The Bone Season

The Bone Season  - Samantha Shannon

While this novel was certainly refreshing, there were some things that did not hit the '5 star' mark for me. For those who may not be familiar with it, The Bone Season is a dystopian novel, where clairvoyance has become an illegal yet valuable commodity. Protagonist and young clairvoyant, 19 year old Paige, gets thrown into this chaos and dragged further into a world that even she did not suspect to have existed. While there are certainly mixed views about this book, Samantha Shannon has crafted a poignant world that moves away from the vampire, fairy and zombie literature that is currently being published at mass.

 

Possibly what I found most enticing about TBS (Warden aside) was the world building. Shannon creates marvelously atmospheric imagery - from the supernatural, to the cities, to the characters - yet leaves enough room for the imagination to still have a field day in developing the feel of this novel. Shannon's ability to convey the concept of the 'aether' is something I especially admire, since trying to explain a thing so distant from our reality is no easy feat, yet she manages to do so with considerable grace.

 

Really what brought this book down for me was the protagonist, Paige. While there's nothing inherently wrong with her (she has heart, carried the story along, etc.), I found her to be rather... dull. There were other characters on the sidelines (such as Liss) that were much more intriguing in my books. Due to a first-person perspective I felt trapped in the head of a character I really didn't give a toss about. That being said, there was a good deal of character development from her, so this may improve with future books.

 

Overall, this first book of the series is not a first choice for those who want endless supernatural romance and smut. Romance/flirtation plays it's role, however the characters and story stand on their own, with the more fluffy siders left just as that. On the side. You will also find a fair bit of slang throughout the book (comparable to Clockwork Orange) - however this is used tastefully (I think it gives it that 'other reality' charm) and progress can be assisted through the TBS's glossary. It is not the best novel I have ever read, and while I would argue it is relatively original, there is a sense of other stories coming through as inspiration. However, it is a book that I did thoroughly enjoy and is a great start to what I believe will be an extraordinary series. Do I recommend it? Definitely. Just forget I did if... you know... you didn't like it.

 

On a side note, Shannon has packed this novel with mythological/religious references galore. Did I catch onto most of them? Nope! But it has me keen to explore them further. I have a soft spot for authors who do thorough research on such areas.

 

Okay. That's it. Please excuse me while I fantasize about Warden some more.