I first heard about this book when a friend (a really nice one) asked me whether I had read it. I replied no, I had never heard of it before. He said that it was a really good book and that I should read it. So I added it to my “to read” list and intended to borrow it from the library. However, in the end I didn’t have to borrow it from the library at all because the said friend had forgotten my name and resorted to offering to lend me the book if I told him my name. 🙂 And who can refuse books? So without further ado, here is…
Title: The Bone Season
Author: Samantha Shannon
Genre: Supernatural Dystopia
POV: First person
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
The Bone Season is a supernatural dystopia revolving around the life of a 19-year old clairvoyant, Paige Mahoney. The story is set in Scion, a dystopian colony in England. The year is 2059. Society is made out of two distinctly differing groups of people: the amaurotics, who have no spiritual powers; and the clairvoyants, who do. Paige’s story starts with intense action as she nearly kills a man with her spiritual powers — she can force her spirit out of her body and into another’s — and is captured and taken to Sheol I, a penal colony. She has just entered Bone Season XX.
Paige is taken into hand by one of the Rephaite, a seemingly alien species who behave like humans but need not eat or drink, and cannot be harmed by weapons. She tries to rebel against them to escape, but finds that this is nearly impossible. Her keeper, the Warden, appears to hate her, but she soon realises that he is actually taking care of her; while his fianceé, Nashira Sargas, is trying to kill her so she can inherit Paige’s power of dreamwalking.
Meanwhile, Paige’s memories often fly back to her district in Scion, the Seven Seals, her mime lord Jaxon Hall, and her childhood saviour, Nick Nygärd. Memories both delightful and painful surface in her mind, helping the reader to get to know her better and empathise more with her. But in the end the only question is whether she and her fellow clairvoyants will find a way out of Sheol I before Nashira discovers their plot and murders Paige. Of course I’m not telling you.
So, The Bone Season was a rather gripping and enjoyable read. I’ve been reading a lot of writing tips lately and the good thing about this book is that it adhered to all the guidelines. It started at the inciting event and didn’t bother us with backstory until we actually cared enough about Paige to wonder about her past. The plot line was also very interesting, and although all the -mancers and odd suffixes about the clairvoyants could be confusing, it was all pretty clear after a while. Another good thing is that it was in past tense. I’m getting a little tired of first person present tense even though I’ve only read The Hunger Games and Divergent trilogies with that concoction (okay that’s six 400 page books quite a lot yeah), and to find that it’s past tense was rather relieving.
More beautiful things about The Bone Season: It’s set in England, NOT America. I’m also tired of everything being in America. And, of course, since it’s in England AND written by a British author, it means BRITISH ENGLISH. For everyone who doesn’t know me I’m a sucker for good British English. If you speak good British English I may consider marrying you. So it was very refreshing to see everything spelt correctly.
Now, what I disapprove of. Firstly, there were quite a few times when Shannon used ‘like’ instead of ‘as if’, but I can afford to overlook that. The more important grievance that I have to bring up is the use of vulgarities. And no, not just once or twice but quite a lot of vulgarities. And this just ruined the book for me because I would be reading happily wondering ooh what’s happening now when suddenly sdjfkldsjls************ and I would go “urgh yeurch” and have to cover the word with my finger, trying not to let it seep into my mind because when it does I feel sick. For those of you who go to school and hear lots of vulgarities and are already desensitised, I still don’t recommend reading books with vulgarities. It’s not good for your mind.
***SPOILERS SKIP THIS PARAGRAPH IF YOU HAVEN’T READ BOOK***
And then there was the whole romance thing…don’t get me wrong I love good classic romance but I hated when Paige went to the pub and found a random guy after getting her heart broken. And I don’t mean to offend anyone but I do not stand for gay couples, so I strongly disapprove of the “romance” between Nick and Zeke. There. Libel me if you want; it’s where I stand. And the whole thing with Paige and Warden. Well sure you guys can fall in love if you want but who said you had to go around touching and kissing and almost fornicating?
So those stuff depleted the stars in my rating, but all in all if you really want to read the book I’d suggest being 18-years or older, or having an adult go through the book first and black out all the bad words with a marker. I really did like the book, but it could have been better if my friend had blacked out all the bad words before lending it to me. Still, he’s a great guy.