Thursday, 18 July 2013

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

  • Received for review
  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing (20 Aug 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408836424
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 introduces a compelling heroine—a young woman learning to harness her powers in a world where everything has been taken from her. It 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.

Cover: A relevant cover.  Definitely makes you intrigued as to what the symbols actually mean.

I'm really torn with this book.  Everything about it screamed that it was going to be a perfect adult book for me, because as you guys know I read more YA/NA.  But I have mixed thoughts.
It started off so slow for me.  I honestly thought I'd have to abandon ship, because I couldn't seem to engage with it.
Because of the nature of the fantasy/dystopian plot, the intricacy, world building etc, we were subject to A LOT of build up, and info dumping.  It didn't seem to flow very well.  Like we were told instead of shown.  This may have been made more obvious because just before reading this I read ACID by Emma Pass, a YA dystopian, that I loved and the world in that felt very organic, and large sections of text didn't feel like a history lesson as it did with this one.
The different levels of clairvoyants, and what their actual gifts were, were so vast, I still don't know what they all mean.  It seemed overly complex.
But once I hit the halfway point, I started to fly through it.  The pace really picked up, I found Paige became much more of a likable character, and I became more intrigued about the whole set up of why she and all the other voyants were taken.
I liked the relationship between her and Warden- her 'keeper'.  I loved that it developed over time, you weren't always sure on his motives or what he was thinking.  Their relationship reminded my very much of Yelena and Valek from Maria V. Snyder's Poison Study Trilogy.
I did wish for more romance.  Distinct lack of it, and I love some romance in my books.
Over all, while The Bone Season dragged at the beginning, the second half really picked up for me and I became hooked.  The end has definitely made me want to continue the series, but I am worried that it's a seven part series, and from book one, I can't see it stretching, but we'll see.
On reflection- a week and a half after finishing this book, it's still been on my mind, and it's grown on me even more.  
3.5/5 stars.

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