Release Date: August 20th 2013
Publisher: Bloomsbury Australia
Source: Review copy via publisher
Synopsis:"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."
I have a story about reading this story…
I really should have read The Bone Season last year prior to its release. Sadly, uni and work and this horrible thing called real-life got in my way and instead of reading it before Samantha Shannon visited Australia, I kept pushing it back… And back… To the point where I was scared to read it because I really like Samantha and omg what if I didn’t like it? Also, the book’s size was pretty intimidating. However, I came to the resolution about a fortnight ago that I would have a To-Be-Read Jar for all my books, AND a To-Be-Read Box for my ARCs/review copies. The Bone Season was the first pick of this new thing I’m trying out. And so it began…
Shannon’s England is unlike any I’ve read before. It’s the year 2059 and London is known as Scion, a place where those with the ability to communicate with spirits and the dead are killed for their abilities. Clairvoyants, or voyants as they’re colloquially referred, inhabit the SciLo (Scion London) underground, a world of organised voyant crime complete with gangs and sectors for each.
Our protagonist Paige Mahoney is the second-in-command to Jaxon Hall, leader of one of the most notorious gangs, the Seven Seals. As a Dreamwalker, she walks the dreamscapes (or minds) of people to gather information. I loved Paige’s character. She was extremely strong and independent and had a “don’t-take-shit” attitude, hardened by her life in the underground. Paige was so relatable and I completely understood her inability to trust. I loved how she thrived on danger, always living on the edge and craving freedom. Despite everything she’d been through and is put through in the book, I am so grateful to Shannon for writing a character that I did not pity, but rather, admired. These are the kinds of female protagonists books need.
“He was going to see why Jax had chosen me: because against all odds, I had survived.”
Shannon introduces a whole ensemble of characters throughout the book, from the Seven Seals to those that Paige meets on her journey to discovering Scion’s darkest secrets. There were probably nearly twenty secondary characters introduced and I’d be hard-pressed to remember them all in a normal book, yet Shannon managed to make them all so unique and memorable. Each character had their own purpose and motives in the novel. Even though many were just first glimpses I could tell that each had been intricately layered, each with their own stories to tell. I was so intrigued by everyone, but especially Warden, Nashira, Zeke and David… I’m really, REALLY intrigued by Warden.
“The White Binder, the Red Vision, the Black Diamond, the Pale Dreamer, the Martyred Muse, the Chained Fury and the Silent Bell.”
Anybody who knows me knows I’m a hopeless romantic and sucker for a good love story. The Bone Season had hardly any romance and you know what? I was perfectly fine with that because I was so invested in the world building and Paige’s journey. That being said, the little romance there was – literally one chapter and five pages maximum – was filled with longing, yearning, pain, desire, tension… GAH the feels. Shannon managed to accomplish in the space of those fifteen pages, what other books took a whole 300 pages to achieve – she made me cry.
“I wished I could hear voices. I wished I could hear spirits, so I could listen to them, and not to this. I had to focus on not crying.”
Okay so plot/storyline? Um… How do I put this… Yeah there’s no other way: absolute mind fuck. Excuse the French. Shannon’s mind must be like a Rephaite’s because the world she came up with and built? Indescribable. When I first opened the book and got to the page on The Seven Orders of Clairvoyance (note the story hasn’t started), my face was legit just like “WTF?” I’m going to attempt to describe this spectacular world. Shannon has put so much thought into the universe of The Bone Season it’s sort of scary. It’s one part history, three parts magical/paranormal, two parts fantasy and one part mythology. Add in a dash of action and sci-fi and you can maybe imagine what The Bone Season is like. Seriously spectacular. To think that voyants captured were killed? HA. I had another thing coming for me. Scion has dark secrets. Otherworldy dark secrets that make clairvoyance look like child’s play. The aether/dreamscape isn’t merely a place for spirits to dwell, it’s the connection to the world and vice versa. It’s a fantastical place full of possibilities and The Bone Season is only the beginning.
“The aether exists alongside meatspace – around us, not outside of us. This is something more.”
Can we just fast-forward to October so I can possess The Mime Order? Shannon gave me closure then took it away with a cliff hanger. Derp. Although not perfect, The Bone Season is an amazing first in what is going to be a mesmerising heptalogy.
“I cannot tell you that. That is trust Paige. Not knowing whether to trust at all.”