The Bone Season

The Bone Season

3.9 162
by Samantha Shannon
     
 

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A major event—the first book a seven-part series of dizzying imagination. Welcome to Scion: No Safer Place.

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Overview

A major event—the first book a seven-part series of dizzying imagination. Welcome to Scion: No Safer Place.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Shannon offers up a richly imagined debut, opening a projected seven-book series about clairvoyants used as catspaws in the year 2059, two centuries after mysterious events changed the world. Paige Mahoney possesses the illegal and extremely rare power of dreamwalking, using it to serve a criminal syndicate in a London controlled by the organization known as Scion. She’s captured and sent to Sheol I, a hidden penal colony established in Oxford and maintained by the extradimensional Rephaim. Claimed by the enigmatic Warden Arcturus, she’s trained to be a weapon, all the while dreaming of rebellion and escape. When Paige is drawn into schemes both political and far-reaching, she must fight for her life. The internal mythology is complex and intriguing, the emotional struggle is captivating, and the pace rarely falters as Paige unravels the mysteries and dangers of her new home. This extremely strong beginning will have readers eager to see whether Shannon can maintain her stride for a lengthy series. Agent: David Godwin, David Godwin Associates. (Aug.)
Kirkus Reviews
A futuristic novel that presents an alternative universe of seers, soothsayers and even such esoterica as rhabdomancers--and their enemies. The year is 2059--using the Scion calendar, that is--and the future is not a happy one. Paige Mahoney is 19, narrator of the story and a "dreamcatcher" at the top of the seven orders of clairvoyance. Her status means she has greater sensitivity to and control of the "aether," a higher plane of existence and something that gets her in big trouble when her spirit winds up flying out of her body and killing an Underguard. (Not only is the universe Shannon creates an alternative one, but so is the vocabulary. One gets used to deciphering such sentences as, "The idea that the Rephaim fed on aura just didn't compute. It was a link to the aether, unique to each voyant." An extensive glossary at the end of the novel helps with this decoding.) Paige is caught, given a strong dose of "flux" and taken to the "Lost City" of Oxford, where she's confined to the Residence of Magdalen. There she meets Nashira Sargas, the "blood-sovereign of the Race of Rephaim," who are all clairvoyants (in contrast to the Amaurotics, or nonclairvoyants). Paige's name is changed to XX-59-40, and she comes under the control of Arcturus, Warden of the Mesarthim, who becomes her "keeper." Nashira explains to Paige the existence of the Emim, "mindless, bestial creatures with a taste for human flesh." Every 10 years, the Rephaim "harvest" the clairvoyants to help them control the Emim, and these harvests are called Bone Seasons. The first of a projected set of seven novels, this book is for those who like their dystopian science fiction multilayered, philosophical and complex to the point of impenetrability.
From the Publisher

“Terrific--intelligent, inventive, dark, and engrossing . . . Shannon has remarkable talent for world-building . . . But her most sublime otherworldly creation is the complex, ever evolving, scrappy yet touching Paige Mahoney . . . [She] has me hooked.” —NPR.com

“Invokes both the political tyranny of George Orwell and the . . . mythmaking of J.R.R. Tolkien.” —USA Today

“Action-filled . . . Shannon is likely on the brink of literary stardom.” —New York

“[A] dazzlingly brainy, witty, and bewitching tale of outrageous courage, heroic compassion, transcendent love, and the quest for freedom . . . the first in a thoughtful fantasy series by a brilliant young writer.” —Booklist (starred review)

“This book is for those who like their dystopian science fiction multilayered, philosophical and complex.” —Kirkus Reviews

Library Journal
In the not-too-distant future, London is controlled by a totalitarian force called Scion, whose sole purpose is to discover and destroy the "unnatural curse" of clairvoyance. When Paige Mahoney, a dreamwalker (a rare type of clairvoyant), is captured by Scion agents, she believes her life is about to end in torture and death. But when she awakens in Sheol I, a prison camp dedicated to teaching voyants to fight an enemy called the Emim, Paige discovers that the world she thought she knew is not at all what it seems. To escape and survive, Paige, who has been renamed XX-59-40, will find herself making unlikely allies as the line between enemies and friends has become blurred almost beyond recognition. With this debut, young British author Shannon (she is getting her degree in literature at Oxford University) has created a world with a very 1984 feel to it. Throw in some otherworldly creatures, some who are supposed protectors and others who just want to eat people, and you have the makings of an epic sf/fantasy series. However, while there is plenty of action and tension, this foundation-building book ends on a nice round note; sadly, readers will not be breathless with anticipation about what happens next. VERDICT The first in a series of seven titles, this book sets the stage for a journey of discovery for Paige who may very well discover that she has to save the world whether she wants to or not. It will be interesting to see what Shannon does in her next installment. [The book has been sold in 18 countries, and actor Andy Serkis's film company has optioned it as well.—Ed.]—Elisabeth Clark, West Florida P.L., Pensacola

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781620401392
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
08/20/2013
Series:
Bone Season Series, #1
Pages:
480
Sales rank:
374,039
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.90(d)

Read an Excerpt

The Bone Season


By Samantha Shannon

BLOOMSBURY

Copyright © 2013 Samantha Shannon-Jones
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-62040-139-2


CHAPTER 1

The Curse


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.

