WELCOME TO SCION.
NO SAFER PLACE.
In this review post you’ll find:
A ‘things you need to know’ section
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.
Doesn’t that sound incredible?? Yeah, I thought so too. By the end of the book, I felt it was a tad misleading…
But anyway, before I get into my review, there are two things that need to be addressed in regard to The Bone Season:
1) I want to put the Harry-Potter-level hype surrounding this book in its proper context by expressing that The Bone Season is not, in any way, shape, or form, a true rival of Harry Potter (except, perhaps, the hype).
You may be wondering why I bothered to mention HP in the first place. Well, Samantha Shannon is from the UK, The Bone Season is the first in a 7 book series, it deals with fantastical elements, it has a HUGE marketing campaign, and the book (or at least the idea behind it) seemed so impressive to certain people they decided, 'We're going to make this into a movie' AND 'We're going to translate this into 17 different languages.'
So, you see, mentioning HP was kind of necessary, really...because many believe that she is or is going to become the next J.K. Rowling.
But as I said, The Bone Season is not comparable. If you begin reading this novel with the notion that you're about to be sucked into a world of genius remotely as epic as Harry Potter (and I define epic, in part, by its ability to reach across generations), you will be disappointed.
You will be. Trust me. (And if you aren’t…my condolences on many levels.)
So don't do that. Begin reading The Bone Season like you would any other first novel of a series.
2) The Bone Season is a lot like Shadow and Bone.
WHAT? I cannot believe you just made such a ludicrous claim! Take it back.
Ok, I admit that I had about the same reaction when I read a review that mentioned the similarity(ies). Of course I *had* noted some similarities, but I hadn't realized just how many there are.
Bottom line: If you liked Shadow and Bone, you'll probably like The Bone Season. If you didn't...well, there are still loads of things that *aren't* similar to Shadow and Bone...so you may still like it.
Personally, I generally don't care if a book is similar/uncannily similar to a previous one, especially if factors like geographic distance are part of the equation (Hunger Games and Battle Royale, anyone?).
Every author borrows. Every single one. I don't think that Samantha Shannon even knew about Shadow and Bone when she wrote The Bone Season. And again, I don't much care because she still made her own story out of it; it isn’t a rip-off copy.
And because this needs Axel snark...Kioku shita ka?
Now that I've gotten that out of the way, let me also express that The Bone Season is more of a mature read--not really because of the themes it deals with, but because of the grittiness of the content. I was genuinely concerned that the protagonist was going to tear the lining of her esophagus because she threw up so many times.
That said, it might have a wider audience range than most YA novels because it has a lighter version of the grittiness of a novel like Game of Thrones for adults, and the age/dilemmas/themes it contains are typically presented to young adults.
*I was given an ARC copy to read in exchange for an honest review.*
AND NOW, what you've been patiently (or impatiently) waiting for: my review :3!