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.
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.
I'm a singer, songwriter, musician, producer and music educator. I've spent the majority of my life wearing headphones . . .
This is less of a novel and more of a litany of things that happened to the lead character, Paige. That might have been OK in the hands of an adept narrator, but Alana Kerr makes the experience excruciatingly tedious.
I'd like to tell you what this novel is about but, to be honest, I really don't have a clue. It seems like a hodgepodge of bad sci-fi and dark fairytale with a nod to vampires and zombies for the sake of being trendy. Throw in a tad of Irish folklore and you need a flow chart to find out where you are in the story . . . which, for me, two thirds of the way through, is mostly nowhere.
I wish I could offer something positive or constructive to say about The Bone Season, but it's is really an awfully bad book. Sorry.
This is both the debut novel by young British writer Samantha Shannon and the first in a lengthy series featuring the protagonist, Paige Mahoney.
Many people are asking whether this series might be the next Harry Potter. This is setting yourself up to be disappointed - comparisons will fall short of expectations. Rather, approach this novel as a fantasy novel set in Britain where magic exists and a host of clairvoyants are eking out their existences throughout the UK.
This is a tale of magic, of the spirit world, of seeking after freedom and liberty, of a world where people are trying to survive in spite of a system that seeks to destroy them. (For a more focusd plot summary that won't spoil things, you can trust the one Audible provides).
If you enjoy getting lost in the idea of another realm and its magic, you'll enjoy the time you spend in The Bone Season. Go in with an open mind, and I think you'll enjoy yourself.
A note on the narration - Alana Kerr reads very well, her accent is a pleasure to listen to, but sometimes you do need to concentrate to determine which character is speaking during conversations (there are no specific voices for many of the characters).
The story was interesting, once I got a grasp on what what going on, but the accent and made up terms made it confusing. (What is a molisher? It's clearly some kind of slang, but...)
Maybe. It seemed a bit of a rehash of Hunger Games and Divergent, with a bit of spiritual mysticism thrown in to make it "interesting"
Wow. Anyone? The narration was monotone, monotonous and not "acted" at all. During dialogue I was constantly losing track of who was meant to be speaking, and even during the action sequences I felt like the narrator was delivering a police report in court. I may have actually liked the story better with a different narrator.
No, the story wraps up pretty well. It did feel like there was a sequel setup, but I can't imagine how that could happen without it feeling like every other teen girl warrior series out there right now.
It's ok. I see why it was recommended for me. But it was a mediocre addition to the genre.
The speculative fiction premise and world-building efforts that have gone into this book are undeniably rich. The author has done a fine job of situating her story in an alternative history which pulls in threads of Anglo-Irish history, the explosive popularity of spiritualism in the 19th Century and the very contemporary rhetoric of the far right. She has also done a wonderful job with settings - especially that of an abandoned and resurrected Oxford.
But this is most definitely a piece of Young Adult fiction. Like 'Twilight' and, its erotic spin-off, 'Fifty Shades of Grey', 'The Bone Season' relies for much of its plot tension on the irrational and mercurial emotional shifts of its young female protagonist. There is little learning process, or actions based on acquired understanding - as one expects from a novel populated with and read by adults. Instead, a repetitive cycle of mood changes power much of her decision making process.
This is a pity, because the author has created some intriguing adversaries and questionable characters who, had they been explored with more maturity, could have resulted in a far more compelling and less irritating story.
I think young adults will love this book. I think they will relate to the main character and her volatile shifts in both intellect and agency. But for me, it felt like waves of artificial emotional tension masquerading as plot structure.
A good narrator can make a mediocre book come alive. I love having a story read to me - it's a wonderful escape.
This book has gotten a lot of hype and I suspect many will think it is warranted. Honestly, I might have enjoyed it with a different narrator. Ms. Kerr has a beautiful voice but it is too monotone and uneventful for my taste. I would probably employ her voice for some poetry rather than this highly energetic story. She left me bored and disinterested and even "sang" me to sleep a couple of times.
Other than that, I believe the story is a good one. It started out very strong, but waned during the middle and didn't really build well into any type of crescendo. I really wanted to like it, but didn't really.
As I understand it this is the first of a new series. I will try the next book in the series, but if the same narrator is used, I will read it instead to see if that helps me enjoy it.
I feel like my headphones have fused to my head and my mp3 player has become a vital body part, it is kinda scary! Audible is my life.
I've found that the more audiobooks I listen to, the more important the narrator becomes and this one is flawless. Despite devouring literally thousands of audiobooks, this is my first review. I could feel these characters, perhaps even see their auras. Only wish I would have waited for the whole series before I began, as it will be torture to wait for the next one.
