Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Bone Season Book Review

Rawr Reader,

   I should be studying for my test, but alas, here I am.
   This is The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon, and the synopsis is provided by Goodreads

It is the year 2059. Several major world cities are under the control of a security force called Scion. Paige Mahoney works in the criminal underworld of Scion London, part of a secret cell known as the Seven Seals. The work she does is unusual: scouting for information by breaking into others’ minds. Paige is a dreamwalker, a rare kind of clairvoyant, and in this world, the voyants commit treason simply by breathing.

But when Paige is captured and arrested, she encounters a power more sinister even than Scion. The voyant prison is a separate city—Oxford, erased from the map two centuries ago and now controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. These creatures, the Rephaim, value the voyants highly—as soldiers in their army.

Paige is assigned to a Rephaite keeper, Warden, who will be in charge of her care and training. He is her master. Her natural enemy. But if she wants to regain her freedom, Paige will have to learn something of his mind and his own mysterious motives.

    From the booktuber: ItsWayPastMyBedTime, aka Carrie Hope Fletcher. 

(safe for those who haven't read this book yet)
     This book took me 50 pages. Fifty pages to go from "what the hell is going on???" to "I must know what happens next." I kid you not, the first break I took from reading was at pg 150 and that was because I needed to go to sleep because I had school tomorrow. And then I picked it up again today (knowing full well I have a test tomorrow) and kept saying oh, I will put it down after my first class, then after my second. Well, suffice to say, after my second class, I was 100 pages from the end so I thought I might as well finish it. My point is, I couldn't put this book down, and just to push through the abstruse beginning and the world you'll discover is something that is very unlike something you've read before. 
   Whilst reading the first 50 pages, I'll admit I kept reading words I had no clue as to their meaning, but then I flipped to the back, where a dictionary is located, and I was sure that I was going to hate this book. Hopefully when rereading, I won't flip to it so much. So, my point is, this is one of those books. ^^
   Finally, a young adult series that actually lives to its hype. I'm sure you've heard this before, but if you hadn't, there are some critics who are comparing this young author to J.K. Rowling. For myself, I say I wouldn't go as so far as to say that. Perhaps for the atmosphere for which this world possesses, let alone the "magical" qualities such a persons with special supernatural gifts, but other than that, this book doesn't sound like it'll be another Harry Potter. The prose isn't tremendously unique and while the characters aren't very memorable, this world I have to say is rather remarkable and I got a very good sense of the laws and rules which our characters must live through.
    There were several loose ends which clearly leave open for possible sequels (word is that this is meant to be the first of seven), and I typically don't mind but there were more questions being asked than being answered. Many of the characters were too cryptic and never revealed much about themselves or their intentions even at the end, which is typically the location for these sorts of things to be answered. But like I said, since this book is about 450 pages and is meant to be part of a long series, I can see that they don't want to explain everything in the first book. It's alll about pacing, and with a series, execution is key.
    About 100 pages from the end, I was sitting with the book on my lap, just not reading simply because I didn't want to leave this world. I was growing attached, to specifically our protagonist, Paige and I felt she was written successfully as a complex character. Seriously, I'm really sad to have finished this book, I just want to reread it and live it all over again.
    I wasn't a fan of the ending, through everything that happened, I felt that it didn't do it justice. As soon I passed page 50, this story kept a pace that kept increasing and increasing, we learned more and more about Paige's struggles or more about her past or more about others, but once we get to that end, I felt that it didn't spike but simply plateau. Don't get me wrong, I want to know what happens next, I want to know how our characters fair, but it should've spiked and not left me feeling "blah." And it's strange, because usually endings are never the problem.

I give this book 4.5/5 stars.

Author's Quote:
"A well-composed book is a magic carpet on which we are wafted to a world that we cannot enter in any other way."
-Caroline Gordon

My Goodreads:

Next To Read:
The Doctor's Wife by Mary Elizabeth Braddon

River Song's Spoilers:
(unsafe for those who haven't read this book yet, so don't read this section)
   I felt that at times, Shannon was a little hypocritical in certain "rules" at Oxford, but then again I'm not entirely sure it was on purpose, so it could've just been an accidental detail slip. I mean, there's so many new terms so I could understand messing up details (especially when they're small details-- and who always catches those? *points both index fingers at myself). The first is when Rephaims and humans are not allowed to touch, and then Warden several times would touch Paige's cheek or grab her arm or something. I don't know if we were just supposed to assume he was wearing gloves, but I didn't imagine it that way so I guess it could've just been a missed detail. Second is when amaurotic servants weren't allowed to the blood-consort Warden, but then half way through (or about there) we are introduced to Michael. Most people probably read over it, but I'm not most people.
   Something that bothered me more than most is lack of "he said" and "she said," because more times than I remember, I had to back track and see who was speaking. It was especially confused when it was between characters with unusal names, because not only was I confused with who was who, but then who was speaking and if they were a Rephaim or if they were a voyant. 
    Once I got to the scene where Warden mentioned he was centuries old, I rolled my eyes. But then I got to the scene where he had been injured for the second time and the mention of blood-sucking was required, and I got a little annoyed. I wasn't here to read about vampires, but thank goodness that it turns out he wasn't. I'm sure that if this story turned out that way, I would've been repelled from this series and not enjoyed it as much. I, as many others, have had enough of vampires for a long time. Though I was confused, why was he fighting the Emims, just to rebel since he wasn't allowed to or because he actually was doing it for a reason? And Shannon didn't do a very good job at really describing what they were. Establishing what kind of creatures many of our main characters are is something that should be explained in the first book, especially if it's part of a series. Something about them coming from a perguatory equivalent universe called the Netherworld, that bleed ectoplasm, that's about all I got.
    I had a pretty good guess early on, once we learned of the Bone Season of XVIII, that Warden was involved. He wasn't acting like the typical Rephaim, so it wasn't hard to deduce. Also by the end, I was expecting to learn who the voyant traitor was from the rebellion in Bone Season XVIII, but again we were left with no answer. (I think I should reread this book just to see how many unanswered questions there are... I argue there shouldn't be more than 2 or 3.)
    And I have to say it because we all know I'm a romantic at heart. The whole love triangle thing was a little tragic. Warden, one of the most consistently stoic characters of any book I've read, clearly had feelings for Paige whether she wanted to confront it or not, so the whole Nick situation was a little heart-breaking. I mean, you really do grow to care for Warden, who's clearly tormented because he's betrothed to this evil witch and brothers with savage creatures and can't outwardly show any sympathetic emotions, let alone personal emotional for people he likes *cough* *cough* Paige *cough* *cough*. So yeah, when they finally hook up I was like, hell yeah, finally! And of course, they being discovered was a little predictable. I mean, what did you expect to happen? This wasn't the first time I predicted what was going to happen (despite the unique world building). Also the fact they departed without much emotion made the ending a little too flat for my liking. All this action and it ends: "if you never see me again, it's good, but if you do see me again, it's bad-- even though I really like you and you really like me." So yeah, the romance is clearly not a priority in this series (which is okay, but honestly, that ending!).
    Lastly, I don't know if anyone else felt this when reading this, or it's only because I'm watching it now, but did anyone think V For Vendetta when reading this world? No? Just me then?

Until Next Time,
Nicole Ciel


  1. Thanks for your awesome review! I'd really like to read this book, waiting on it to arrive in my mail :)

    1. I hope you love and enjoy it as much as I did! :)