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 forever. Attacked, drugged and kidnapped, Paige is transported to Oxford - a city kept secret for 200 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.
The Bone Season introduces a compelling heroine and also an extraordinary young writer, with huge ambition and a teeming imagination. Samantha Shannon has created a bold new reality in this riveting debut.
©2013 Samantha Shannon-Jones (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
This is a dark but good book. I'm impressed at Samantha Shannon's talent as a debut author. I have read reviews that state that this is the next Harry Potter and it is to be a 7 book series. I've also read reviews that say it is overhyped and for teenagers. I wasn't aware of the hype when I read it, but I will say that if I expected it to be the next Harry Potter I would have been disappointed for a couple of reasons. One it is not for children nor about children. The only similarity I see is that is takes place in an alternative London with a magic system and it will be a seven book series. I believe it is unfair to the book and to Samantha Shannon to set that expectation.
I mentioned this is not a children's book. This is about a 19 year old clarvoyant who works for a criminal underground syndicate. Clairvoyance is unnatural and those with the various abilities are hunted and arrested. There are many twists and turns as you find out why it is outlawed and hunted. It is not simply due to fear of the talent. This book is predominantly about what happens to our protagonist once she is caught.
You need to get through the first few chapters of set up before the story really unfolds. Alana Kerr gives a dry, detached performance that fits the character of the protagonist impeccably. This is one I would prefer to listen to rather than read but you do have to pay attention. Stick to mundane tasks so you can pay attention to the detail.
I found this to be a fresh, not a formulaic dystopian fiction novel, with a unique magic system. I'm excited for the next book and definitely recommend it.
The story was incredibly gripping and something completely different to anything I've ever read before, and the narration was fantastic
Warden of course, closely followed by Liss
Alana Kerr was fantastic with every character (although it did take me a little while to adjust to the Irish accent after listening to the Divergent trilogy). Nashira was by no means my favourite character, but Alana captured her brilliantly.
Before listening to this book I had heard a lot of comparisons between Samantha Shannon and JK Rowling which are completely unfair, they are completely different authors with different styles and different stories, though both are incredibly talented.
Much like the author, I am a card-carrying member of the Harry Potter generation.
I grew up between the pages of JK Rowling’s world of witchcraft and wizardry and eagerly awaited each consecutive installment with the kind of fervor usually reserved for drug addicts and starving men. Given this, it’s not surprising that the media campaign, which toted Ms. Shannon’s series as the new Harry Potter, caught my attention in a powerful way.
After listening to the Bone Season however, I’d have to say that the comparison is unfair to the reader and to the author (and honestly, to JK Rowling too – it seems like there should be a rule against bestowing her name on another writer while she’s still around to claim it).
While Shannon has a dazzling creativity, she hasn't developed the balanced hand that built Hogwarts – so after that initial letdown, I abandoned any preconceptions and considered the book's merits in the context of its own genre.
The novel centers on Paige Mahoney, a reserved young woman who is born into a persecuted class known as the voyants. Outwardly, it seems that the British government has been systematically executing these supernaturally gifted individuals – but as it often goes, not everything is as it appears. When Paige (exceptional even among a population known for its supernal talents) is finally captured, she is not tortured and hung as expected but sent to Oxford. There, a cruel, humanoid race known as the Raheim have enslaved her and her kind for their own purposes.
Ms. Shannon’s expansive world spills out across the pages of The Bone Season in straightforward, confident prose. She constructs an elaborate, dark fantasy through the eyes of a sympathetic and fierce protagonist.
When set against other young adult, dystopian fantasies, this book is a cut or two above the rest.
But, in the end, it lacked universal appeal.
Her characterization and style is occasionally formulaic and often romantic. She relies heavily on familiar archetypes: there’s tall-dark-and-handsome, beautiful-but-evil, rat-faced-schemer - just to name a few. Even her plucky protagonist falls prey to jumbled motives, arbitrary stubbornness, and (repeatedly) the clichéd scene of gravely injured but rescued by a conveniently placed, attractive man.
Fortunately, Shannon is a good story teller - even when relying on worn out tropes, and there are bright patches of a fresh and darkly captivating narrative which make it worthwhile.
Ultimately, would I recommend this book? Yes, whole-heartedly to fans of the genre. Shannon is articulate and intelligent. She possesses a rare and coherent creativity that will no doubt engender a legion of loyal fans.
