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 story was very well done and the voice was perfect for our heroine. I can hardly wait for number two in the series. Let's all say a little prayer that Miss Samantha stays in good health and of good cheer so that this little gem will continue:)
This book is interesting and imaginative, but don't expect it to live up to the hype. That would be unfair. The story is complex and takes a while to absorb, but eventually it becomes engrossing. The central character is not easy to identify with but slowly develops. The scene, the action and the mood of the story are almost always very dark. To a point, where it begins to have an odor.
For me the performance is very flat. Often the reader falls into a rhythm that is almost guaranteed to take the life out of the action and the characters. I often find myself stopping and trying to recast important text to into different intonations that I naturally go to, and wondering if the actual language is being short changed a bit.
It is easy to see where the performing voice is going, but at times I feel the performance takes some of the dimension and color from the main protagonist, interpreting her personality more narrowly than the language of the book allows. Normally, that is one of the things I especially enjoy most form the audio book format is the extra dimension created by a talented reader. She does one or two moods of the character very well, but other moods seem thin and shallow. During those moments, I find myself wanting to blow the character up like a balloon that is short of air. And at times, that is exactly the sense the story intends to take you to, but most of the time I don't think it gets us all the way into the soul of the book.
Its worth the listen, but you have to work to make it come fully alive. And then, its only partially alive. In a purely literary sense it outshines so many other popular books in this genre (and what is this genre by the way?), and at the same time it lacks the charm (but certainly not the realism) of some of the really great fantasy books that we have been blessed with in the past twenty years. (Its evil for editors to place her in the same sentence as J. K. Rowling. Not fair to anyone.) We can safely expect some great things to come from this author as her creativity continues to mature. Can we expect the same from the audio performer?
Great start, but the book really dragged after the initial set-up. The "romantic scene" with the Warden was so badly written that it was painful to listen to.
There is no doubt that Samantha Shannon has a vibrant imagination and a love of words. The world of The Bone Season is meticulously and imaginatively planned, and Shannon has wonderful names for the characters and phenomena that fill that world. No doubt she will someday write a ripping yarn that takes place inside her creation. This isn't it.
The Bone Season is all outline and no story. Characters and relationships exist to tick boxes rather than illicit an emotional (or even cerebral) response. Paige, the book's main character, is forever reporting on her own response to events — her stomach is sickened, her heart thuds in her chest, her skin becomes slick with sweat, her throat is choked with revulsion with almost laughable regularity — but the narrative is so impatient and emotionally abbreviated, the reader is left wondering if she might be overreacting, or maybe has a touch of the flu. Why is our hero so distraught over *SPOILER* the death of a character she just met? Because, it seems, Shannon's story requires her to be distraught. We don't feel a thing because, y'know, we JUST MET the kid (and by "met" I mean Shannon tells us he exists.) And this isn't an isolated incident. All Paige has to do is encounter another character, and they are instantly a lifelong friend or hated enemy. Nothing is earned. Whole lotta telling going on here, and not much showing, and the result is an epic without tears or laughs or tension.
It is my understanding that the printed version of The Bone Season comes with charts and glossaries that tell us who's who and who can do what. To Shannon's credit, her world is sufficiently clear without these aides. But to my mind, charts and glossaries are the kinds of things fans end up doing on their own, when they love the characters and situations in a novel so much, they can't get enough — they find their own ways to stay in the world of the book a little longer. Shannon serves up the stuff of fandom for us, without ever giving us anything to be a fan of.
A note on the narrator: I've read several reviews complaining that her delivery makes the book boring. I disagree, I think Alana Kerr is wonderful. She does choose to read in a fairly affectless tone, and I confess a preference for that kind of read. It lets the books language stand on its own. If the novel is dull and lifeless, it's not the narrator's fault.
I really enjoyed this book. It started out somewhat slow and there is a lot of names to keep track of but once the action started to build I was completely into the book and I hated to get out of the car because I wanted to keep listening. I can't wait until the next book comes out.
Based on recent best selling books, and this one has the hype to make it a hit, we need to stop blaming just video games for inspiring and celebrating violence. Like the Hunger Games and Divergent series, The Bone Season is soaked in torture, violence, and death. It is a mixed genre: Sci-Fi/Vampire Romance/Steampunk(blame it on the Duke of Clarence)/Dystopia. And it is the first selection of the Today Show's Book Club.
The Bone Season starts with violence and keeps the pace up until the end. It does, however, throw in a vivid romantic arc that will appeal to Twilight fans. Our heroine, Paige, has carnal, almost carnivorous, relations with the Warden, a bad guy with a possible grain of decency. Does it matter that he is a Rephaim, a blood drinking, aura eating, human killing, really mean aether alien? Apparently not. The difference in this series (said to be set for seven books) compared to other popular dystopian melodramas is the apparent absence of any good guys at all, except people tinged with one of a millions forms of clairvoyance (the voyants). But most of them aren't so hot either. Maybe the good guys appear in later volumes.
