Book Review: The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

Posted December 16, 2013 by Debby in Book Reviews

Book Review: The Bone Season by Samantha ShannonThe Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
Series: The Bone Season #1
Published by Bloomsbury on August 20th, 2013
Genres: Adult, Dystopia, Fantasy, Paranormal, Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 452
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased

The year is 2059. Nineteen-year-old Paige Mahoney is working in the criminal underworld of Scion London, based at Seven Dials, employed by a man named Jaxon Hall. Her job: to scout for information by breaking into people’s minds. For Paige is a dreamwalker, a clairvoyant and, in the world of Scion, she commits treason simply by breathing.

It is raining the day her life changes for ever. Attacked, drugged and kidnapped, Paige is transported to Oxford – a city kept secret for two hundred years, controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. Paige is assigned to Warden, a Rephaite with mysterious motives. He is her master. Her trainer. Her natural enemy. But if Paige wants to regain her freedom she must allow herself to be nurtured in this prison where she is meant to die.

The Bone Season introduces a compelling heroine and 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.

4.5 Stars

After I met Samantha Shannon back in September, I was stoked to read this book. I mean, she is so sweet. So sweet. And she’s (just barely) younger than me, got a seven book deal, and is being called the new J.K. Rowling (which is completely unfair and incorrect, but I’ve covered that already). So then we decided to read this for book club, and man am I glad I did. The end result, for me?

I will go ahead and agree with most reviews that the first quarter is slow. The world building is quite elaborate — and I absolutely love it; I mean, the world is amazing — but that means there are quite dense, near-info-dumping passages at the beginning that can, for some readers, be tedious to get through. There’s a lot of terminology, and just the many different types of clairvoyants can be confusing. Then there’s the structure of the new society, Scion London, the criminal underground, and the new laws. It’s a lot to take in. I didn’t have any issues with it, because I truly felt the potential. Something really cool was going to happen in this intriguing world. It was the kind of elaborate world building that I really, really like.

What also helped was that I absolutely loved Paige from the start. She’s not in-your-face kick ass and awesome, but she’s really human. She’s flawed and she knows it, but that makes her even more endearing. She’s really spunky too, quite fearless, and admirable. She makes mistakes, but she learns from them. I loved observing her thought process. I just started liking her more and more as the book went along, and then she did start kicking ass and I was just cheering for her. She’s awesome. One of my favorite main characters in a long time.

And then… then we meet Warden. I’ll take one of him to go, please.


Warden is dark, mysterious, and, at first, a little frightening. But to be honest, I knew right away what was going to happen. Seriously, it’s like the romance was written just for me. They start off hating each other. *runs around dancing* And then very, very, almost painfully slowly start growing to like each other. The build up is absolutely perfect, and when *it* finally happens… oh my god. *fans self* I just can’t even. That scene was loaded with so much chemistry, I practically had to wipe the drool off the floor. But aside from the romance, because that’s not at all what this book is really about (it was just a very nice, extremely nice bonus), I loved his character. He has this air of mystery, and though you may not get a clear picture of all his motives in this book, you can’t help but want to know more and more about him.

The plot itself is dark and intricate. It builds slowly but it really is addictive, because it’s kind of like a puzzle. You keep discovering new pieces and then those pieces start falling into place – though, of course, at the end of the book, the puzzle is not yet completed. But the intricacy of the world building combined with the various mysteries really sucked me in. The story is original and it takes chances. While the flashbacks in Paige’s dreams were a bit confusing at first, I loved what they revealed, and I loved the twist as to why precisely we were seeing them.

I also want to give a special shout out and love to the secondary characters in this lovely book. Julian, Liss, Jaxon, Michael, and the handling of a certain LGBT character — they all made me extremely happy. Each had a clear personality, voice, and purpose. It was just such a beautiful and complete picture.

The ending was seriously intense and action packed, as the rebellion finally happens. I was absorbed and couldn’t put it down. But those last pages… Samantha, y u so cruel??? ;_______; I mean, it kind of made sense and all, but… I’m not happy. Especially not when the release date of the sequel is so unknown. I need it in my life. I need it. It’s like I just got attached to this world, as if it were a new puppy, and then a short time later you just ripped it out of my arms. I’m not okay.


Summing Up:

This book was just a great read. The length may be a bit frightening, and admittedly the beginning is a bit slow. But power through – it’s so worth it. I just love the story, I loved the characters, and the romance that blossomed was perfect for me. At the end, when I finally felt like I truly understood the world, I quickly felt attached to it and loathed that it had to end.

GIF it to me straight!

Can I has more plz?

Recommended To:

Fans of intricate and elaborate worlds and great characters.

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6 responses to “Book Review: The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

  1. I have heard so many great things about this book and I’m so so looking forward to read it! Hopefully for the new year! But after your review I’m feeling more and more confident that I will love it, with the rich world building and the amazing characters!
    Great review and magnificent used of all the Cumberbatch GIFs!!

  2. I’m glad you really enjoyed the book however as much as I wanted to love the book I just didn’t? Like I did enjoy it and can’t wait to see where the series goes but it wasn’t the best thing I’ve read all year. I don’t know, maybe the story just wasn’t for me but I’m glad you liked it!

  3. Oh I would love the opportunity to meet Samantha Shannon and learn about her series. I’ll have to go and read that post you have about her next!
    I agree with much of what you said. I primarily read fantasies, and so elaborate worldbuilding excites me so much. And I feel like we’ve still only touched the surface of this world Shannon has created.
    The one issue I had was actually related to Warden and his and Paige’s interactions. Yes, there was chemistry and all. But I felt like there were hints that this book could end up taking a route more similar to paranormal romances, and I just don’t want that to happen haha. I’ll just have to see where it goes next!

  4. I sincerely LOVED The Bone Season, even though the beginning was a bit slow for me! I agree that there was definitely a lot of information handed to readers at the start, but it’s all worth it by the ending. I loved the build-up, the story and I can’t wait to see what Samantha does in book two! I also fell in love with Warden (YES. HE IS AWESOME.), so there’s that!