. . . like your dreams!!! The early chapters laid solid groundwork for a complex world with interesting characters. I anticipated a book somewhere between Magic Study and the Hunger Games, but with a fresh perspective.
However, relationships between characters remained shallow and wooden, and the unrelieved despair following the main character's imprisonment undermined the authenticity of the world, and pulled me out of the story. Foundational elements of the story were just completely unexplained: if this was deliberate, it was clumsy.
Almost as bad: moments of stupid were not infrequent, and quite jarring. (*Spoiler* Really, you have to wait for the friggin train that only comes ever 10 years to escape??? What does the train run on? Does it run on AIR? Could it run on TRAIN TRACKS, perhaps? Could you maybe WALK on those tracks to escape?! Seriously. *End Spoiler*)
The last third of the book was just drudgery.
Lovely accent. Wasted on this story.
Everything after chapter four.
It is reassuring to know that the publishing industry isn't needed as a gatekeeping to sort the wheat from the chaff. As we move toward more self-pub., I won't have to worry about a decline in quality.
I'm 30 years old, from the east coast of America, and my favorite books are realistic, but stretch the truth and the laws of physics.
This book found a great balance between fantasy and sci-fi, it was fantastical and imaginative without being full of fluffy, childish make believe, yet it was also futuristic and gripping, without being full of nerdy technology worship. The tone and essence of the book were somber and bleak, but not to the point of being whiney or melodramatic and overly heavy. The narration really played that up well, I think the reader was very well matched to the story.
It reminded me of the hunger games in its futuristic, dystopian vision of a concentration camp for human beings who had evolved into various forms of clairvoyance, and the new oppressive governments of Britain and Europe which sought to become prison empires. The author was descriptive and imaginative in her creation and detailed definition of the diversity of this advanced world and its neighboring dimensions and species.
The only issues I had with this authors first published work were her tendency to rush the story just a bit, and the rare, yet still sometimes present bit of seemingly unpolished, flowery prose which seemed to be thrown in to break up the concentrated pace of the story telling ("the night was so dark...so cold"...blegh). Yet, altogether it was a skilled attempt without too much emphasis on romance and no reliance on worn out narratives.
This is a really great read in my opinion, and I think it will appeal to a lot of different tastes. I really can't wait for the sequel, you hurry up and gimme it, Shannon! I need it!
The biggest problem is that it is compared to Harry Potter. Harry Potter is easily enjoyed by both men and women of all ages, but The Bone Season is mostly for girls, aged 15-30. It is also very easy to anticipate what will happen in the narrative. Compare this book to the Twilight series instead of the Harry Potter series.
The story in itself isn't half bad, and some of the action is pretty decent. Change it from a first person teenager narrative to something else and I think it will work much better.
It depends on the book. Her voice is not very engaging, especially for the main character. But some of the other characters wasn't so bad.
The story is interesting, and I like the setting very much. The world and the politics are also interesting. If you like Twilight, then this book is definitely for you. If you like Harry Potter but not Twilight then you will most probably not find this book that good.
A good youth novel, but cannot in any way be compared to the Harry Potter series.
"Great Story, superb narrator."
Fantastic story, reminiscent of Neil Gaiman. Kerr's narration fits perfectly with the story, and never sounds droning.
"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!)
"Believe the hype: orginal, gritty, exciting"
The hype said that Samantha Shannon had received a six figure advance for the first three books in a seven book series and had already sold the film rights to book one: The Bone Season.
What the hype didn't prepare me for was a rich, complex book filled with original ideas, vivid characters, powerful emotions, gritty realism and page-turning action.
Shannon's alternative future Britain is fully thought through and skilfully evoked. She weaves her tale from a deep understanding of the politics of hatred and fear and the fundamental evil of slavery and brightens it with new ideas on the nature of magic.
What makes the book truly exceptional is the character of Paige Mahoney (how nice it was to hear this name pronounced the Irish way for once): brave, dangerous, more than a little broken but fundamentally good. She is easy to care about and root for. Her way of seeing the world is humane without being in the least bit soft. Her bravery comes from a refusal to submit to fear or to be treated as anything less than human. Even when everything has been taken from her, she holds on to the power that comes from knowing what she values and what she is prepared to do to protect it.
The relationship between Paige and Warden, her "keeper" is rich, complex and credible, exploring the boundaries or trust and otherness, suspicion and attraction, power and weakness.
Although it is book one in a series,"The Bone Season" is a full novel and not just an instalment in a story.
This is one of the best speculative fiction books I've read in a long time. That it was debut novel from a young author fills me with pleasure. I look forward to reading all of her books as they come out over then next several years.
"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.
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