Nineteen-year-old Paige Mahoney leads a double life: assistant at an oxygen bar by day and member of London’s criminal syndicate by night. Paige is a dreamwalker, walking the aether for one of the city’s most vicious mime-lords. In 2059 London is controlled by Scion, a regime that is savage in its persecution of unnaturals, and Paige’s mere existence is an act of treason.Captured by the government, she is sent to Oxford, a city that has been removed from all maps serving as a penal colony for voyants and ruled by the Rephaite. Drugged, tortured and brainwashed Paige is claimed by the enigmatic Warden. Soon Paige learns that everything she thought to be true was a lie and she finds herself at the heart of a revolution. Torn between fear, trust and loyalty, Paige fights for her life.
Rumor has it Samantha Shannon was offered a six-figure sum by Bloomsbury editors for her seven-book series. Deemed as the “next J.K. Rowling” by the publishing house, Shannon had huge shoes to fill and expectations to meet upon the release of The Bone Season in 2013. I think it’s best to approach this book without the comparison in mind as Harry and Paige don’t have much in common.When I stumbled across this book it seemed like everybody had already read it and I had missed out on something. The reviews however were mixed: You either love or hate The Bone Season. And I love it! Think of this book as “New Adult dystopian fantasy”. Is that a thing?
The first chapters are marked by, what others call, info-dumping also known as world building. Shannon introduces the readers to a whole new London, creating a tense and dark atmosphere as you imagine yourself walking the streets of Covent Garden. The author also provides a lot of information on clairvoyance and its order, introduces a number of characters and generally explains the ins and outs of Scion. All of which takes a lot of time and slows down the actual story. Shannon provides you with a glossary at the back of the book but don’t make the mistake to keep looking up new terms. It’s a complex world and it takes getting used to but once you’re fully emerged into the story you’ll be thankful for the descriptions and flashbacks.Paige reminds me of Katniss Everdeen (Hunger Games) and Tris Prior (Divergent) in the sense that she’s a strong female lead who is unaware of her capabilities and doubts herself. As a nineteen-year-old she can be naïve and easily impressed but as she grows in physical strength she also grows into a rebellious leader that you’ll root for. Warden is a dark, mysterious character and full of secrets of his own. It takes a while to warm up to him but you’ll get there. However you’ll be left with questions concerning his motives and his very nature.
I really appreciate Shannon’s writing style as it seems to be a bit more grown up and not as much YA. There is a bit of slang involved and more than just the odd made up word. The pace always matches the action of the story and the tone of the language fits perfectly. I also like that Paige is noticeably older than most leads in dystopian novels, all the other characters are adults and the story has the potential for more serious themes in the upcoming books. This first book is a brilliant set up for the series!If you can make it through the first couple of chapters this an original and captivating fantasy novel that you won’t be able to put down.
Which book have you picked up recently?