park with this one. She created two perfectly flawed characters, who questioned each other’s motives and pushed each other to their limits.
I liked that I was questioning Paige’s motives throughout the novel, and her hatred towards the people who took her. I was invested in her abilities and was rooting for her to grow, to only as a powerful clairvoyant, but also as a person. There were some times I wanted to slap her, and other times I wanted to wrap her in a massive hug, and I think if a character makes me want to do these things, then they’re written rather well.
Despite these majestic qualities, The Bone Season’s pacing felt a little slow, and when things finally happened I flew through the pages. It’s a shame this happened, and I hope the next books in the series don’t start this slow. I understand and acknowledge that Shannon had to establish the laws of this ‘alternate’ London, and that she had to explain a lot of things, but there were so many other methods she could’ve employed to show us this information.
All the info dumping and telling put me off, and made me want to pull my hair out with the amount of information I was being given to on a silver spoon.
It felt like Shannon didn’t trust her readers to connect certain points, or to work things out for themselves.
There were some missed opportunities for Shannon to show off her writing prowess, but once I was in the depths of the novel, the titbits of information that were told towards the end didn’t bother me much, like before.
Overall, The Bone Season is a unique idea that is told with an empowering female protagonist. Despite being a bit of a pain to get into, once you’re involved in the thick of the plot, you really don’t want to get out until the very end.
Moths out of five: 🦋🦋🦋
So, when should I start reading The Mime Order?