Will I continue to read the series? I’m undecided.
All told, the Bone Season is a promising start to a career. Shannon is a gifted writer and I have no doubt that the rough edges of her work will smooth out as she grows into her own.
Lately there have been a menage of literary genre crossovers, such as vampire-heroes, steampunk-aliens, and fantasy detectives. Tragically, many of them are shallow, at best, and frankly are Audible credit wasters. The initial concept may have validation, but either the overall delivery is tepid, or the author gets lost in the created genre, and writes a confusing, three hundred page diatribe explaining the new genre, and the work loses its audience. Hence, many are epic failures.
Not so in "The Bone Season," I'm glad to write.
Here you have a future, fantasy and dystopian mix that never falls short, that sweeps you along, and one audio listen that I heartily recommend.
Okay, I'll quote Audible's description, because if I DON'T, I'm definitely going to give away some very important plot lines that you deserve to discover in the listening of this fantastic audiobook. Here goes, and I quote:
"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 forever."
I don't dare add to this - It's that good. This is one time when I WANT to do so. It's a delicious, juicy dystopian rush and romp you won't soon forget, and not want to put down. The heroine is complex and a joy to experience, the characters add wonderfully to the storylines' dynamic, the world created is rich and textured, and the storyline is both unusual and engaging. Overall, a wonderful listen.
This is a rare Audible listener's treat - It's Shannon's first work, and you can say you were there when it happened. In fact, I highly recommend that you listen to this wonderful first book in the series twice.
That's right. TWICE.
You'll better appreciate the author's rich world-building future-fantasy, and love it even more.
It's almost inconceivable that the 21-year-old Shannon wrote "The Bone Season" between classes at Oxford while an undergraduate at the respected university. But, remember, a number of authors have received inspiration from its hallowed halls and quasi-fantasy architecture. Authors such as Ballard, Pullman, and other well known authors have hailed from there, as well. C.S. Lewis and other famed authors have taught there. And that's just touching on the "fantasy" authors. So, she was educated in a hotbed of writing potential, and it obviously rubbed off quite well.
So well that she has a contract for seven books in the Bone series. Well done.
The one drawback to this triumph of a first novel is the narrator. Kerr's good at times, but a bit too lilting occasionally, and the accents tend to mix a bit. However, she doesn't cause a major distraction. Let's hope she improves over time.
This first effort by Shannon has "best-seller" written all over it. My sincere hope is that the seven books in the series fare as well.
Obsessive book hoarder, and intense audible lover.
I loved the beginning but pre-climax to the conclusion of the novel, it became quite predictable. I found the premise intriguing but if the novel loses the intensity of the beginning of the novel-- I'm over it. I'll read her coming sequel and hope the story picks up again for me
This isn't bad for a debut attempt by a young writer. Samantha Shannon has a seven book deal to continue this series so there will be plenty more books to come. The Bone Season's film rights were bought by The Imaginarium film studios so we will soon see this book brought to the big screen.
There is a lot of hype surrounding this book with people proclaiming that Shannon is the next J.K. Rowling. I don't think that is fair to set the bar so high for this young author, proclaiming that this is going to be as big as J.K. and Harry Potter. I do see potential here but she reminds me more of the young Christopher Paolini and his The Inheritance Cycle series.
I will keep an eye out for her next book in the series because I am interested to see how she develops as a writer and how this world she has created will expand.
Alana Kerr adds so much to the book with her beautiful accent. Although at times I felt a bit lost by her command of the verbiage, very much alien to me, it added to the feeling of being taken to a new place; a foreign place.
In the first chapters of the book it moves very fast and I felt I should have a dictionary and perhaps take a few notes - the next thing I know I am no longer a mere voyeur but I
have been captured and I am no longer listening I am in the throws of flux.
Kerr gives you the dialect that makes the words alive rather than flat. I have a wonderful imagination but her voice is so perfect for this book I'm glad I heard it first.
I was not brought to tears by this book nor did I ache from laughter. I was able to lose myself, my world vanished completely, and I ended it sitting in my car feeling like I had just returned from a vacation.
This is not young adult literature. Don't stress over the first few chapters. Enjoy them.
