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.
The Bone Season is the first book in what is slated to be a seven-part series. This means that there is a lot of world-building. This also means that there are many unanswered questions, many storylines left open-ended, and a lot of ambiguity. However, this should not be a scare factor for anyone. Samantha Shannon accomplishes quite a bit in this ambitious opening. While the world she creates is very complex, and the cast of characters is large, readers will find it very easy to immerse themselves into this unique setting among the eclectic cast. Her use of familiar sites and locations helps ease the discomfort associated with adjusting to an alternative history. The story is also helped by her ability to continue to acclimate readers to her new world without halting the story’s forward progress through pages upon pages of descriptions. The descriptions happen – and they are excellently written – but they occur simultaneously, keeping the momentum and intensity and effectiveness of the story intact.
While the entire novel hints at future story lines, none have quite as much potential as the Rephaim and particularly Warden. His actions within THE BONE SEASON remain shrouded in mystery. His relationships to his fellow Rephaim as well as to the humans are unclear, while his motivations are not only unclear but downright unknown. It makes his actions that much more intriguing because a reader is left in the dark as much as Paige is. Ms. Shannon does intimate at Warden’s backstory, and the glimpses shown are tantalizing in the possibilities.
Not only is Ms. Shannon setting the stage for future novels, but she manages to make The Bone Season a fast-paced thrill ride of a novel with a surprisingly large amount of closure. Paige’s struggle to adapt to life as a prisoner and the world of the Rephaim is intense, as she fights to maintain her independence and stay true to her principals in an environment that views her as lower than the low and only worthy of subjugation. Paige proves herself to be one of the strongest female characters to grace the pages of any novel with her fierce determination, unique skill set, and her pride. As the tension ratchets up to a fever pitch, the action – which was already intense – kicks into high gear, and a reader can only sit back and enjoy the ride. The final breathtaking pages will not only leave a reader anxiously anticipating the next installment but also celebrating the diverse and multi-layered world Ms. Shannon creates.
Alana Kerr's performance is very subtle. She saves the emotional performance for the dialogue, and the narrative remains calm and almost soothing. In fact, the narrative is so quiet and emotionless that those experiencing the story for the first time may struggle remaining focused enough to understand Ms. Shannon's unfamiliar world. For those who are familiar with the story though, her performance enhances the familiar, placing emphasis on Paige's Irish roots and the diversity of Oxford's inhabitants. Ms. Kerr proves herself more than capable of tackling the hundreds of local accents that is a natural part of any story taking place on British soil as she switches from one character to another without pause or problem. All of the characters have their own unique accent, pitch, delivery, tonality, and intensity. It is an understated and most excellent performance but one most listeners may not appreciate given the lengthy amounts of world-building required to understand Paige's situation and the strange world of Scion and the Rephaim.
The entire idea of the alternate universe in which it was set.
The Warden, Arcturus. You get a sense of a deep well of history behind him, of forces working on and through him that we don't yet understand from this book alone.
Her pacing was spot on, and I enjoyed the small hints of an Irish burr and lilt in her pronunciations. I also apprecited her being able to properly pronounce french words, and the fact that her voice and style of reading really gets into your head and makes you want to listen more, even if the book itself may be a bit slow.
I had no extreme reactions, though I did sort of sigh at the romance plot.
No, I only listen to a book once. I would listen or read another book about the characters, since I liked them and interested in learning more about them.
Looking forward to book 2
I really enjoyed Alana Kerr's telling of the story - her fresh voice with its lilting Irish accent brought the story to life. Beautifully read.
Didn't think I would like it at first but got drawn in and involved in the story and the main character's life. Well told
Dan the man
I enjoyed the story and the imagery the author gave describing these two separate but coexisting populations, however the narration was simply monotone, and for the main character her voice was perfect, however you get lost in some of the back and forth conversations between two (or more) people when Samantha is reading it, as there is simply zero fluctuation between them. For this fact alone I'll probably pass on the series for now.
