Paige is a clairvoyant, with the ability to leave her body and break into the minds of others. This skill makes her hunted by Scion, who rule a dystopian version of London in 2059. Clairvoyance is seen as unnatural and is punishable by death, forcing Paige and others like her to hide their abilities or join the mob-ruled criminal underworld. Paige is working for underground leader Jaxon Hall when she is captured and detained. She is sure she will be punished by the Scion authorities, but instead she is transferred to Oxford, a city that has been kept secret for over two hundred years. There she learns that Scion has kept it's own secrets from it's citizens and that a whole other race exists. Kept in the control of Warden, Paige yearns to escape but the only person who can help her may be the person who is imprisoning her in the first place.
The Bone Season certainly has had a lot of hype surrounding it. Shannon has famously signed a seven book deal with Bloomsbury and this title has been everywhere, with the inevitable comparisons to J.K. Rowling. I was keen to try it for myself and see if it lived up to expectations.
One thing that certainly impressed me was the world building. Reading The Bone Season is an immersive experience, as Shannon throws you straight in there with the characters, leaving you to work out how the society works for yourself. This is how I like my fantasy/sci-fi and I was impressed at the amount of detail and thought that had gone into the set up of Scion London and Oxford, as well as the creation of an entirely new race/type of creature, the Rephaim. The world hung together well and it's clear that the author knows it inside out. For example, there are over fifty different types of clairvoyant listed in beginning of the book.
Although Paige was an interesting main character, The Bone Season is all about the plot. It's an action packed novel and one that will have you turning the pages quickly. This is the kind of book I would happily have stayed up all night to read, as it's utterly engrossing. I was pleased that the romance in the novel was of the slow-burning kind and it never overwhelmed the main plots at all. As Shannon allowed the romance to develop slowly, it felt plausible for Paige's character.
On the whole, reading The Bone Season was certainly a lot of fun and I'm glad I picked it up. I simply rushed through it but having finished it, I've realised that it hasn't had much of an impact on me. The ideas are clever and the story well written, but it's not a book I will remember or want to reread. For this reason, it's not going to be a favourite.
Source: From the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.
First Published: 2013
Score: 3.5 out of 5
Poison Study by Maria Snyder - This story is also about a young woman who is kept prisoner, but who eventually forms an unlikely alliance with her captor. The fantasy elements in this novel centre around magic rather than clairvoyance.