I’ve waited a long time for my copy of The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon and I have to admit for quite a while I was caught up in the hype surrounding the book. The longer I went without reading it; the more I felt I was missing out on something. Which makes me wonder if I didn’t build up the experience of finally reading The Bone Season into something it was never going to live up to.
It’s good. Not great. Just good and with a lot of poorly written, overly hyped books out there, the Bone Season is good. But that may be its weakest trait. It’s really just good.
“…I like to imagine there were more of us in the beginning. Not many, I suppose. But more than there are now.
We are the minority the world does not accept. Not outside of fantasy, and even that’s blacklisted. We look like everyone else. Sometimes we act like everyone else. In many ways, we are like everyone else. We are everywhere, on every street. We live in a way you might consider normal, provided you don’t look too hard.
Not all of us know what we are. Some of us die without ever knowing. Some of us know, and we never get caught. But we’re out there.
It is the year 2059 and Paige Mahoney is an outcast. She lives in Scion London and works for the criminal underground. Like many others who share her traits; she is shunned by the normal world and if found out, would be imprisoned for her abilities.
Paige is a Dreamwalker. She is able to break into people’s minds and steal their information. Under Scion law, any act of clairvoyance is punishable. She has committed treason against the state simply by existing.
One day, trapped on a train by the Scion police, Paige strikes out and her passive ability turns violent. One policeman is dead. The other in a catatonic state. Paige runs but is captured and taken to the Tower. But not just by the Scion Police. For soon Paige finds herself transported to another locale. A place of legend. A place forbidden to all. The lost city of Oxford.
Here Paige finds herself enslaved to a race of beings called the Rephaim, who gather human clairvoyants to use for their own needs. Chief among those needs is to be a slave army to battle the Emmin. A creature whose nature is to hunt and kill human and Rephaim alike.
The Rephaim are ruled by queen Nashira. She desires to gather all the powers of the clairvoyants under her rule. Not only to protect herself and her kind from the Emmin but to enslave all who would stand in her way.
Paige is taken in by Warden, Nashira’s Blood Consort, and it is Warden’s task to harness and build on Paige’s abilities. But Warden is convinced that Paige can do more than dreamwalk. He is sure that Paige could possess another mind if she so desired.
Within the closed city of Oxford there is political intrigue and hidden agendas amongst the Rephaim and Paige must navigate these waters as she finds out who are and are not her allies. Most of all she must find a way to make it back home.
The Bone Season is a good book and well worth the read. It is quick paced and very readable. It is confusing at times and there are a lot of loose ends left about. Who really are the Emmin and if the Rephaim are so powerful why can’t they just go out and kill them all by themselves.
Paige herself is not very likable. She spends too much time pouting and mouthing off when she knows full well that it will not only hurt her but those around her.
The Bone Season is obviously a first novel in a series to come. I am not all that convinced that I will be looking for the second book with as much anticipation that I had looked for this one.