Trust me.


I had lived in that part of London that used to be called Islington since I was eight. I attended a private school for girls, leaving at sixteen to work. That was in the year 2056. AS 127, if you use the Scion calendar. It was expected of young men and women to scratch out a living wherever they could, which was usually behind a counter of one sort or another. There were plenty of jobs in the service industry. My father thought I would lead a simple life; that I was bright but unambitious, complacent with whatever work life threw at me.

My father, as usual, was wrong.

From the age of sixteen I had worked in the criminal underworld of Scion London—SciLo, as we called it on the streets. I worked among ruthless gangs of voyants, all willing to floor each other to survive. All part of a citadel-wide syndicate headed by the Underlord. Pushed to the edge of society, we were forced into crime to prosper. And so we became more hated. We made the stories true.

I had my little place in the chaos. I was a mollisher, the protégée of a mime-lord. My boss was a man named Jaxon Hall, the mime-lord responsible for the I-4 area. There were six of us in his direct employ. We called ourselves the Seven Seals.

I couldn't tell my father. He thought I was an assistant at an oxygen bar, a badly paid but legal occupation. It was an easy lie. He wouldn't have understood if I'd told him why I spent my time with criminals. He didn't know that I belonged with them. More than I belonged with him.

I was nineteen years old the day my life changed. Mine was a familiar name on the streets by that time. After a tough week at the black market, I'd planned to spend the weekend with my father. Jax didn't twig why I needed time off—for him, there was nothing and no one outside the syndicate—but he didn't have a family like I did. Not a living family, anyway. And although my father and I had never been close, I still felt I should keep in touch. A dinner here, a phone call there, a present at Novembertide. The only hitch was his endless list of questions. What job did I have? Who were my friends? Where was I living?

I couldn't answer. The truth was dangerous. He might have sent me to Tower Hill himself if he'd known what I really did. Maybe I should have told him the truth. Maybe it would have killed him. Either way, I didn't regret joining the syndicate. My line of work was dishonest, but it paid. And as Jax always said, better an outlaw than a stiff.


It was raining that day. My last day at work.

A life-support machine kept my vitals ticking over. I looked dead, and in a way I was: my spirit was detached, in part, from my body. It was a crime for which I could have faced the gallows.

I said I worked in the syndicate. Let me clarify. I was a hacker of sorts. Not a mind reader, exactly; more a mind radar, in tune with the workings of the æther. I could sense the nuances of dreamscapes and rogue spirits. Things outside myself. Things the average voyant wouldn't feel.

Jax used me as a surveillance tool. My job was to keep track of ethereal activity in his section. He would often have me check out other voyants, see if they were hiding anything. At first it had just been people in the room—people I could see and hear and touch—but soon he realized I could go further than that. I could sense things happening elsewhere: a voyant walking down the street, a gathering of spirits in the Garden. So long as I had life support, I could pick up on the æther within a mile radius of Seven Dials. So if he needed someone to dish the dirt on what was happening in I-4, you could bet your broads Jaxon would call yours truly. He said I had potential to go further, but Nick refused to let me try. We didn't know what it would do to me.

All clairvoyance was prohibited, of course, but the kind that made money was downright sin. They had a special term for it: mime-crime. Communication with the spirit world, especially for financial gain. It was mime-crime that the syndicate was built on.

Cash-in-hand clairvoyance was rife among those who couldn't get into a gang. We called it busking. Scion called it treason. The official method of execution for such crimes was nitrogen asphyxiation, marketed under the brand name NiteKind. I still remember the headlines: PAINLESS PUNISHMENT: SCION'S LATEST MIRACLE. They said it was like going to sleep, like taking a pill. There were still public hangings, and the odd bit of torture for high treason.

I committed high treason just by breathing.

But back to that day. Jaxon had wired me up to life support and sent me out to reconnoiter the section. I'd been closing in on a local mind, a frequent visitor to Section 4. I'd tried my best to see his memories, but something had always stopped me. This dreamscape was unlike anything I'd ever encountered. Even Jax was stumped. From the layering of defense mechanisms I would have said its owner was several thousand years old, but that couldn't be it. This was something different.

Jax was a suspicious man. By rights a new clairvoyant in his section should have announced himself to him within forty-eight hours. He said another gang must be involved, but none of the I-4 lot had the experience to block my scouting. None of them knew I could do it. It wasn't Didion Waite, who headed the second-largest gang in the area. It wasn't the starving buskers that frequented Dials. It wasn't the territorial mime-lords that specialized in ethereal larceny. This was something else.

Hundreds of minds passed me, flashing silver in the dark. They moved through the streets quickly, like their owners. I didn't recognize these people. I couldn't see their faces; just the barest edges of their minds.

I wasn't in Dials now. My perception was further north, though I couldn't pin down where. I followed the familiar sense of danger. The stranger's mind was close. It drew me through the æther like a glym jack with a lantern, darting over and under the other minds. Moving fast, as if the stranger sensed me. As if he was trying to run.

