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The Bone Season: A Novel Hardcover – August 20, 2013
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*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
“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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Samantha Shannon's creation certainly inspires a lot of awe. The world that she's created, with details both real and invented, is refreshing in its complexity. It's challenging to picture the locales, characters and cultural nuances of her story. There are complicated names, and an intense new hierarchy to delve into. But the intense amount of information, complete with charts and a glossary, appears to be necessary to produce a strong foundation for the books to follow. While this might not work for all readers, it's not something that particularly deterred me from pressing on with the novel.
The sheer desire to continue, of course, is rooted deeply in the story. The plot manages to turn something so simple into something more complicated, and it is managed quite enjoyably. It's quite hard to explain what happens without accidentally spoiling things, so suffice it to say that it's an experience readers will want to have for themselves. The Bone Season weaves heavy action sequences together with more introspective moments very well, enticing the reader to keep turning the pages.
Paige Mahoney is a pretty awesome character. Her main character trait is a stubborn bravery that persists in every circumstance. She's got a strong sense of right and wrong, coupled with compassion and intelligence, among other things. Her abilities as a voyant are awe-inspiring, but also intimidating. Still, I was rooting for her to succeed!
(While I really like Paige, Warden is actually my favorite character, though I'll leave you to discover who he is and why I adore him when you read the book.)
Honestly, The Bone Season is the type of book a reader needs to experience for himself. It's not necessarily going to be everyone's cup of tea, because it's pretty dark, complex and twisted. But it was, personally, the book I didn't know I wanted until I had cracked it open -- and I devoured it instantly. Complex, rich and compelling, this book has found a place on my favorites shelf!
This book was such a fun and exciting read! The plot is a little complicated, but you get used to it. There's also a glossary in the back that helps you comprehend the world. I liked the characters as well. Paige isn't a natural born leader, but she does whatever has to be done. I also found myself wondering why she didn't have as much emotion as someone in a tale about revolution would have. Warden was my second favorite character. I'm not one that romanticizes someone with their captors, but this was a special situation. By the end of this book, I wanted them to be together even more than I wanted her and Nick to be together. Can't wait to read the second one!
This book is a unique dystopian book. It is well written, engaging and very very exciting. I loved how the author described the places they lived. She drew me in and I was easily able to imagine all the surroundings of the book.
Her main character was a well rounded heroine who I believed in. She made the hard, right choices and really cared about people. I liked that. Her warden I couldn't quite envision him in mind, but I sure wanted him to be good. I love the direction she took them both. The premise of the book I found enjoyable. I liked where she went. I loved the edge of your seat what’s going to happen next aspect of it.
Now to why I can’t give it four stars. I couldn't keep up with all the levels of clairvoyance, the mind aspects, the aether, etc etc etc. IT WAS TOO MUCH. I’m sure most of it was made up and maybe there are other books that covered some aspects of it, but to me it was all brand new. And I just couldn't do it. Plus there were SO MANY characters all the time, coming and going, most of whom she didn't even know but immediately connected with, that it just became really convoluted. I couldn't keep up with the characters. And I didn't understand why she cared about these people so easily and quickly.
If this becomes a movie, I’m first in line. I enjoyed the book. I just couldn't keep it all together in my mind. TOO MUCH.
If you are looking for a YA for your teens, as far as inappropriate content, there’s not much. There is a brief kissing scene, some language, but overall not as terrible as some YA, for mature content.