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The Bone Season | [Samantha Shannon]

The Bone Season

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.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Editors Select, August 2013 - 21-year-old British author Samantha Shannon has been generating a lot of buzz for her debut novel The Bone Season, Book 1 in a projected seven book series. Not surprisingly, a lot of comparisons are already being drawn between Shannon and a certain other British author of a seven book series – J.K. Rowling. Shannon, however, deserves recognition in her own right for creating a fresh, unique world that is simultaneously fascinating and intimidating. The year is 2059, and Paige Mahoney is a clairvoyant living in dystopian London. After unintentionally using her rare gift to commit murder, she is kidnapped by the Rephaim, an otherworldly race who have been secretly controlling the government for two centuries. Much like Paige, I found myself unable to escape the reality of the book – I simply could not put it down. Shannon’s epic debut – complete with suspense, paranormal gifts, rebellion, and even a little romance – already has me anxiously awaiting Book 2. In the meantime, I can’t wait to dive back into her world and experience The Bone Season in audio. —Katie, Audible Editor

Publisher's Summary

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.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (1976 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Matthias Schüssler Winterthur 09-27-13
    Matthias Schüssler Winterthur 09-27-13 Member Since 2012

    Journalist, blogger, radio man. Visit me at clickomania.ch

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Lots of nice incredients. But the meat is lacking."
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    There area lot of great ideas in the story. Interesting locations and characters I want to get to know better. But somehow, they did not come to life for me. This is a disadvantage, since I am not living in the æther, after all. There are many bones, but no meat in the soup.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    No clue. A better recommending system by Audible would be helpful. ;-)


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    The performance is quite okay. I like readers with a broader ability for creating voices for the characters, though.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    First, couriosity, sometimes boredom and relief in the end.


    Any additional comments?

    I'll give one of the next books of Shannon a shot. She'll improve.

    9 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brett Charlotte, NC, United States 03-30-14
    Brett Charlotte, NC, United States 03-30-14 Member Since 2014
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    "YA stew"

    The first book of a seven book series, The Bone Season, is a derivative YA tale with just enough of a twist to attract a big audience. Its a stew of Harry Potter, Twilight, and Hunger Games. Overall this novel had the temperment of a teenager: moody, melodramatic, and self-centered. Toss into this mix a little sexuality, violence, and drug use and there you have it.

    As a middle aged man, I am definately not the demographic that this writer was trying to reach. I say skip it unless you are way into the YA genre. Despite all of the hype, I don't believe that The Bone Season has the strength to crossover to a wider audience like Harry Potter and The Hunger Games did.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melvin PALMDALE, CA, United States 02-08-14
    Melvin PALMDALE, CA, United States 02-08-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great imagination...oh so depressing!"

    I loved the imagination of the author. She build the characters well. But, if a book is a picture into the author's soul...oh is there some darkness there. I had to slog through the pages of depression but it was worth it. Take a look. There are more books coming in this series.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Emily Mount Macedon, Australia 01-02-14
    Emily Mount Macedon, Australia 01-02-14 Member Since 2015

    A lover of audiobooks of all kinds, since childhood, when long car journeys were accompanied by Discworld stories. @ReineDesLivres (Twitter)

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    "An enjoyable debut novel from a promising author"

    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).

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Foxydot Cincinnati, OH, United States 11-17-13
    Foxydot Cincinnati, OH, United States 11-17-13 Member Since 2012

    foxydot

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Monotone and confusing"
    What did you like best about The Bone Season? What did you like least?

    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...)


    Would you be willing to try another book from Samantha Shannon? Why or why not?

    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"


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Alana Kerr?

    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.


    Do you think The Bone Season needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    It's ok. I see why it was recommended for me. But it was a mediocre addition to the genre.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Madeleine London, United Kingdom 10-18-13
    Madeleine London, United Kingdom 10-18-13 Member Since 2015

    Audiobook addict.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wonderful for YA Readers"

    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.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janet PLANO, TX, United States 10-09-13
    Janet PLANO, TX, United States 10-09-13 Member Since 2006

    A good narrator can make a mediocre book come alive. I love having a story read to me - it's a wonderful escape.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "almost"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Philip Thousand Oaks, CA, United States 08-31-13
    Philip Thousand Oaks, CA, United States 08-31-13 Member Since 2015

    I'm a singer, songwriter, musician, producer and music educator. I've spent the majority of my life wearing headphones . . .

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not Good"

    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.

    21 of 31 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Star Northern California 08-22-13
    Star Northern California 08-22-13 Member Since 2010

    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.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "This story will make your aura glow!"

    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.

    15 of 23 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anne Fleming Alexandria, Virginia 09-20-13
    Anne Fleming Alexandria, Virginia 09-20-13 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Early promise gurgled to a premature demise . . ."
    What disappointed you about The Bone Season?

    . . . 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.


    Has The Bone Season turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Alana Kerr?

    Lovely accent. Wasted on this story.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Bone Season?

    Everything after chapter four.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • C
    11/5/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Waiting for the sequel"
    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    A great story excellently rendered - the soft Irish accent was perfect. Can't wait for the next book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mara
    9/23/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs Evangeline
    Hampshire
    9/21/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderful story, dreadful narrator"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The book is a compelling urban fantasy, only spoiled by the flat, apathetic tones of the narrator.


    What other book might you compare The Bone Season to, and why?

    The Hunger Games, as the plot/world of the book is fascinating, but the characters are stereotypes.


    Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Alana Kerr?

    Literally anyone. It's insane that she's getting work at all.


    If this book were a film would you go see it?

    Yes.


    Any additional comments?

    There are thousands of talented narrators out there... audible is lazy and/or nepotistic in their casting, and it ruins their product.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Ariadne Jones
    Essex, England
    7/7/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "It should have been so much better!"
    What did you like best about The Bone Season? What did you like least?

    It started well and then went downhill from there.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    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.


    What three words best describe Alana Kerr’s voice?

    Dull and boring


    Do you think The Bone Season needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Daisy
    United Kingdom
    12/13/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Can't wait for the next one"
    What did you like most about The Bone Season?

    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.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Bone Season?

    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.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    The showdown near the end with Nashira, anything could have happened then, it was totally unpredictable and absolutely riveting.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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!)

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Phil C
    Birmingham, England
    12/4/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not worth your time"
    Would you try another book written by Samantha Shannon or narrated by Alana Kerr?

    No


    Would you ever listen to anything by Samantha Shannon again?

    No


    What didn’t you like about Alana Kerr’s performance?

    She had a monotonous voice.


    You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    There are absolutely no redeeming features for this book.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Mike Murphy
    Switzerland
    11/27/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs
    lymington, United Kingdom
    11/11/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "can't wait for next book"
    What did you like most about The Bone Season?

    I loved all the characters


    What did you like best about this story?

    I couldn't wait to hear more I was gripped by the story line


    Have you listened to any of Alana Kerr’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    Alana Kerr has the most memorizing voice and was the prefect narrator for this book


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    If I'd had the time I would have loved to had listened to this book in one sitting


    Any additional comments?

    Highly recommend this book. A very addictive listen.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Sebastian
    Cambridge, United Kingdom
    9/27/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Sophie
    West Sussex, England
    8/2/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Loved the narrator but the story wasn't for me"

    I just couldn't get into this. The world is incredibly complex and the opening chapters felt like a bit of an info dump. I ended up just not caring so I DNFed halfway through chapter three.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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