I shouldn't follow this light. I didn't know where it would lead me, and I'd already gone too far from Seven Dials.

Jaxon told you to find him. The thought was distant. He'll be angry. I pressed ahead, moving faster than I ever could in my body. I pulled against the restraints of my physical location. I could make out the rogue mind now. Not silver, like the others: no, this was dark and cold, a mind of ice and stone. I shot toward it. He was so, so close ... I couldn't lose him now ...

Then the æther trembled around me and, in a heartbeat, he was gone. The stranger's mind was out of reach again.


Someone shook my body.

My silver cord—the link between my body and my spirit—was extremely sensitive. It was what allowed me to sense dreamscapes at a distance. It could also snap me back into my skin. When I opened my eyes, Dani was waving a penlight over my face. "Pupil response," she said to herself. "Good."

Danica. Our resident genius, second only to Jax in intellect. She was three years older than me and had all the charm and sensitivity of a sucker punch. Nick classified her as a sociopath when she was first employed. Jax said it was just her personality.

"Rise and shine, Dreamer." She slapped my cheek. "Welcome back to meatspace."

The slap stung: a good, if unpleasant sign. I reached up to unfasten my oxygen mask.

The dark glint of the den came into focus. Jax's crib was a secret cave of contraband: forbidden films, music, and books, all crammed together on dust-thickened shelves. There was a collection of penny dreadfuls, the kind you could pick up from the Garden on weekends, and a stack of saddle-stapled pamphlets. This was the only place in the world where I could read and watch and do whatever I liked.

"You shouldn't wake me like that," I said. She knew the rules. "How long was I there for?"

"Where?"

"Where do you think?"

Dani snapped her fingers. "Right, of course—the æther. Sorry. Wasn't keeping track."

Unlikely. Dani never lost track.

I checked the blue Nixie timer on the machine. Dani had made it herself. She called it the Dead Voyant Sustainment System, or DVS. It monitored and controlled my life functions when I sensed the æther at long range. My heart dropped when I saw the digits.

"Fifty-seven minutes." I rubbed my temples. "You let me stay in the æther for an hour?"

"Maybe."

"An entire hour?"

"Orders are orders. Jax said he wanted you to crack this mystery mind by dusk. Have you done it?"

"I tried."

"Which means you failed. No bonus for you." She gulped down her espresso. "Still can't believe you lost Anne Naylor."

Trust her to bring that up. A few days before I'd been sent to the auction house to reclaim a spirit that rightfully belonged to Jax: Anne Naylor, the famous ghost of Farringdon. I'd been outbid.

"We were never going to get Naylor," I said. "Didion wouldn't let that gavel fall, not after last time."

"Whatever you say. Don't know what Jax would have done with a poltergeist, anyway." Dani looked at me. "He says he's given you the weekend off. How'd you swing that?"

"Psychological reasons."

"What does that mean?"

"It means you and your contraptions are driving me mad."

She threw her empty cup at me. "I take care of you, urchin. My contraptions can't run themselves. I could just walk out of here for my lunch break and let your sad excuse for a brain dry up."

"It could have dried up."

"Cry me a river. You know the drill: Jax gives the orders, we comply, we get our flatches. Go and work for Hector if you don't like it."

Touché.

With a sniff, Dani handed me my beaten leather boots. I pulled them on. "Where is everyone?"

"Eliza's asleep. She had an episode."

We only said episode when one of us had a near-fatal encounter, which in Eliza's case was an unsolicited possession. I glanced at the door to her painting room. "Is she all right?"

"She'll sleep it off."

"I assume Nick checked on her."

"I called him. He's still at Chat's with Jax. He said he'd drive you to your dad's at five-thirty."

Chateline's was one of the only places we could eat out, a classy bar-and-grill in Neal's Yard. The owner made a deal with us: we tipped him well, he didn't tell the Vigiles what we were. His tip cost more than the meal, but it was worth it for a night out.

"So he's late," I said.

"Must have been held up."

Dani reached for her phone. "Don't bother." I tucked my hair into my hat. "I'd hate to interrupt their huddle."

"You can't go by train."

"I can, actually."

"Your funeral."

"I'll be fine. The line hasn't been checked for weeks." I stood. "Breakfast on Monday?"

"Maybe. Might owe the beast some overtime." She glanced at the clock. "You'd better go. It's nearly six."

She was right. I had less than ten minutes to reach the station. I grabbed my jacket and ran for the door, calling a quick "Hi, Pieter" to the spirit in the corner. It glowed in response: a soft, bored glow. I didn't see that sparkle, but I felt it. Pieter was depressed again. Being dead sometimes got to him.

There was a set way of doing things with spirits, at least in our section. Take Pieter, one of our spirit aides—a muse, if you want to get technical. Eliza would let him possess her, working in slots of about three hours a day, during which time she would paint a masterpiece. When she was done, I'd run down to the Garden and flog it to unwary art collectors. Pieter was temperamental, mind. Sometimes we'd go months without a picture.

