The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
Published by: Bloomsbury
Source: Bought, Buy on Waterstones, Book Depository
Goodreads rating: 3.74
Synopsis: 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 for ever. Attacked, drugged and kidnapped, Paige is transported to Oxford – a city kept secret for two hundred 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.
I can’t believe The Bone Season is a debut novel. Samantha Shannon creates a vast, intense and intricate world that evolves with each page turn and wrapped itself around my mind so I was the epicentre and everything was happening at my fingertips.
The only slight tiny blip I want to highlight is that because the world is so rich, the first 50 or so pages is a lot of world building. Many of my friends have said they just couldn’t read past this but hang in there because I promise it gets so much better and makes so much sense. After this initial information dump, the world-building is threaded through the narrative.
Setting and genre
The world Samantha creates is definitely fantastical especially with Paige’s powers, but it also dystopian with the government controlling society. It has been refreshing to read a story that smashes these two genres with intention, successfully creating a compelling story and setting.
Female protagonist: Paige Mahoney
Paige is not just strong. She is complex, much like the world she lives in, she has many layers. At her most true self, she is vulnerable and wants someone to see her beyond her powerful ability to enter people’s dreamscapes. Despite being incredibly powerful, even when she masters her power she is reluctant to use it unless absolutely necessary because she knows the damage it can do. Paige is intelligent, tough, sarcastic, kind and brave.
*Top tip – use the glossary in the back of this book when you read it!