The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

August 22nd, 2013 Kimberly Review 80 Comments

22nd Aug
The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
The Bone Season
by Samantha Shannon
Series: Bone Season #1
Genres: Dystopian, Fantasy
Source: Purchase
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

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 by Samantha Shannon is a dystopian with an interesting blend of fantasy, science-fiction and mythology. I was instantly catapulted into the year 2059 and wrapped up in its characters. Part one of a seven book series, whose film rights have already been sold Shannon’s debut novel hits the ground running. Three word review: stunning, mesmerizing, and imaginative.

We meet Paige Mahoney a Dreamweaver living in I Cohort, Section 4 located in the city of London in the year 2059. She is a member of an illegal underground cell known as the Seven Seals. Several major cities throughout the world are controlled by the Scion where being a clairvoyant is illegal. Paige scouts the aether breaking into others minds and stealing useful information. Daily life is risk and to be captured means death, but when Paige is captured she discovers there is something more sinister and evil than the Scion. Captured and made a slave by the Rephaim, a powerful otherworldly race hidden in the city of Oxford, known as the Sheol I colony, she is assigned to Warden the blood-consort. He is to be her keeper and trainer. There is much more to her capture and if Paige wants to regain her freedom she may just have to learn to trust. The tale that unfolds is riveting as we learn about the city of Oxford, Scion and Paige’s past.

Paige is a wonderful protagonist; she is complex, head-strong and bright. She doesn’t whine about her predicaments, instead she plots and plans. A champion for the underdog she helps those around her, even the enemy. I easily connected with her as Shannon made us privy to events in her past and her emotions. Arcturus Warden is the tall, dark and mysterious blood-consort for the Rephaite. He has never taken a slave for training but selects Paige when he realizes she is one of the rarest types of clairvoyant. From the beginning his treatment of Paige is different from how other captures in her group are treated by their masters. Warden intrigued me from the onset and I loved how the author peeled back his layers and revealed him to us. Shannon did a stunning job of building their relationship and making it feel genuine and believable. I am anxious to see how this relationship develops and find I have developed a soft-spot for them. While not the focus of the tale their relationship was certainly a thread I enjoyed. We meet the other Seven Dials and get an idea of their personalities and relationship to Paige. Characters we meet from slaves, to Rephiam in Oxford are fleshed out and each had a unique voice.

Coming in at close to five hundred pages, Bone Season,  blends several genres and did so surprisingly well. While there are moments of  what I like to call “information dumps” the tale itself was clever, and I found no holes in the building of it. The world is complex, unique and Shannon brought it to life with vivid details. We touch on a plethora of subjects including Jack the Ripper,aliens, spirits, clairvoyants,and the aether.  The world seemed plausible, and the characters both mysterious and fleshed out. Shannon had me flipping the pages as the pace slowly built towards the climatic ending. The detail was amazing, vibrant and utterly clever from the hierarchy of the Rephiam to Paige’s trips into the dreamworld. Some of the action scenes took my breath away  from the clairvoyant attacks to the flux darts. The tale is filled with darkness and light, evil and good, all of which kept me delightfully enthralled. I am not sure this tale will need seven books, perhaps three but I am anxious to see how it develops.

Fans of fantasy, dystopian, science-fiction will enjoy Bone Season with is fleshed out characters and vibrant world-building. At this time book two and three are not yet titled and there is no news on their expected release dates.

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

80 Responses to “The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon”

  1. Kay

    Your three word review had me sold right off the bat.

    Paige sounds great! I can’t wait to read this now! Thanks for the review. 🙂

  2. Lauren

    Wow, the worldbuilding in this one sounds amazing! It’s wonderful that the different elements blend together so well (jack the ripper and aliens seem like a tough combo!). I’ve been on the fence about reading this, but now I’m definitely going to give it a try. Wonderful review!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      they are mere mentions, but fascinating. I am looking forward to seeing where this goes.

  3. kara-karina

    You are totally eight, K.! I felt like I needed a cigarette after I finished this book, I devoured it almost fevereshly :)) What a great dystopian! Awesome review, my dear!

  4. Josephine

    Wow, what a fantastic sounding book! Your review made it seem like a hard one to capture, but worthwhile to read. It sounded like you really liked it, is there a reason it didn’t get that last ‘cup’ of caffeine?

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Yes, the blending of genres makes this difficult to put into one category, but it was an excellent start to the series and the world-building was rich. As for that last cup, I tend to reserve those for books that give me a book high, ones that make me lose sight of the world around me, and have me on edge for the next book. I loved this and will read the next book..but I am not so caught up that I am counting down the days..does that make sense to you? Have a lovely day Josephine!