The story is set 2059 in London and Oxford. The voyants have been suppressed by the totalitarian Scion regime, which has outlawed and imprisoned (or worse) the poor voyants, since 1909 . The Rephaim escaped from the nether realms in 1859 and we learn they have been the power behind the Scion actions. The heroine is a member of a tough gang of voyants, and she isn't afraid to inflict harm or commit crimes. Does the fact the violent gang members seem to also be against the enemy state make them heroes? It is a kill or be killed culture. Paige is hauled off to a top secret prison camp of sorts run by the Rephaim in the abandoned city of Oxford.
The whole clairvoyant (any connection to the spirit world) angle is stretched so far it almost becomes laughable, hence the title of my review. There is a -mancer type for every little thing. I lifted this one from another review: astragalomancer. I have no idea what it means or if it is spelled correctly. Maybe it is easy to grasp all the different levels and types of clairvoyance when reading instead of listening. (Note: the book has a glossary.) The narrator's voice is soft and she doesn't always always enunciate crisply enough to grasp the lists of -mancer types that spurt out on occasion.
Strangely enough, an online review of the book helped me figure out what may actually be going on. I'm not sure if it changed how I feel about the novel and don't think I will read/listen further, but the explanation of the language and names used by the author is helpful. I don't think the casual reader, me included, would have ever figured all of this out.
And finally, for being so smart and feisty, Paige isn't all that bright. There are continued references to red flowers in reference to the Rephaim, and she doesn't connect them to the continued visions of red flowers in her dreamscapes. My prediction for the seven book series is that Paige and the Warden (who is actually Lucifer in human form) will have a mixed aether child (Micheal) who will be able to travel through the various levels of aether. The Rephaim planned the pregnancy because they need Paige's special voyant powers to expand their control over humans; the green pill they have been forcing Paige take is to make her body capable of carrying a Rephaim child to term. It will be revealed that Paige had lived in the prison camp as a small child and had been genetically engineered to be cross bred, Paige will escape with the child and go into hiding to protect it from the mean Rephaim. Ireland will be involved. The child will grow up on the run and in book seven will battle the forces of evil that have escaped through the curtains between the realms in an effort to force the Rephaim and other bad spirits back into the netherworlds.
Yes, in fact I already have.
I have not. Sometimes her accent interferes with the oration and you have to listen to it again
Book-lover. Hobbyist. Student. Techie. Writer. Guitarist. Artist.
The Bone Season was highly engaging and breathtakingly imaginative. The highly complex and visionary world of fantasy was something I have never read before. Shannon created this one-of-a-kind never-before-written original world where clairvoyants were hunted and arrested by the government under the Scion security force. Although the world she crafted was fairly dark, gloomy, and depressing, it was full of imagination, originality, and wonderfully intricate.
The story was very engaging that it made it very hard to stop or pause my audiobook. It had a perfect balance of action, tension, drama, thrill, mystery, and humour. The twists, plot-turns, and characters were all very unpredictable. The Bone Season also had such powerful and contemplating themes such as trust, bravery, sacrifice, human nature, loyalty, fear, love, and power. The characters were very-well developed as well. The main characters had so much depth and distinct personalities that made them so believable. Even the secondary characters had their own unique personality.
Paige was a strong and brave heroine. Her stubbornness and strong attachment and dependence to her syndicate group the Seven Seals made her believable. It also gave her room for growth. Being away from her group with no one to trust and rely on but herself, she learned to fight, grow stronger, and be on her own while remaining loyal to her group.
Warden, on the other hand, was the type of character that you learn to love as you read the book. Although he came off as a cold and unattached character, he was actually a very caring, stable, and dependable character. Despite not being a human being, he was more human than most of the characters in the book. He was self-sacrificing and strong. He was beautiful.
Paige and Warden's relationship was full of tension, fear, betrayal, and doubt, as well as loyalty, trust, comfort, and familiarity. If you're looking for insta-love or dangerously co-dependent love, this is not the book for you. Their relationship is much more complicated and deeper than that.
Although the created world was breathtakingly original and detailed, the execution of the world building was somewhat hard to grasp at first, but the narration and the alternating world building and action helped me keep up with it. If I read it from the book instead of listening to the audiobook, I would have been more confused than I was. Alana did an awesome job making me feel like I was a part of the story.
It doesn't matter what genre you're into, if you read books or listen to audiobooks, The Bone Season is definitely a must-read.
I enjoyed the story and the reader.
The character development was great.
All of her characters were great. I logged in to see what else she had read for. Disappointed there were no other books.
Wanted the second book now.
Anybody know when book two is to be released?
wonderful writer. i was hooked after the first few pages. I cannot wait for her to write a second to to this book. the characters are so alive and real. I could not put this book down. well done!!!!!!!!
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