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The Bone Season: A Novel Paperback – February 7, 2017
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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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Compelling . . . a heroine every bit as gutsy as Katniss Everdeen. J.K. Rowling’s now-grown readers are the natural audience for this complex fantasy . . . There’s great imagination at work here." ―People
"[The Bone Season] invokes both the political tyranny of George Orwell and the bucolic mythmaking of J.R.R. Tolkien." ―USA Today
"The Bone Season has got a lot going for it, particularly its clipped pace and exciting story line. The future Shannon presents is frightening and well-imagined, and her complex hierarchy is fascinating." ―Washington Post
"Intelligent, inventive, dark, and engrossing . . . Shannon has remarkable talent for world-building . . . . but her most sublime otherworldly creation is the complex, ever evolving, scrappy yet touching Paige Mahoney." ―NPR.org
"A dystopian thriller that delivers . . . . [The Bone Season] gallops along . . . daring its readers to keep up even as it sinks in its hooks with crackerjack action [and] deftly-accentuated conflict . . . Shannon has a faultless instinct for the prerogatives of storytelling, for the engine that makes an adventure novel go . . . It’s the sort of novel you inhale in two or three days." ―Salon
"Engaging and exciting. It’s energetic, imaginative, and engrossing . . . Buy it, read it, and enjoy." ―TOR.com
"[A] dazzlingly 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." ―starred review, Booklist
"This book is for those who like their dystopian science fiction multilayered, philosophical and complex." ―Kirkus Reviews
"Shannon offers up a richly imagined debut . . .The internal mythology is complex and intriguing, the emotional struggle is captivating, and the pace rarely falters as Paige unravels the mysteries and dangers of her new home." ―Publishers Weekly
"Part Lisbeth Salander, part Oliver Twist . . . the strong and resourceful Paige is a memorable heroine . . . One buzz book that just might merit its hype." ―The Book Case on BookPage.com
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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!
Don't get me wrong, this is a very good book. I would make it more dystopian science fiction with a little fantasy thrown in. Shannon does a good job creating this world and creating complete characters that are sympathetic and as real as they can be.
The main character is Paige Mahoney is a young woman living in the underground of Scion London in the year 2059. Scion is the security force that runs London, and wants to start running other parts of the world as well. Paige works with an underground criminal group known as The Seven Seals. Paige is a rare type of clairvoyant, a dreamwalker; she can break into other's minds and steal information. All types of voyants are illegal, and just by being she is committing a crime.
Paige is arrested and learns that captured voyants go to Oxford, a prison city erased from the map but run by a new race of beings, the Rephaim. They value the voyants as servants and soldiers in their army. Paige is assigned to Warden, a high placed Rephaim who is her enemy, or is he? Paige must learn to trust in herself, her keeper, and those around her. She must learn to harness her power if there is any hope of escape and of a different world.
I think this series is only going to get better. Shannon has created a world that is fantastic and perfectly flawed heroine in Paige Mahoney. I can't wait for the next book. I give it a four out of five stars.