  5. Mandy

    Fantastic review!!! This one sounds interesting. Love the Dystopian genre. I’ve had to add it to my TBR list.
    Thanks so much for sharing!!!
    Have a awesome weekend.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      thanks Mandy, would love to hear your thoughts when you read it 🙂

  6. Jeann

    Woohoo I am glad you loved the book! I just loved the complex world building and how it transcended across genres, it was just awesome overall. I love the info dump and Warden was a great character that wasn’t what he seemed at the start.

    Here’s my review of The Bone Season!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I loved the info dump like this is wonderful, ooh and Warden has me wanting more!

  7. Dina

    I really loved this book. I completely agree that the world building here is really excellent. In a story is part of a larger series, that is so essential.

    I am really interested in how this story is continued in the larger series. There is really so much more to delve into. It’s nice to finish reading a book that is part of a large series and have a lot of questions, without feeling like something is missing from the book.

    Glad you enjoyed it!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I agree Dina..there can never be too much world-building I mentioned the info dump since some readers struggle with these..I am like you and eat it up! I am anxious to see how it develops as well.

  8. Maida

    I am super picky with my dystopian reads, and they have to capture my attention in order for me to enjoy them, and I am happy that this one actually does! I love the concept, and the world-building. Paige sounds like a well-developed character, which I love. I can’t wait to meet her. And I am really curious about Arcturus. I don’t know what to think of him yet, but I am hoping his relationship with Paige works out! I really want to know! I’m so glad you enjoyed this, Kim! 😀 I’m thinking I should go buy this now. lol ;p Great review! 🙂

    ~ Maida
    Literary Love Affair 

  9. Sharon - Obsession with Books

    This sounds so amazing! I missed out on attending the launch with Bloomsbury last week which was such a bummer. I’m so excited for this so I’m pleased to see you enjoyed it.

    A wonderful review!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      that sounds like it would have been fun..bummer is right!

  10. Diamond

    I agree that the 7 book thing is a little tough to chew. Of course, I haven’t read it yet so idk how I’ll feel afterwards..but yeah.
    I have this I a, so behind on my eARCs though. Hope to get to it soon. It’s one of those that I’m waitin for a time when I can totally focus and concentrate on it. I know it’s not the type of book you can breeze through. 😀 I like that, I just have to be in the right mood for it ha

    Great Review 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Actually Diamond one of the cool things about this book is that you slip right in and before you blink it’s over.

  11. Giselle

    I’ve heard SO much great things about this one I regret not grabbing a copy at BEA. I didn’t think it would be my thing (plus that cover is so boring!) but I love the sounds of it and the mix of different genres sounds really well done too! Sounds like this is an author to watch for! 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      The cover didn’t do anything for me either Giselle, but I was really impressed by this. I hope you get a chance to try it in the future.

  12. Dani C

    While it sounds like a very interesting book I am not sure it is for me. Thanks for the review!

  13. DannyBookworm

    I saw your comment the other day on a review that this is going to be 7 Books! Holy Cow! It’s not often these days that whole series are sold. So there must be something about this one that is amazing .

    I admit the cover looked so boring that I didn’t even care for this book, but all I hear is that it’s exciting. Thanks 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I was impressed Danny and am anxious to see what happens next 🙂

  14. Megan

    I’m pretty excited to give this series a try, but also nervous to get myself into it for the long haul!

  15. Heather

    I reviewed this today too:) And I feel much the same as you. Fantastic world building, and impressive debut. And Warden! I love this part of your review:

    “Warden intrigued me from the onset and I loved how the author peeled back his layers and revealed him to us”

    Yes, I totally agree, Kimba:) Glad this one lived up to the hype!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I am glad too Heather and did you see it will the Today’s shows first Book club read? I adored Warden and am anxious to see how that thread develops, I am going to come read your review 🙂

  16. Allison

    I just read an article about how this author is being hailed as the next JK Rowling. I can’t believe she is this popular and signed for a 7-book series at age 21! Normally this isn’t the type of book I would read but I am definitely checking this one out sooner rather than later!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Impressive right, the tale is wonderfully done and very fleshed out.

  17. Braine

    5 cups!

    First time I’ve seen, read of this. I’m not a big dystopian fan but I do like the idea of a Dreamweaver, and a badass one at that, as a heroine and main plot.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      4 cups, the blending of genres and the fantasy elements made this unique. Thanks Braine 🙂

  18. Maja (The Nocturnal Library)

    I find it interesting that there are seven books planned. Dystopias are usually trilogies, and assuming that the other books will be as long as this one, that will be quite a story!
    I don’t mind infodumps when there’s a good reason for them and when they’re well thought out. I think this will work well for me.
    Great review.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Maja I think it will word because of the blended genres and like you..I do not mind info dumps especially when it’s this good.