A den like ours was no place for ethics. It happens when you force a minority underground. It happens when the world is cruel. There was nothing to do but get on with it. Try and survive, to make a bit of cash. To prosper in the shadow of the Westminster Archon.

My job—my life—was based at Seven Dials. According to Scion's unique urban division system, it lay in I Cohort, Section 4, or I-4. It was built around a pillar on a junction close to Covent Garden's black market. On this pillar there were six sundials.

Each section had its own mime-lord or mime-queen. Together they formed the Unnatural Assembly, which claimed to govern the syndicate, but they all did as they pleased in their own sections. Dials was in the central cohort, where the syndicate was strongest. That's why Jax chose it. That's why we stayed. Nick was the only one with his own crib, farther north in Marylebone. We used his place for emergencies only. In the three years I'd worked for Jaxon there had only been one emergency, when the NVD had raided Dials for any hint of clairvoyance. A courier tipped us off about two hours before the raid. We were able to clear out in half that time.

It was wet and cold outside. A typical March evening. I sensed spirits. Dials was a slum in pre-Scion days, and a host of miserable souls still drifted around the pillar, waiting for a new purpose. I called a spool of them to my side. Some protection always came in handy.

Scion was the last word in amaurotic security. Any reference to an afterlife was forbidden. Frank Weaver thought we were unnatural, and like the many Grand Inquisitors before him, he'd taught the rest of London to abhor us. Unless it was essential, we went outside only during safe hours. That was when the NVD slept, and the Sunlight Vigilance Division took control. SVD officers weren't voyant. They weren't permitted to show the same brutality as their nocturnal counterparts. Not in public, anyway.

The NVD were different. Clairvoyants in uniform. Bound to serve for thirty years before being euthanized. A diabolical pact, some said, but it gave them a thirty-year guarantee of a comfortable life. Most voyants weren't that lucky.

London had so much death in its history, it was hard to find a spot without spirits. They formed a safety net. Still, you had to hope the ones you got were good. If you used a frail ghost, it would only stun an assailant for a few seconds. Spirits that lived violent lives were best. That's why certain spirits sold so well on the black market. Jack the Ripper would have gone for millions if anyone could find him. Some still swore the Ripper was Edward VII—the fallen prince, the Bloody King. Scion said he was the very first clairvoyant, but I'd never believed it. I preferred to think we'd always been there.

It was getting dark outside. The sky was sunset gold, the moon a smirk of white. Below it stood the citadel. The Two Brewers, the oxygen bar across the street, was packed with amaurotics. Normal people. They were said by voyants to be afflicted with amaurosis, just as they said we were afflicted with clairvoyance. Rotties, they were sometimes called.

I'd never liked that word. It made them sound putrid. A tad hypocritical, as we were the ones that conversed with the dead.

I buttoned my jacket and tugged the peak of my cap over my eyes. Head down, eyes open. That was the law by which I abided. Not the laws of Scion.

"Fortune for a bob. Just a bob, ma'am! Best oracle in London, ma'am, I promise you. A bit for a poor busker?"

The voice belonged to a thin man, huddled in an equally thin jacket. I hadn't seen a busker for a while. It was rare in the central cohort, where most voyants were part of the syndicate. I read his aura. This one wasn't an oracle at all, but a soothsayer; a very stupid soothsayer—the mime-lords spat on beggars. I made straight for him. "What the hell do you think you're doing?" I grabbed him by the collar. "Are you off the cot?"

"Please, miss. I'm starved," he said, his voice rough with dehydration. He had the facial twitches of an oxygen addict. "I got no push. Don't tell the Binder, miss. I just wanted—"

"Then get out of here." I pressed a few notes into his hand. "I don't care where you go—just get off the street. Get a doss. And if you have to busk tomorrow, do it in VI Cohort. Not here. Got it?"

"Bless you, miss."

He gathered his meager possessions, one of which was a glass ball. Cheaper than crystal. I watched him run off, heading for Soho.
(Continues...)


Excerpted from The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon. Copyright © 2013 Samantha Shannon-Jones. Excerpted by permission of BLOOMSBURY.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Meet the Author

Samantha Shannon was born in West London in 1991. She started writing at the age of fifteen and graduated from St. Anne’s College, Oxford, with a degree in English language and literature in 2013. The Bone Season is her first novel and has been sold in twenty-one countries. It is being developed for film by Andy Serkis and Jonathan Cavendish at Imaginarium Studios.

