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The Bone Season: A Novel Hardcover – August 20, 2013

Book 1 of 2 in the Bone Season Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* “We are the minority the world does not accept,” Paige Mahoney tells us, referring to the struggles of clairvoyants, from soothsayers and mediums to her own high standing as a dreamwalker. In Shannon’s galvanic debut, the first in a series of seven novels, she brings us to Scion, a totalitarian state in England circa 2059, where “voyants” are designated “unnatural” and clairvoyance is outlawed. Torn from her beloved home in Ireland as a misfit girl, Paige, whose exceptional psychic powers are matched by nearly superhero physical prowess, found sanctuary in London’s criminal underworld, working for Jaxon Hall, a gang leader in the clairvoyant syndicate, until her arrest. Now she’s imprisoned in a penal colony, Sheol I, formerly the city of Oxford, a netherworld ruled by ectoplasmic beings called the Rephaim. Will Arcturus, Paige’s Rephaite keeper, prove to be as diabolical a tyrant as she fears? Not only has Shannon dynamically and shrewdly imagined every element of this spooky yet earthy world-at-war, from its unforgiving hierarchy to vile if essential herbal concoctions, encounters with monstrous predatory creatures, and the terror of “spirit combat,” she has also tapped into the timeless wellsprings of fear and prejudice, repression and resistance. The result is a dazzlingly brainy, witty, and bewitching tale of outrageous courage, heroic compassion, transcendent love, and the quest for freedom. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: An energetic, multifaceted print and online campaign, including viral teaser trailers, will launch this exciting debut, the first in a thoughtful fantasy series by a brilliant young writer. --Donna Seaman

Review

A TODAY SHOW BOOK CLUB PICK!

"Truly extraordinary and thrilling." - Andy Serkis

"[The Bone Season] invokes both the political tyranny of George Orwell and the bucolic mythmaking of J.R.R. Tolkien." - USA Today

"This book is definitely your new crack, full of juicy worldbuilding and heroic weirdness." - Io9.COM

"Intelligent, inventive, dark, and engrossing enough to keep me up late to finish...There's a distinct Margaret Atwood wash to Shannon's dystopian universe, and echoes of Anthony Burgess's Clockwork Orange in the colorful lingo." - NPR.org
"A dark and exquisitely rendered fantasy unlike anything out there. The Bone Season is a must-read." - Kami Garcia, coauthor of the Beautiful Creatures series
 
"[A] dazzingly brainy, witty, and bewitching tale of outrageous courage, heroic compassion, transcendent love, and the quest for freedom...the first in a thoughtful fantasy series by a brilliant young writer." - Booklist (starred review)
 
"Rad" - Vanity Fair
 
 
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA; First Edition/First Printing edition (August 20, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1620401398
  • ISBN-13: 978-1620401392
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 1.6 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (721 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,547 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Well written, interesting story and characters.
iluvadeal
The writing didn't pull me in from the get go, and I was overwhelmed with too much information and not enough story or plot from the beginning.
Jamie Wilson
The author did a wonderful job creating an alternate, futuristic world.
She

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

233 of 249 people found the following review helpful By Michael Lichter VINE VOICE on July 15, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
It's difficult to know where to start with The Bone Season. On one hand, publisher Bloomsbury has set a massive marketing campaign in motion, promoting the book as the best thing since Gone with the Wind, or at least The Hunger Games, and young author Samantha Shannon as the most talented and precocious young writer since Sylvia Plath or maybe David Foster Wallace. This makes any criticism of the book seem like a mean-spirited attack on a genius and her masterpiece. On the other hand, there's the book itself, which, although not bad for a first novel, is much better suited to a teen audience looking forward to early adulthood than to the older adult audience Bloomsbury is apparently seeking.

If you're reading this, you probably know that the book centers on 19-year-old Paige, a girl with supernatural powers who lives in an authoritarian future London where "voyants" like her are hunted, imprisoned, and executed. Most of the story takes place after Paige unintentionally kills two police, is captured, and is shipped off to a secret "penal colony" called "Sheol." Sheol is run by inhuman creatures from another dimension who make slaves and servants of the voyants sent to them by "Scion," the corporate regime that rules London. Like her fellow prisoners, Paige is given to a "Raphaite" master, and she must watch as her fellow prisoners are tortured, starved, killed, or, worse, turned into loyal proteges of the brutal Rephaites.
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95 of 103 people found the following review helpful By S. Hamelin on August 30, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book made me so frustrated that I had to write a review and I apologize ahead of time for venting and spoiling (so be aware). First of all, I love to read like all of you who care about books. I spend many happy hours involved in other worlds this way. It's hard to put them down when they are so engrossing and well done. To say that I was disappointed in this first book from Samantha Shannon is not enough. I was excited about the possibilities and they did not deliver. Many other reviewers have done a great job explaining the plot. I can just go into how I felt about just a few of the issues I had.

Frankly, I am surprised this got the greenlight for publication. It needed a lot more time and development to really bring out this future world. I actually feel bad for this author and think it's not fair to compare her to the Potter series. This does not even come close to it, in my opinion.

As other reviewers have mentioned, the whole system of clairvoyants is long and such a chore to keep straight. It's no fun at all. I would give this book a lower rating just for that reason alone. But, the disappointments kept adding up. There are many weird mistakes like doing or saying one thing and the next sentence will not support what was said. She kept interrupting my imagination with sentences that made no sense or took you too far ahead of what should be explained. You feel like you must have read it wrong or missed something, but you find out you didn't. It's her writing 'style'. There are great authors who take you somewhere special and do not bog you down with overwrought language. She didn't seem to be able to decide what kind of author she wanted to be.
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131 of 147 people found the following review helpful By Ashleigh VINE VOICE on July 1, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
See more of my reviews on Birth of a New Witch!

This may be one of the most hyped-up books of the year and until I got it, I honestly thought it was a YA novel. If only that were a joke. Only upon getting it did I learn better, but that's okay because of the strong crossover appeal The Bone Season has going for it. It's best to leave behind any thoughts of her being the next JK Rowling at the door because if you come in expecting that, you're gonna have a bad time. If you come in as blind as you possible can in the midst of all the hype, you'll find a pretty fun book after you get through the worst bits.

The first chapter might lose you due to the massive amounts of inelegant infodump about the world Paige lives in. So much gets thrown at us not just in the first chapter but throughout the novel that some information fails to stick. If the levels of clairvoyance and what gifts certain levels/certain types of clairvoyants have were clearly explained at some point, I can't remember half of it. It would have helped to have some chart at the beginning of the book to explain them in addition to the maps of Scion London.

Shannon's style could also use some work. Her prose is a little simplistic, there are some rookie mistakes like having Paige list off her appearance while looking at her ID card, and "I" is what starts a sentence so often that the lack of sentence variety is noticeable when I normally don't notice such things. It happened so often that I've got bookmarks of entire paragraphs where every sentence or almost every sentence starts with that one word. Despite the novel being in first-person, it can be hard to get into her head and really understand her.
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