  19. Melissa (Books and Things)

    When I was younger I hated info dumps, but I don’t mind them so much now. Seems like some people were having problems with that, but not the rest of the book. You make this sound fab and I really need to read it. 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Agreed Melissa..the more deets, the happier I am but I know a lot of peeps don’t like them, but to me the world-building was brilliant!

  20. Heidi

    Bummer that the next two books are nowhere in sight. I have this for review and I am very much looking forward to it. I am always up for a creative book with “vibrant world building”. I can’t wait to see what I make of it! Glad it was a winner for you. I would rather have too much information than not enough so the information dumps probably won’t bother me.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I am the same way Heidi, but decided it was better to warn peeps 🙂

  21. Trish

    I think this one sounds great and I’m looking forward to reading it soon. I love that the author is so young, a huge achievement. I share your reservations about spinning it out for 7 books though.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      well if she can write them at the same level as this..I am all in..we shall see!

  22. Candace

    This sounds really good and I’ve been hearing great things about it! It’s kind of a worry when there’s not much news about the next books though, hopefully it’s not longer than a year, I tend to forget about them by then.

  23. aurian

    I just don’t like dystopian, or the cover of this book, so even though it is probably amazing, I won’t be reading it.

  24. Sarah

    Love a good fantasy! Great review 🙂 thinking about picking up my own copy!

  25. Tammy

    I have this in my reading pile, and it’s next on my list. I’m so excited to dig in! Great review, you make me want to read it even more.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Thanks Tammy..enjoy it! I look forward to hearing your thoughts on it 🙂

  26. Jenny

    YAY! I’m so glad you loved this Kim! I’ve read nothing but rave reviews for it thus far and I just can’t wait to dive in and meet Paige and Warden for myself. I know there’s no grand sweeping romance between them (yet) which is of course what I would love, but their relationship sounds infinitely complex and that is more than enough to have me interested. Fabulous review!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      The romance/relationship is very believable and one I am excited to learn more about 🙂

  27. Darlene

    This sounds so good and I enjoy dystopian novels. I’m not sure I want to get into a seven book series but if it’s good it’s worth it. I bet this one would be great on audio.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      With the right voice, this would be brilliant as an audio. I am a series junkee, so seven doesn’t scare me if it continues to deliver on this level.

  28. Christa

    I am very excited to read this. I love that it blends different genres together. And I was shocked when I heard how young the author is!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Seriously I agree and she really has control over the plot, the genre blending was seamless.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Believe me, if the rest read like is comparable to cannot eat just one piece and they slid down easy 🙂

  29. Andrea

    It’s great that the author managed to combine so many different elements so well. I haven’t been reading books like this lately, but it does sound good.
    Thanks for the review!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Well ya know me Andrea..I love to mix things up, and this was quite good, even the romance is memorable.

  30. kindlemom1

    I have been seeing this one everywhere lately! I admit, I wasn’t going to give this one a try because of the whole genre blending being two (out of the three) that I really struggle with but…crap, now I kind of want to try it!
    Great review Kim!

  31. Nick

    Your review and several others’ have convinced me that I should just get over my weird fear of this series’ length and give this one a shot.
    The way you described the characters has definitely piqued my interest. They sound like they are complex and incredibly well-developed, which you know is one of the most important things to me in books.
    Also, the world-building sounds solid! I need to go ahead and just buy this already.
    Great review, Kim!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      No need to fear, it is solid and draws you right in 🙂

  32. Jennifer Bielman

    I don’t know what it is but when I hear a book or series is going to be made into a movie, the book is more attractive to me. I HAVE to read it.

  33. Jenea

    The world building alone sounds amazing, I need to pick this one up for sure. Wonderful review.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Enjoy Jenea, and I was very happy with the world-building 🙂

  34. Tanja

    I haven’t seen any bad review for this one and that tells you a lot. I have read some great things about it and now after reading yours I really want to read it even more. It sounds like a great fantasy series with great characters and everything I could wish for. Great review 🙂

  35. Naomi

    Oooh…. I can’t wait to start this now!! I think I am really going to enjoy it! I skimmed the review, because I don’t want any spoilers, but what I did read left me wanting to start!! I’m ready for 2059!!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I try really hard to avoid spoilers..I never want to take anyone’s pleasure and discovery away, I hope you enjoy it!

  36. Chene Sterckx

    Once again you have me going ‘Oh man I must read this book!’ I love to read about complex strong protagonists that have special abilities and a captivating story line 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      NEVER!! As long as it is fresh, and we still see winners like this, I am fine with it 🙂