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The Bone Season 3.9 out of 5 based on 2 ratings. 162 reviews.
KimballSK More than 1 year ago
First off, The Bone Season takes commitment. Go ahead and block some time out in your schedule right now to devour this novel. Please don't go in thinking you can just breeze through, skim, speed-read, or any other techniques you might use to quickly finish a book. The Bone Season has maps, glossaries and appendices, people! In all honesty, I started The Bone Season a couple of times, testing the water (if you will) before I dove right in. I had flashbacks to Mr. George R.R. Martin and a little series you might have heard of called A Song of Ice and Fire. With the memories of my near-obsession still fresh, I knew The Bone Season was destined to be just the same: a book where I would have to pay attention, and think, and learn new things and one that would invade my dreams. As with A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire #1), The Bone Season is the first book of an intended series (a seven book series, actually) and as such, has the unique problem of having to familiarize the reader with the world, the characters and the situation quickly. Some may call this an info-dump, but there's really no way around it. So, we are thrown into the world of Scion, voyants, mime-lords, and dreamwalkers with an alarming alacrity. But, don't let that put you off, Steph's Stackers, you have to put your head down, use your glossary (you'll thank me for that tip later) and go with the flow. Trust is key here, all will be explained and revealed, just go with it. So, our heroine, Paige, is a dreamwalker, a type of voyant that can reach out into other people's mind over fairly long distances. Her talent (and those of many others) is forbidden by law and it's lights out for her if she is busted using it. Will this stop our plucky heroine? Um, no - what would the fun be in that? Paige, at the start of the novel is working for an underground mob-like organization that uses her talent (and the various skills of others like her) to make friends and influence people in nefarious ways. She and her cohorts are like a gang of Mafioso Mind Control X-Men led by an unscrupulous Charles Xavier. Mini-spoiler alert! This dysfunctional and magical home away from home doesn't last forever (you knew it wouldn't, right?) and through a slip-up, Paige is shanghaied to a different world that is considerably more dangerous than her previous one. So, just when you had been studying the map and glossary and you were, like: "Cool, I've totally got this whole thing down." Um, no you don't. The party just starting, friends! We are introduced to a new cast of complex characters (Rephaim and Emin and more, oh my!) and Paige's very life (and the lives of her friends) is at stake at every turn. Drama? Danger? Intrigue? Yep. Yep. Yep. It is in Paige's time at Oxford (yes, that Oxford, but...not really) that the pace of The Bone Season cranks up from an 7 out of 10 to an 11. Why has she been conscripted to this voyant army? Who is really the enemy? Is she a jerk just for participating? She hates her master on principle, but he seems pretty cool, but that makes her a jerk again, right? Is this all like M. Night Shyamalan's crazy movie, The Village, and the Emin are really just people with sticks making noises in the night? At this point, the payoff for all of your earlier head-scratching comes in. Through a series of flashbacks, we learn more about Paige's previous life and more about the origin of her abilities. It is here that you can see the promise of the future installments. Many story threads are delicately teased out making you wanting to know more. I don't want to ruin it for you, but let me just say that plots are hatched, friendships are betrayed, alliances are made and broken, battles (small and large) are fought, kisses are kissed and lessons are learned...in the most amazing way. The Bone Season has all of the hallmarks of the start to a great series and will be buzzed about for many years to come.
AllBookedUp More than 1 year ago
Wonderful Addition to YA How do I begin? Let me start by saying that often times some of my favorite reads are the hardest to review and put down on paper (eh, paper/type/computer...you get it). Samantha Shannon has hit a home-run with her first published work of fiction, The Bone Season (Scion #1). This is the first in a seven book series that is set to debut Fall of 2013 and if the remaining books follow suit, this will be a knock-out series already with film rights optioned by The Imaginarium Studios, a film company led by Andy Serkis (The Lord of the Rings; The Hobbit) and Jonathan Cavendish (producer of Bridget Jones's Diary). Definitely a budding author and series to keep your eye on! While I do feel that The Bone Season started out a little slower than I typically like, Shannon definitely made up for any lost momentum in the second half. I could not put this book down. I absolutely fell in love with stubborn heroine, Paige and her actions and reactions all felt completely organic throughout the entire ride - and what a ride this was! Action packed! The novel played out like an on screen production and I can easily see this translating to the big screen. Shannon's writing style is fast-paced, the content is original and well thought out and her characters are well developed with plenty of depth. Of course, as the true master of dreamscapes, she has sprinkled in twists and gut wrenching turns and leaves you with an ending that has you wanting more...so much more! This is one of those reads that you really wish did not have to come to an end. This is one to put on your wish lists and watch out for!
LadyJai More than 1 year ago
I won a signed ARC copy from Tor. At first, it was highly intimidating. The size, the maps, the flowcharts, the glossary! Yes, the glossary! I started reading the first few chapters and felt very overwhelmed with the language. It used old street/gangster slang combined with made-up slang. In the beginning it made my head spin! I nearly stopped reading because of it. The glossary helped, yes. But having to reference it made it daunting, to say the least. But I got used to it, eventually. I still had to reference certain words, even towards the end, just to be sure I was correct. This did throw off the pacing, in my opinion. Shannon’s world building is in-depth, sucking you into the London underground, but drawing an alternative reality, one in which requires all the maps at the beginning in order to keep straight. I’ve always loved alternate history, and Shannon does well with this aspect. Yes, it’s in the future, but the history is different. Set in England 2059, which really isn’t all that distant, the past history of the nation/world is marginally different, but still incorporates certain historical points and