Technical jargon can add to a sci fi story, but it is hard to follow in an audiobook when you can easily miss picking up the contextual meaning. I just couldn't make it past the problems with the narration.
Alana Kerr's narration made this audiobook impossible for me to finish. First of all, her diction was distracting and noisy. Second, her voice lacks range. I felt like I was being read Goodnight, Moon. I couldn't distinguish between characters who were speaking.
I don't have a narrator in mind -- just someone different.
The storyline took me by surprise. When I first stated to listen I thought oh no another flakey in the future book. Boy, was I wrong.
I can't compare this to anything else
Just loved this book and hope there will be more to come.
This alternative contemporary history, dystopian, supernatural fiction with its progressive revelation of mysteries did keep me curious enough to tough out this listen.But oh, the narration!I found I could only bear forty minutes at a time before switching to a liveler audiobook. Which would be, almost any other. I was left wishing I had got the print version instead.I really wanted to like the narrator better. Alana Kerr certainly is a master of the many dialects of the British Isles and her various voices can be lovely.But the monotony of the first person narrative spoils it all! At first I thought that the deadpan descriptions of the bleak police state in twenty first century London were gripping in fact and made me listen. One hears a character scarred by experience recalling all with horrifying dispassion.But then it goes on and on wihout relief, except where she allowed her voice some lilt in the other characters' dialogue. What was tense and gripping just became a background noise and my attention could only wander from the book. Scenes of flight and combat were indistinguishable in tone from the quiet and solitary episodes of exposition of the strange world the narrator discovers. What started out breathless just became dull.I think Alana Kerr could deliver a much better narration than she did, which left me even more annoyed than bored with this experience. Let us hope that she improves her technique... or that someone else will be cast for the sequels.
Rich, exciting, engaging
Listening to the Page's first foray back into London, mouth sealed shut, mask distorting her features, forced to fight the people whom she regraded as family, was thrilling so was the scene where she kills Warden's cousin with pollen! Such ugly detail made it so alive.
No I haven't but I'm now looking for other books she has narrated. I was amazed at how she made the book come alive! At one point I lost what was happening in the story because I was so enthralled by the tone and timbre or Alana Kerr's voice.
I have read many dystopia novels, most all young adult, and found this one the best of the lot. This is written for adults not for tweens and it shows in the rich details and lack of teen heart throb. The relationships are multi-layered and complex, just like the story itself. I must read for anyone who plowed through the Hunger Games or Divergent. Like savoring luxurious deep dark chocolate ganache after eating cheap milk chocolate candy coating.
The Bone Season started out decently - Shannon introduces an interesting world and potentially interesting protagonist, with a generally dreary, dark atmosphere enveloping everything that adds an intriguing tone to the whole thing.
But then, just as things are supposed to get interesting, it just all falls apart. After our initial introduction, the rest of the book reads like angsty teen fan fiction - characters are two dimensional, the meandering plot falls into the usual "dystopian world" tropes, key relationships are developed in a rushed, unbelievable way, plot holes pop up left and right, the romantic relationship feels SO forced, and so on. I was especially disappointed in the development of the main character, who started out kind of layered and promising, and then just withered away into a boring Mary Sue who faces "terrible obstacles" without real consequences and "doesn't believe in herself" until the very end of course when she all of a sudden does a 180 and turns into Sergeant Leader and is all "I'm the only one who can save everyone ARRRGH!!11"
Also, toward the last third of the book, Shannon heavy handedly employs the most embarrassingly trite plot device in order to forcibly move the romantic relationship along...I honestly felt like I had skipped an entire section because it just came straight outta nowhere. But no, it was just juvenile fan fiction writing at its best (worst?)
Anyway, if you are WAY into "dark" YA fantasy stuff and don't care about, I don't know, how well it's written, then you'll probably like this. Because it certainly feels like it was written by a 21 year old.
The last two thirds
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