As far as dystopian novels go, this one is very futuristic and very interesting. It takes a good while to get into the story. The character development isn't great in the beginning, but once the action starts to kick it, the book is hard to put away. Unfortunately, for me, that didn't happen until around chapter 14. You really have to pay attention to character names and personas in this book or it will leave you utterly confused. Chapter 25 had me in tears of empathy for the main character, Paige. Chapter 27 and 28 had me reeling. It's like Samantha Shannon turned a corner in the novel from background development and a sort of slow character development to full on fabulous story telling. I would recommend it, but you need to get through the first few slow chapters to get to the good stuff. It's coming! The narrator, though a tad "bland" is perfect for the part of Paige.
Love this site! I have a very busy job, so listening to audio books enables me to keep up on great stories!
The concept. Eerie.
Any Warden moment. He was a tough one to figure out. But I enjoyed trying!
Actually it would have been all 5's if not for her. I really liked her and she had a detachment in her voice that left me kind of cold. It was incredibly appropriate. HOWEVER, she failed miserably in different voices. Not enough distinction, often I wasn't sure which character was speaking. I wish the director would have given her a note about that.
It was heavy. No, not in one sitting. Heavy stuff. Also, I had to go back to the beginning a few times just to get a better understanding of what was going on. When it all clicked, it was great. But in order to appreciate this novel, you have to have an excellent understanding of clairvoyance, how the hierarchy works, and the Rephaites in general. But at the end of the day, SO well worth it. I am anxiously waiting for the second book!
This needs to be made into a movie!
Don't believe the hype! I give the author credit for creating a somewhat interesting "spirit" world. However, once you get past the novelty of life in the non corporal realm, you quickly get bored with the plot. I also don't understand the infatuation with the narrator. She made the main character sound so depressing. I wish a had a remote to fast forward. Seriously. A seven book series? For me, it's one and done.
"Waiting for the sequel"
A great story excellently rendered - the soft Irish accent was perfect. Can't wait for the next book.
"Amazing book! Could not put down!"
You need approximately an hour to get into the book, the descriptions and to start to understand it (a bit harder time where you sometimes even think if it will be a good book to continue), but after that it's purely exhilarating! After that one hour I was hardly able to go to bed in the night to get some sleep and hardly able to concentrate on the job in the day! I usually listen to audiobooks in the car while on longer trips (job connected) or traffic jams but this time I was listening to it at home whenever I found spare time - that was all I wanted to do!
To tell what was the most that gripped me in this book was the relationship between Paige and her keeper. Took my breath away! And the whole story was something new and very interesting!
The narrator is a bit annoying at the start - my objections were to her a bit slurry sounding voice - not as clear and crisp as the last narrator I was listening to. But at the end I got used to her and can even give her the 4 stars as her voice and its tone and feeling is now deeply connected with the book in my mind.
Can't wait for the next book in series "The Mime Order" (will be published in January 2015) but I hope Audible will make a quick audio version, too, I'd love to listen to this! I still think the narration puts a special feel to the book!
"Wonderful story, dreadful narrator"
The book is a compelling urban fantasy, only spoiled by the flat, apathetic tones of the narrator.
The Hunger Games, as the plot/world of the book is fascinating, but the characters are stereotypes.
Literally anyone. It's insane that she's getting work at all.
There are thousands of talented narrators out there... audible is lazy and/or nepotistic in their casting, and it ruins their product.
"It should have been so much better!"
It started well and then went downhill from there.
There should have been much more about the goings on in London and more hints about what was happening in Oxford. It's as if a third of the way through the author had to finish the book quickly. The narrators voice was wrong for this kind of book.
Dull and boring
If the story had been better written a follow up book would have been an exciting thought, but I won't be bothering unless it gets much, much better.
Alana Kerr has a beautiful voice but it was so wrong for this book. The book started so well but the combination of the narrator and the story put me off.
"Can't wait for the next one"
The world-building was fabulous. There was such depth in this alternate England in 2059 with the history of Scion explored in more detail through the book and the all the different abilities which voyants can possess was fascinating. The Rephaim are still shrowded in a lot of mystery and I can't wait to learn more about them through the rest of the series.
Without wanting to give spoilers for anyone reading this, the development of Paige's character and her ability, particularly towards the end of this novel is what will stay with me the most.
The showdown near the end with Nashira, anything could have happened then, it was totally unpredictable and absolutely riveting.
Too many moments to mention. I found a greater depth in the novel as well because I am a chronic migraine sufferer and the author also suffers from migraines - this came through in her writing and in the concept of Paige's ability as well.
