Review: The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

Alexis:

The Bone Season is packed with worldbuilding information. From the first page, Shannon slams you into a futuristic London where clairvoyants have to hide in order to survive and avoid persecution. The main character, Paige, works for an underground crime gang of voyants, each with a varying forms of power. But when Paige is drugged and kidnapped, she’s forced into slavery by an alien race called the Rephaim.

I tried to read this book sometime late last year but I wasn’t in the mood. This time around, the beginning of the book was just as hard to get through. Shannon wastes no time trying to explain Paige’s world. She introduces a plethora of jargon that I had to slog through until I figured it out, or until Shannon gave an explanation. And once I got used to that, Paige was thrown into the Rephaim’s space, and then I had to learn a whole new set of jargon.

Shannon certainly understands the world she’s created. I do wish the beginning of the book wasn’t so much of a chore to get through. I never fully understood all of the terms or all that was happening, and maybe that’s partly my fault for being a fast reader and not letting the information properly sink in.  

On the plus side, the first half of this book felt wholly original, despite the dystopian world and the aliens. I enjoyed learning about the world once I understood it a little more. The voyants and Paige’s abilities surrounding dreamscapes were fascinating and well-written by Shannon. I also really enjoyed the plot.

My favorite part of the book was Paige. Sometimes I struggle with liking main characters, and oftentimes strong female characters are strong and impulsive for the sake of it. But I really connected with her character. I found her actions and feelings true to her character and her surroundings. I think her flashback scenes and memories could’ve happened earlier on, though.

My biggest issues with the book happened in the second half. I wanted to understand Nashira more, so that I could understand her better as the villian. I also wanted to get to know Warden better. I liked his character, but by the end, Shannon never fully explained his motives.

I’m interested to see how Shannon will create a seven book long series. She definitely teased a lot of information for the next book.

VERDICT: 4 stars

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SPOILERS BELOW:

 I had a feeling that romance was coming, but I didn’t want to believe it. Romance doesn’t fit in The Bone Season. It’s about survival and Paige finding herself and developing her powers.

It would’ve been better if it had grown over more time. But Paige didn’t trust Warden and then all of a sudden she was having feelings for him. It just doesn’t help that was a huge part of her being kept as a slave: beaten, broken, and even branded. His true intentions don’t really matter, because he was still involved in it. So it made the romance problematic for me.

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