people that we can relate to, so we are not too removed from the story. But the story… The story drew me in. The conflict, the emotion, the action. All of it left me craving more with each turn of the page. Getting inside Paige’s head, Shannon’s first person POV, was definitely worth it. She knows how to instill the necessary emotion in Paige and the reader, while keeping everyone else at a safe distance. Despite the complexity of the world and the language, I definitely would recommend giving this book a try. See for yourself. For me, I can’t wait to read more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Two to three chapters in I was sure that I would not like this book. I wasn't so much concerned about being able to grasp the different world and lingo, as I was about the subject matter itself: the spirit world. I hate stories about spirits and ghosts and general paranormal stuff. So I almost put the book down. THANK GOODNESS I DIDN'T! This friggin book takes a serious turn for the amazing after the first few chapters! It took me into world that I have never read of or imagined before. The whole spirit world/ghost subject matter I was concerned with in the beginning almost pretty much becomes secondary to the main world she creates. A world of beings and creatures I have never heard of anywhere else in literature. And THAT world is fricken fantastic! This author has a very great imagination and is very talented in putting that imagination to paper and making it come alive. It had it all! Great action, tension, suspense, and romance. I am definitely looking forward to the next book. And as far as the confusing lingo in the beginning, just stick with it. Everything comes together a few chapters in. All in all, I highly recommend this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When I heard about the series and the comparisons to the legendary J.K.Rowling, I was outright thrilled, albeit slightly skeptical. Will a 21 year old be able to recreate magic the way J.K.Rowling is known to do so effortlessly? I bought the book and was really excited to find out. And I am sad to say I was terribly disappointed. Shannon does a very good job of maintaining a respectably fast pace throughout the book, but that is where the list of positives ends. Her world, although intricate, is extremely convoluted. The powers that she attributes to her characters seem to exist as a mere convenience, to generate action scenes when required and to be used to get them out of tough spots. Paige the protagonist seems silly at best, attracting trouble without any rhyme or reason for the most part (there is a scene where she almost gets a close friend killed just because she is too stubborn to obey the ruled of curfew). The concept of 'pick your battles' doesn't seem to apply to her because she is just that 'special' and 'gifted'. The hatred towards her keeper, who is nothing but kind and supportive, seems extremely forced and so does the romance. The unnecessary information dump throughout the book interferes with the smooth flow. Since we are comparing her to J.K Rowling, may I say that the Harry Potter world was equally, if not considerably more, complex. But we never had to deal with drowning in information that isn't even all that necessary for the current plot. There are scenes in the book that left me wanting to strangle Paige for her stupidity. During the best of times, she came across as an insubordinate, petulant child who wants things just because she wants them, and at the worst, she was the most selfishly irresponsible person to be the protagonist of such a novel. The inconsistencies in the main theme are staggering. Paige keeps whining about being a prisoner in Sheol-I while at the same time she admits that her old life was pretty much the same. She keeps talking about escaping without even considering the repercussions. Her mime-lord Jaxon is painted as the worst person ever but she somehow seems to love him and wants to protect him at all costs from the Rephs. And just when I am buying into the idea, she tries to escape to the mime lord's syndicate while there is a tracking device (that she knows of) implanted in her. I could keep going but it would take forever. We are also supposed to buy that the Rephs are the bad guys. I get it. They torture and enslave clairvoyants help them to keep the Emim at bay. But apparently the Emim entered the human world in the first place through a portal opened up by an excess of clairvoyant activity. So in that case, is it that evil of them to enlist the help of humans to keep the Emim from feeding on the flesh of the said humans? I don't like their ways, but I need a little more to completely hate their existence. Had Shannon structured the story around overthrowing the evil-queen Nashira instead of on just wanting to get everyone the heck out of there, It would have made a lot more sense. Shannon is undoubtedly talented and had there not been so much hype, I might not have been so harsh on her. She shows a lot of potential and this book could have been much better under a more responsible and less money-minded publisher, rushing in to cash in on her youth. She has six more books to help her grow and find her voice, but I'm afraid, I for one won't be embarking on that journey
AliKat0010 More than 1 year ago
I haven't completely finished, but I just though I'd pop by and say that my main problem with it is the style of writing. I find it very similar to that of many distopian YA books, but it feels vey impersonal, so I don't feel like a really KNOW the character. If I'm reading her inner dialogue I should be seeing more emotions beside the inner rage that comes along with all these types of heroine characters in these books.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you can get past the lingo she uses and the vague background on other characters, it's eventually explained. Main character is a little shallow, but I feel like she'll probably grow as the series progresses. I liked the idea and the world they live in, I just feel like it could have been explained better. I'll keep reading the series! There was quite a bit of action and I liked the way she writes. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is so amazing i love that its confusing it gets your mind thinking and i love that in a book. I cant wait for the other books to come out. Such a great read.,
