Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Bone Season - Samantha Shannon

The Bone Season - Samantha Shannon
The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
Series: The Bone Season #1
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication Date: August 20, 2013
Source/Format: BEA 2013 || ARC
[I received this book from the publisher. This in no way affects the thoughts expressed in my review.]

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. (from Goodreads)

The Bone Season is extremely difficult to review without devolving into gushing. What Shannon has managed to accomplish in this book with the introduction of a new, complex world and real, complicated characters is a triumph. She draws on the familiar and real (such as the Seven Dials and Oxford), but twists them into something entirely original -- and the combination works. While the length of this tale might be unnerving, the journey within its pages is worth a read.

Samantha Shannon's creation certainly inspires a lot of awe. The world that she's created, with details both real and invented, is refreshing in its complexity. It's challenging to picture the locales, characters and cultural nuances of her story.  There are complicated names, and an intense new hierarchy to delve into. But the intense amount of information, complete with charts and a glossary, appears to be necessary to produce a strong foundation for the books to follow. While this might not work for all readers, it's not something that particularly deterred me from pressing on with the novel.

The sheer desire to continue, of course, is rooted deeply in the story. The plot manages to turn something so simple into something more complicated, and it is managed quite enjoyably. It's quite hard to explain what happens without accidentally spoiling things, so suffice it to say that it's an experience readers will want to have for themselves. The Bone Season weaves heavy action sequences together with more introspective moments very well, enticing the reader to keep turning the pages.

Paige Mahoney is a pretty awesome character. Her main character trait is a stubborn bravery that persists in every circumstance. She's got a strong sense of right and wrong, coupled with compassion and intelligence, among other things.  Her abilities as a voyant are awe-inspiring, but also intimidating. Still, I was rooting for her to succeed!

(While I really like Paige, Warden is actually my favorite character, though I'll leave you to discover who he is and why I adore him when you read the book.)

Honestly, The Bone Season is the type of book a reader needs to experience for himself. It's not necessarily going to be everyone's cup of tea, because it's pretty dark, complex and twisted. But it was, personally, the book I didn't know I wanted until I had cracked it open -- and I devoured it instantly. Complex, rich and compelling, this book has found a place on my favorites shelf!

16 comments:

  1. The amount of information didn't really deter me from reading on too. I loved the complexity of the world-building and definitely thought the ideas were original and well thought-out. I think Warden might just be my favourite character as well. ;) I love this review, Alexa! You have such a clear way with words. :)

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  2. Oh wow, that sounds like I would definitely enjoy it! I really need to read this one. Putting it on my list for sure!

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  3. I'm definitely going to have to check this book out. I've heard fantastic things about it, and I'm a fan of dark, complex and twisted books, so hopefully The Bone Season will be the book I'm looking for as well. Lovely review! :)

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  4. Just bought this book based on reviews like yours. I'm glad you liked it, and it looks like a good jumping start for me from YA to Adult fiction. While the length isintimidating, it sounds like it's worth it! Great review :)

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  5. Dark, complex, twisted, oh yeah! :) I'm really looking forward to this book. It has been a while since a hyped book delivers - many people seem to really like it.

    Mel@thedailyprophecy.

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  6. This one sounds very good! I'm definitely considering adding it to my series-to-start list.

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  7. Ooh the complex world-building sounds great, not deterring! :) I put this on hold at the library and am picking it up this week. I can't wait to delve into it now!!

    Sara at The Page Sage

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  8. I NEED to read this! I just feel like I need a block of time to do so, because I have a feeling it's hard to put down. Thanks for your thoughts, Alexa. It's always great to know when you love a book because that usually means it's amazing!

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  9. I've heard so, so many good things about this one that I can't help but be really intrigued. I like the darker books, and I really, really like when they make me think. I'll definitely need to read this one after your stunning review, Alexa! Thanks for sharing :)

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  10. I skimmed, because I haven't read this yet--but complex characters are what I love most, so I need to get to this one soon!

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

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  11. This was pretty complex and yay Warden!

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  12. WARDEN!!! Oh my gosh, Alexa! This review is amazing! It is a perfect description of this book and how amazing it is. I love that you say you have to experience it yourself. I, on the other hand, flailed profusely. Nowhere near as elegantly written as yours :)

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  13. I wasn't really sure if this was one I wanted to read originally but I am definitely intrigued! But I've been hearing lots of good things, and it's great that you loved it! I will definitely have to check it out!

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  14. This book has been garnering a lot of praise and from what I gather, it sounds like it's a good mix of the Harry Potter series and A Game of Thrones. I really do appreciate that sort of originality in both the world-building and the plot even if the complexity is somewhat intimidating. I will definitely be checking this one out! Fabulous review, lady!

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  15. As I said before, I'm kinda scared of this book BUT you're making me more excited to read it!

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  16. Second good review on this I've read so I think I'm going to pick it up :)

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Thanks for leaving a comment! I love seeing what you have to say, and will try to reply (here or on Twitter) as soon as I can :)

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