[Diving Into The Known] The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon


Diving into the Known is a new series contributed our new addition to the team, Ozhasbooks. Oz will dive into the countless popular books that came out throughout the ages from different genres that surprisingly enough, he didn’t even bother to read yet! Can you believe it? What a dork ;p

17199504._SY475_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.

The Bone Season introduces a compelling heroine and 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.

MyRating: 5/5

When I first heard of the Bone Season it was more of a suggestion from one of my friends over at bookstagram. I was familiar with the author, Samantha Shannon, highly regarded, the next J.K. Rowling they said. I promised that I’ll consider it one day to try this book since I am always preoccupied with something else. At last, the promise has been fulfilled and I must confessed, this is a very soul shaking read.

The story set in the future where the world got devastated when the supernatural came to our world changing it forever. Now its plagued with clairvoyants, ghosts and other monstrosities.  Societies were changed and countries were rebuilt in order to face such conflicts head on, hence Scion (formerly known as Great Britain). Paige Mahoney, trying to survive while working for a crime syndicate gets whisked away to the ruined city of Oxford, Sheol I,  were Otherworldly beings known as the Rephaim who governs the city and the lives of all the unnaturals like our wayward heroine.

Right away from just the opening sentences I knew this book will be the death of me. Paige story is simply despairing. She has no place to call home, a society that won’t tolerate her and even the people she’s working for don’t treat her any better. Then she get captured and sent to this unknown alien environment, gets indentured and train for a purpose beyond her understanding all the while trying to survive. I don’t know how she is capable of keep going even when the odds are against her. She is a resilient and smart young woman using whatever she can for her advantage including her complicated gift as a dreamwalker which on its own is a whole set of problems.

This world is so unfair. It is cruel, ugly and downright scary cause regardless if it just fantasy fiction set in alternative historical changes it behaves really close to home. Themes of one’s value, nationality and hack, even ableism are addressed in this and Samantha did a fantastic job . However, the world building is great but will confused wide variety of people hence I suggest you use the glossary in the end of the book to assist with that.

So yeah, those are my thoughts on that. Would I recommend this? Totally. Is it highly praised as people made it to be? Of course, who wouldn’t want to read this, it’s addicting from start to finish.

Ruthsic’s take on the book

I have already reviewed this, but Oz suggested I should also do a sort of comment on this post series (many of the books he will feature are the ones I have read years ago) so here goes:

I reread this last year so this is less nostalgia and more about what I felt during the reread. While my initial rating was 3.5 stars (and I still stand by it), I feel the reread clarified a lot of stuff that had confused me in the first read. As Oz said, the world set-up can be disorienting in the first time. I would suggest keeping the glossary at hand, sure, but also reading a certain short book before it – On the Merits of Unnaturalness, where we are introduced to the voyant types in a sort of pamplet-like manual. You are less likely to be like – what does this voyant do? For a bit more about Scion London, read the short story Pale Dreamer right before this (optional)! As for the world, well, it is an abrupt shift from futuristic dystopia to grimdark fantasy so honestly, can’t help you there. Just go with the flow and you will get some answers soon.

Reading it for the second time, knowing newer stuff about the characters (like the fact that Paige is demisexual, which will be explored from book 4 onward, I guess, but also explains a lot about Paige in book 1) made for a more exciting experience. I reread it in audio, too, so the narrator brings her out quite well, including her slight Irish accent, but I did get confused between different characters at times, especially the many that are in Sheol I. The book does a good job of encasing a fantasy in a futuristic dystopia setting, and giving us a delightfully complex protagonist such as Paige, who is a person not accepted in her society and so relegated to working in the underworld. It must be mentioned that she prefers the underworld side of her society, even when she has a difficult mentor in Jaxon Hall, and while street smart, she is also compassionate when it counts. I am still not convinced by the romance, but let’s see if future books do that.

2 thoughts on “[Diving Into The Known] The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

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