Published August 20th, 2013 by Bloomsbury
The Bone Season #1
I don’t often give myself the luxury of re-reading a book, I mean, there are SO MANY UNREAD BOOKS THAT I OWN. However, as a Bone Season Advocate, I wanted to re-read the first two books in The Bone Season series in preparation of the third book being released in March 2017.
And, while I enjoyed The Bone Season last April when I read it for the first time, reading it again this month I can walk away and say I loved this book! The depth of this story is downright amazing, and while there are some parts that I would classify “information overload”, the world/underworld of Scion London is fascinating and addicting.
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.
Let’s just get it out of the way: the reason why this book was not a 5 star read for me. Holy shit, the amount of information that Shannon dumps on the reader in the first 100 pages is mind boggling. I kept my fingers marking the pages in the beginning with the map of the different type of clairvoyants, and then a bookmark in the back of the book so I could have easy access to the glossary. Yes, you read that correctly. The freaking glossary. When was the last time I read a fictional fantasy novel with a glossary?! Probably never, honestly.
While I appreciated the glossary, and the vague classifications of the clairvoyants as a sort of reference guide, I really wish it wasn’t necessary. I can understand the desire of simply thrusting the reader into a your world so you can quickly get to the good stuff, but I think a lot of people are turned off by all of the work that you have to do to understand what is going on. Reading shouldn’t be thatttt hard.
Now, let me tell you why I loved this book despite the overwhelming amount of information handed to us in the first quarter of the book.
Paige, the main character, is awesome. She is a dreamwalker, one of the rarest clairvoyants to exist, yet she doesn’t exhibit any of the obnoxious ‘special snowflake’ tendencies of many YA heroines. Yes, she is special, and she is rare, but she doesn’t ever preach that she needs to save the world, or she needs to be specifically saved. I loved how her moral compass didn’t always point directly North, but I also loved that she had motivation of self-preservation. I feel like a lot of the main characters in popular YA novels are so quick to sacrifice themselves for ‘the greater good’, and it was refreshing to read about one that wasn’t afraid of death, but also wasn’t actively looking for it.
Every other character too was just as enjoyable to read about as Paige was. I love Warden, and that their relationship fell into that gray area where you cannot decide if he is a good love interest, or if they are friends with great sexual tension. Me? I hope he falls into the love interest category, he is one of the more interesting characters within these pages. Warden has such a commanding presence, he is addicting, and I need more of him in future books.
God, and Jaxon needs his own paragraph, because I am obsessed with the way he speaks. He is such an interesting contradiction of all things; a complete bastard, but a a fierce protector. A mime lord boss, but also a weirdly distorted father figure. I loved when that he always referred to Paige as “O my lovely”, he had such a distinct voice. I cannot wait to see how his character develops over the series.
The pacing (once you get past the information overload) was great. There was a lot happening, a lot of character development, and a lot of world building all going on at once, but I didnt find much dragging in the actual plot. Shannon does a really great job of keeping little events and happenings in every chapter, that make it difficult to find a stopping point while reading.
I think The Bone Season is such an intriguing read because it is a unique blend of many genres and categories. I could categorize it as young adult, but also new adult fiction. It is a blend of realism and science fiction. Dystopia, and fantasy. The mixture of paranormal creatures walking side by side with humans was entrancing, and I think there is a little something for everyone in these pages.
“Sleep well, little dreamer.”
Oh, I will Warden, I will.