Review: The Bone Season (The Bone Season #1) - Samantha Shannon

Release Date: August 20th 2013
Published By: Bloomsbury Publishing
Pages: 466
Goodreads: Add it to your reading list

Rating: 5 out of 5

Synopsis: It is the year 2059. Several major world cities are under the control of a security force called Scion. Paige Mahoney works in the criminal underworld of Scion London, part of a secret cell known as the Seven Seals. The work she does is unusual: scouting for information by breaking into others’ minds. Paige is a dreamwalker, a rare kind of clairvoyant, and in this world, the voyants commit treason simply by breathing.

But when Paige is captured and arrested, she encounters a power more sinister even than Scion. The voyant prison is a separate city—Oxford, erased from the map two centuries ago and now controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. These creatures, the Rephaim, value the voyants highly—as soldiers in their army.

Paige is assigned to a Rephaite keeper, Warden, who will be in charge of her care and training. He is her master. Her natural enemy. But if she wants to regain her freedom, Paige will have to learn something of his mind and his own mysterious motives.

The Bone Season introduces a compelling heroine—a young woman learning to harness her powers in a world where everything has been taken from her. It also introduces an extraordinary young writer, with huge ambition and a teeming imagination. Samantha Shannon has created a bold new reality in this riveting debut.

Review: The Bone Season can only be described in one word – EPIC. This is a monster of a book at over 466 pages, but in addition the story itself is huge. Not only is there a whole new world in front of us to get used to, and some very unique characters, but there are so many little twists and turns that we’re taken on. There is so much new terminology that this book has it’s own glossary at the back and map at the front!

It’s hard to categorise The Bone Season as it’s a cross-genre book. I’d class it as part dystopian, part fantasy, part sci-fi all blended into one book.

Okay now bare with me cause there’s lots of terms here. Essentially though, this is the story of Paige Mahoney who is a dream walker (a powerful type of clairvoyant). She uses her skills as an underground criminal and works for a Mime-lord named Jaxon Hall who employs her to break into people’s minds to steal information which can be used.

Set in the world of Scion London - it’s London, but it’s not. It’s London in 2059, where regular everyday humans (amaurotics) live alongside those with different clairvoyant activities, which are highly illegal.

Those that are caught using their clairvoyant skills risk being taken away (imprisoned) to Sheol I - which is run by an otherworldly species known as the Rephaim who despise humans and use them as their slaves. They basically create an army using these humans and make them use their abilities to fight off an enemy known as the Enim and basically life for them is terrible - if they do live. The Rephaim call this human harvesting The Bone Season. And Paige is taken to Sheol I during Bone Season twenty.

This is where things start getting interesting and the action picks up. Paige is a complete badass. I love her.

I would say the first 250 pages of this book was world building. The first half of the book, at times almost felt a little tedious, because of this. I just wanted the book to get to the point. In hindsight, I understand why it was written in the way it was. Once the action scenes begun I was even more engrossed.

I actually loved the complexity of this book in many ways - whilst hard to describe to you what it is all about, once you understood the terms used (which wasn’t as hard as it seems honestly), it was actually a really rewarding experience. I felt like I was pulled into this world and since there was so many layers within, it really felt three dimensional in many ways, like I was experiencing this world and not just reading about it.

It is all encompassing, and this is why I think Samantha Shannon has been compared to J.K Rowling, because like the Harry Potter books, you don’t just read them - you experience them. And this is what The Bone Season was for me.

Whilst I haven’t done the storyline much justice in explaining it, I want to make it perfectly clear that this was a fantastic book and definitely worth the read. Completely original and engaging!


“Knowledge is dangerous. Once you know something, you can’t get rid of it. You have to carry it. Always.”

“They’d branded me like some kind of animal.
Lower than an animal.
A number.”

“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.”

“He wouldn’t have understood if I’d told him why I spend my time with criminals.
He didn’t know that I belonged with them. More than I belonged with him.”

“Not all of us know what we are. Some of us die without ever knowing. Some of us know, and never get caught. But we’re out there.
Trust me.”

Book Trailer:

What do you think?

  • JennRenee says:

    I haven’t really seen this book around much and happy to see an awesome review posted. I am very crious obout this book. With so much world building I think I may need to get it on audio… if there is an audio. thanks for sharing your thoughts!
    JennRenee recently posted…Review: Scorched by Mari MancusiMy Profile

    • Melissa says:

      Hey! Yes, there’s an audiobook for this, I was listening and reading. My advice would maybe to be to read this in text format, only because there are SO many terms and so much to get used to at the start that I found myself getting overwhelmed by just the audio itself. My opinion only though! :D
      Melissa recently posted…Stacking the Shelves #55My Profile

  • The more I hear about this book, the more excited I am to have the opportunity to read it myself. It sounds like it combines a ton of elements that I tend to love in my stories, but I’m trying not to make my expectations too ridiculously high. It does sound fantastic, though, especially the worldbuilding. Great review!

    • Melissa says:

      It really does combine a whole bunch of genres all in one, which is fantastic and feels new when you read it. Always smart to go in with no expectations so you’re not let down. But I do hope you enjoy it if you decide to pick it up! Happy you enjoyed my review, thank you! :)

  • […] The Bone Season (The Bone Season #1) - Samantha Shannon Briar Rose - Jana Oliver Beautiful Creatres (Caster Chronicles #1) - Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl All The Truth That’s In Me - Julie Berry The Iron Traitor (The Iron Fey: Call Of The Forgotten #2) - Julie Kagawa The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds #1) - Alexandra Bracken The Naturals - Jennifer Lynn Barnes Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2) - Sarah J. Maas […]

  • Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    CommentLuv badge