The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon – 3.5 stars (out of 5)

The Bone Season

When I first started reading The Bone Season I thought it would be a little too sci-fi for me. It’s about clairvoyants and ghosts and other such creatures. There are several different types of clairvoyants that we meet throughout the book, but they are often mentioned without being well explained and they were hard to keep straight. I found a lot of this to be confusing, but once I decided to stop paying so much attention to the details and focus on the story of Paige Mahoney, I really began to enjoy the story.

Paige Mahoney is a dreamwalker, a clairvoyant that can sense/enter other people’s dreamscapes (mind/spirit) in a world where clairvoyants are deemed “unnatural” criminals.  On her way home to visit her father, on a break from her work with a clairvoyant crime gang called The Seven Seals, she accidentally kills two government workers when they tried to capture her. Her escape doesn’t last long, as she is captured that very night.

She’s taken to a place called Sheol I, run by the Rephaim, who are beings from the aether (the spirit world), clairvoyants, and not human. They work with the human government, Scion, to capture clairvoyants and keep them in Sheol I and away from the normal people (“amaurotics”). The humans are given Rephaim keepers and there are different social classes they can ascend to, but for most it’s basically a concentration camp.

Paige is taken in by the Blood-Consort (fiancé to the queenly “Blood-Sovereign”), Warden. Their relationship grows from Keeper/Slave to a partnership, both working towards their respective freedom.


-There is a chart in the front of the book naming all the groups of clairvoyants, but it got pretty old pretty fast to have to keep looking back (also my Nook did not let me enlarge it, so it was hard to read, but that might just be the formatting on my edition of Nook). Once I was done, I discovered there was a glossary of terms at the end of the book that would have been helpful while I was reading it. While both references are great, I still feel like there could have been some more in depth description in the opening chapters when so many foreign terms were thrown out at one time it was almost impossible to keep them straight.

-Once Paige got to Sheol I, I felt the character development was well written. We get Paige’s background story through a series of memories/dreams, which include her fellow gang members, as well as some family. We also get to know her new allies in Sheol I and see how her relationship with Warden changes and grows.

-Though I wouldn’t categorize this book as a romance, it does fall into one of their most famous clichés. It was easy to predict from the first mention of Warden that he would be the romantic lead in the story.

“He must have been examining me for a long time. His gaze cleaved straight to mine, as if he’d been waiting for me to look. His skin was a dark honey gold…and beneath his velvet shirt, his chest was broad and strong…He was the single most beautiful and terrible thing I’d ever laid eyes on.”

Predictably Paige hates him at first, but they slowly begin to understand and trust each other.

-I would’ve liked a little more development of Warden, as well. He often offers excuses instead of answering Paige’s questions and while we can pretty  accurately guess at his motivation and background, I still feel like I wanted to know more about him.

-It took about half way through for me to really get a handle on the world that Shannon created, but once I did, I really enjoyed the The Bone Season. I’ve heard that there will be seven books in the series and I look forward to reading the next one, even though I suspect the POV will change for each one (Seven Seals. Seven books.), which I generally don’t appreciate, but at least in this case I’m actually interested in the other possible narrators.

*Note: This is my first ever advanced copy of a book from NetGalley and I can’t even tell you how super excited I was to get it*