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is great I'd make sure you're over 15ish so you can truely undedstand it but this book is in my top ten now!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this book because of the comparison between this author and Rowling. I barely got through the first few chapters and seriously thought about giving up. I'm so glad I stuck with it. It turned out to be action packed and I found it very easy to slip into this different world. Looking forward to the next book un the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I will admit that I haven't read many books this year, despite the fact that I was reading at least one book a week in 2012. I don't really know why, but it gets harder and harder to find a book that makes me want to sit down and read. As a 15 year old, there are so many other activities that attract my attention, and I normally end up doing anything but reading. After receiving a gift card for Christmas, however, I purchased my first book since reading The Shadow of the Wind last May and my love of reading has returned. Although the first few chapters were slow, it wasn't long before I was fully immersed in the plot. It really reminded me why I used to love reading; you experience emotions that you don't normally get the chance to experience. You become involved in conflicts that would never happen in our world today. You fall in love with not only the story, but the characters themselves. I desperately want to travel, to see the world and experience things that I haven't yet experienced, and this book gave me the brief (yet satisfying) opportunity to do so.  I am not going to write anything about what happens in this story, as I fear that I will give something away, however I will say that I would recommend The Bone Season to anyone that loves fantasy or science fiction (obviously) as it is an incredible story - once you get past the first few chapters. I am so happy that it is going to be made into a movie (I cannot wait to see Arcturus and Nick on screen), and that the second in the series is on it's way. This is definitely joining my list of favourites!
pemaquid More than 1 year ago
Highly overrated, cliche after cliche. Don,t fall for the hype that is the next Hunger Games, there is no comparison .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ugh! I fell for the hype! Cannot finish this book. It drags on and on...you get the picture. In theory, this book should have been right up my alley. I love sci-fi, futuristic stories. After spending 2 days trying to get into The Bone Season, I give up. Made it page 148 and that is all of my life that I am investing into this book.
SezjbSB More than 1 year ago
The Bone Season is the first book in a new epic series, a mix of dystopian and fantasy, this is a thrilling, heart-pounding and nail-biting story that will leave you breathless and extremely desperate to get your hands on a copy of the next book The Mime Order. Set in the year 2059, the world is now ruled by Scion, people like Paige who have some kind of psychic ability are deemed "unnaturals" and are hunted down and/or tortured and killed. Paige belongs to one of the groups that are part of the Seven Seals the criminal underworld consisting of unnaturals/voyants with varied abilities that search out information by using their skills. Paige has a very rare power, she is able to break in to people's minds through their dreamscapes, her ability makes her a dreamwalker a very rare clairovoyant that accidentally has her killing two guards, she is subsequently caught and sent to the long ago abandoned city of Oxford, run by the Rephaim whom are otherworldly creatures, each  voyant is picked by a keeper to serve as their slaves, when Paige is chosen by Warden to be his slave and he her Master everyone is shocked as he has never had a human slave before, but his plans are to train her and help her to develop her ability, but she soon discovers that Warden is nothing like any of the other Masters, and if she has any hope of escaping she needs to learn to trust him, he may just be her best bet in achieving that. The small bit of romance shared between these two at the end of the book has me anxiously awaiting what can only be one of my most anticipated books for the rest of this year, the world, imagery and characters combine to make this an extremely unforgettable novel. I'm eager to see where the rest of this series goes, at the planned length of seven books there is sure to hopefully be some more Warden appearances,  and even perhaps some more romance, and of course let's not forget Samantha's amazing storytelling. Highly recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was harder to follow than my college math book. I don't see what all the hype is. While the story line was very intriguing and the characters well developed, the vocabulary and dialogue were impossible to keep up with. The glossary helped but that is a hardship on an E reader. I also found the continued mistreatment, abusiveness and mutalation of the characters to be vile and graphic. This book should come with a disclaimer. The book played out more like "The Hunger Games" only on a higher level. I can't begin to imagine how this young author will develop this story in six more books. I certainly will not be reading to find out.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Borderline Good not great Would have given 2.5 if possible
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Over rated. Interesting and fresh idea for a storyline, but poorly presented and executed. Characters are not well developed so there is little empathy for their fate and story ideas are poorly established leaving holes in the readers undertanding of what's actually going on. Sorry to share this but I thought it only fair to those that are going to purchase this book based on all the advertising that has been put into this novel.
woodySP More than 1 year ago
She had a good story line, but she wonders around too much.
sdnatasha More than 1 year ago
The 1st of projected 7 books?!?! Oi vey! Okay, let me state first off that I don't believe in New Age, which this book is chock-full of, but I also don't believe in aliens or wizards or vampires or werewolves and yet, I've been entertained with stories involving them nonetheless. This is another one to be entertained with. It's always hard for me to get into the story, especially when it's the first of a series of books, which this apparently is going to be, which is exciting and frustrating at the same time, but only frustrating because I just want to know the end result now. Anyway, on with the review. I'm not going to lie. It was kind of hard for me to get into the story. Maybe I wasn't fully focused when I started it or I wasn't really paying attention, but it was quite confusing for me in the beginning. And pretty much up to halfway through the book, really. Not only was the slang, which was partly derived from British language from an older generation, hard to get, but there were quite a few characters involved that I wasn't sure who was whom after a while, which then made me confused as to who was on which side. Not only that, but there are flashback scenes which sometimes threw me off a bit before I got the hang of understanding how this story was being told. (Maybe it's