I really enjoyed the narrator telling this story with her Irish lilt and I in the most part her accents and voices were good. I think she will develop better in this area as she gains more experience in narration though and I was disappointed she didn't sing when she read out the song as a poem instead (especially as she is a singer!)
"Not worth your time"
She had a monotonous voice.
There are absolutely no redeeming features for this book.
I was excited to listen to this immediately on purchase. I had seen Samantha Shannon being interviewed on Breakfast TV and thought it was definitely worth a listen. Maybe I was on the wrong wavelength but the book was totally meaningless. The whole story went nowhere, had little substance and it was a struggle to listen to the end. There was hope throughout that it would brighten up, and the ending in the last five minutes was a relief and a "wrap" but that was all. There are no relationships worth worrying about in the book, it is a monotonous monologue of utter boredom and absolutely not worth my time in listening to it.
"can't wait for next book"
I loved all the characters
I couldn't wait to hear more I was gripped by the story line
Alana Kerr has the most memorizing voice and was the prefect narrator for this book
If I'd had the time I would have loved to had listened to this book in one sitting
Highly recommend this book. A very addictive listen.
"A good start"
I've heard people compare this to Harry Potter, and I get where they're coming from - it's a book about the supernatural, about a small subset of the population born with gifts that they need to keep secret from the rest of the world - and they go to a place where they can learn to hone their gifts - you can certainly draw parallels. As another dimension it's set in a dystopian future, where the main character must worry constantly for her life - perhaps imagining a Harry Potter/Hunger Games fusion is about right.
It's a fun listen, with lots of interesting ideas - but the whole book feels very rushed, many concepts are laid out - but not really developed. I wanted to know more about the different Unnaturals and their powers and abilities - but I felt like the author was too busy rushing through the plot to really give any one moment or concept the time it deserved. I believe that there's seven books planned in total? In all honesty I would have preferred if the first book was focused entirely on the Unnaturals and their powers - and maybe the politics of the Syndicates and the ruling government - without even touching on the Rephaim. I love complex plots as much as the next man, but this wasn't so much complex as 'a lot of plot in a shortish book'.
My only other big criticism is that the book failed to surprise me - there weren't many questions and mysteries - or rather there weren't many questions or mysteries that weren't instantly revealed or difficult to guess. A good book doesn't need a twist, but this one certainly felt like it could use one. Apart from that I enjoyed it. I'll listen or read the next one.
"An Unexpected Gem"
I am not sure what I was expecting, having seen people talking about the book on the television, and seeing Samantha's interview on the BBC Breakfast program, and, after a week or more of shall I, shan't I, I thought I would give it a go ...
And I am glad that I did. If I had not heard about her recently, I would have said that Samantha Shannon was a seasoned author, and that this was a nom de plume for another author, one whose name would escape me for a long time ;-).
The book brings to life an alternate timeline/reality for the modern world, beginning in an alternative reality of London and moving to Oxford. One in which the flavour of the world is drawn in rich detail, and clearly sets the scene for the future, whilst satisfyingly completing a portion of that journey.
I found the protagonist to be intelligent and irritating all in one. A heroine that I was rooting for most of the time, but one that had me yelling out loud about the "wrong" moves that she was taking / making at other times. It fully engaged me, and I wanted the "bad guys" to lose, the "good guys" to win, not that it ends so cleanly.
It is one of those books that I could not put down, except for the minimum requirements for life: sleep, food, etc.
I look forward to the future of this young author, and the sequel of "The Bone Season", it will have a great deal to live up to.
I also found Alana Kerr's narration to be very enjoyable and engaging and hope that she is able to voice the future tales.
I will not compare it to other books as that would give certain expectations. But if you like your fiction with an edge of fantasy (assuming you don't believe in E.S.P., ghosts, etc.), then this is a tale for you.
"It had me gripped from start to finish."
Beautifully presented and read, I was hooked from the get go. I found the story enthralling, fast paased and exciting. I must admit to have never hearing of the author previously, but I have already added the next book in the series to my wish list. I enjoy listening to my audio books whilst driving. My only problem with this book, was that I found myself staying in the car after reaching my destination, to continue listening to the story. I truly didn't want to miss a beat. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Happy Audiobooking (I may have just invented a new word lol)
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.