just me being older now and I can't comprehend this stuff as easily as maybe I would if I were younger - who knows.) However, I was pretty intrigued by the main character's relationship development between her and Warden, her supposed keeper, as well as her and Nick, and her and Jaxon. It's interesting to see how a person's thought process changes from the beginning of a book to the end of a book, when it's done right. For the most part, it's done right in The Bone Season, even with some of the slow pacing in some scenes. There are a few fast-paced thrilling scenes in there, too. Of course, there are some plot developments that will obviously come into play in future books, which is what the first book of a series always sets up, but like I just said, I'm not sure I appreciated the pace of some of those scenes if I'm to be perfectly honest. Some may say it's necessary to fully understand the characters, I just don't think so for each scene in this book. Let me reiterate though, the character relationships along with how some of the plot developments end up find a way to keep me reading, which is why I've rated it a solid 3 stars. Don't worry, 3 stars for me is a good thing, especially for a first book of a series. It gives me room to rate the follow-up books higher if it's worthy enough. For a young writer on her debut series, this is a great start, I have to admit. Kudos to Samantha Shannon for creating a fantasy story from a universe most people are not familiar with.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's slighty hard for me to appropriately rate this since it slides into that gray area between YA and Adult Genre fiction...if i was still near my teens I probably would have given it 5 stars. I appreciated that for a YA novel it pushed the envelope and kept me safely out of milktoast Twilight territory. As opposed to other reviews I did not feel the details of names and world creation to be cumbersome or confusing...if you read through it instead of getting fixated on "what were all those different types of voyants again?" Its not too difficult to catch on. The book is a pretty fast paced easy read with good character development (i could have used a little more detail here & in other areas) with a could original storyline and enough little mysteries left open that I hope the other proposed books make it to publishing. A little bit His Dark Materials and Hunger games with a splash of Stacia Kanes Downside Ghosts grittiness...
KER949799 More than 1 year ago
Since I only read a sneak preview, the story line seems pretty interesting, just a little confusing. Like being plopped down in the middle of a city, and trying to find your way out with street signs in a foreign language. So instead of easing your way into Paige's life story, you hit the ground running at a fast pace. Either you will like it a few pages in, or just give up because all the distractions and not enough explanations.
Benny_the_Nook More than 1 year ago
The story was very disjointed & didn't flow well. The characters were superficial & lacked any depth. It was hard to believe this colony had existed for 200 years & yet a girl who had only been there months/weeks was allowed access to sensitive material & missions. It was hard to like the heroine when she blatantly placed her "friends" in dangerous situations & then was shocked that something bad happened to them I.e. Liss. The story read as a single installment & didn't intrigue me enough to be excited for 6 more books. I will pass on those.
Nerdfighter21 More than 1 year ago
For The Patient, And The Devout The first few pages of this book, I'll admit, make absolutely no sense. Everything is fast-paced, chaotic, confusing, and a little bit frustrating. The further in one gets, though, the more everything begins to settle into place. The main character is already deeply embedded in her story, after all. We're the ones, as readers, that need an orientation, and Paige Mahoney has NO intention of slowing down to give us one. Either you keep up or you miss out on the wonderful experience that is this book. Your choice! I tore through this beauty in two days flat, and after turning the last page, I went directly to Samantha Shannon's website because I desperately needed confirmation that this was not where the story ended. Indeed, it is only the first installment in a seven book long fantasy series, and to that I say hallelujah. Paige is not a wholly remarkable heroine, but she does stand out. She's powerful. She's rare. She is submissive at times and defiant at others. It all seems very real, and it makes one grit one's teeth at times. We fear for her, we cheer for her, we smack out hands to our foreheads in exasperation--but, somehow, it all comes together to paint a beautiful picture of a purely captivating main character. Paige's counterpart, Warden, is...WOW. I don't know how Shannon does it, but the tension she builds between these two is pull-your-hair-out perfect. You hate him--no, wait. You love him. No! You don't trust him. Wait, yes, of course you do. And Paige should too. Wait what? Oh, geez. Now you're glad Paige didn't trust him. Ugh, but he's so...ugh, you love him. No, no you don't! He's a monster! This was the entire book for me, pretty much, until somewhere near the end, Shannon finally decides to end our suffering and bring everything to an explosive, perfectly satisfying climax. Of course, she doesn't allow us to revel in it for too long, because both Warden and Paige have strings to pull and tasks to attend to, but oh the tension she builds and the smack in the face that it packs when it all finally comes crashing down. Exquisite. To me, this book was very much a Just-One-More-Chapter-Then-I'll-Sleep-I-Promise! book, which is saying a lot, considering I was ill while reading it and wanted nothing more than to sleep. In that regard, it is a blessing a curse of a novel. You'll tear through it faster than you might an "I agree to the terms" document on iTunes, but only because you simply can't help yourself (this book refuses to be put down!) and afterwards you'll be left, slightly stunned, and with one of the worst book-hangovers you've ever had. Surely there are more pages AFTER the acknowledgements, right? RIGHT? Definitely worth a read. I am so relieved, so grateful, that I have six more books to walk me through the deep connection that I have--quite unintentionally--made with this book.                                                                                                                                                                  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gets slow at times though
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I agree this book is confusing. I have read the first 3 chapters and part of the fourth. (thanks today show website) but if you keep reading it makes more sense