The New York Times bestselling first novel in the Bone Season series, an epic fantasy about a young woman fighting to use her powers and stay alive in an England entirely different from our own.
In 2059, Scion has taken over most of the world's cities, promising safety for all the citizens it deems worthy and wiping out clairvoyants wherever it can find them.
Paige Mahoney, though, is a clairvoyant--and a criminal just for existing. Paige is determined to fight Scion's power, and as part of the Seven Seals, Paige has found a use for her powers: she scouts for information by breaking into others' minds as they dream.
But when Paige is captured and arrested, she encounters a power more sinister even than Scion. The voyant prison is a separate city, 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.
Shannon offers up a richly imagined debut, opening a projected seven-book series about clairvoyants used as catspaws in the year 2059, two centuries after mysterious events changed the world. Paige Mahoney possesses the illegal and extremely rare power of dreamwalking, using it to serve a criminal syndicate in a London controlled by the organization known as Scion. She s captured and sent to Sheol I, a hidden penal colony established in Oxford and maintained by the extradimensional Rephaim. Claimed by the enigmatic Warden Arcturus, she s trained to be a weapon, all the while dreaming of rebellion and escape. When Paige is drawn into schemes both political and far-reaching, she must fight for her life. The internal mythology is complex and intriguing, the emotional struggle is captivating, and the pace rarely falters as Paige unravels the mysteries and dangers of her new home. This extremely strong beginning will have readers eager to see whether Shannon can maintain her stride for a lengthy series.
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worth the patience
Excellent first book in what is to be a seven book series.
Shannon is tackling a huge concept and the first of the series involves a significant amount of world building - the novel is about an alternate UK (and ultimately Europe) where there is a whole underground society of individuals with psychic powers. Despite the world-building (including a challenging number of new terms), the story covers significant ground plot-wise.
The story revolves around Paige, a member of a psychic underground syndicate. Having psychic abilities - being a Voyant, is illegal and Paige is an outsider to society because of her powerful psychic ability that neither she, nor those she is friends with, can completely understand. Paige is captured one night and brought to what used be Oxford. It is now a penal colony run by the Rephaim - an non-human race of powerful beings who have been a part of controlling Europe for 200 years.
Humans Voyants are used to protect everyone from destructive creatures that come through the same rip between worlds that the Rephaim come from, and so are assigned a master who trains them as psychic warriors. Those that don't succeed live a horrible existence in a ghetto. The Rephaim has a particular interest in Paige and she assigned to the Warden — one of the upper echelon of the society — for training. But Paige hates him, and everything he stands for and plans to escape. Yet, as the story progresses, she is conflicted about why the Warden treats her differently than her fellow Voyants are treated by their masters. As she learns more of her ability and her captors, she begins to question her existence in London and wonders if the syndicate is just another type of prison.
Shannon's world is vividly painted and her characters are complex. Shannon has build not one, but two unique societies and does an excellent job at defining their complexity. The vocabulary can be a bit daunting at times, but I found that as the book went on, the categories and types of Voyants became clearer. The descriptions of the voyants using their powers was well done and believable. There are several showdowns that are intense and engaging even though it is a unique type of interaction compared to a typical 'fight'.
There are plenty of questions at the end, yet not so many as to leave the reader unsatisfied. I finished with a sense that there was so much more to come and most things were not as they may have initially appeared. I was fully engaged with the characters — although I wanted more of the syndicate characters — and am looking forward to learning more about them and their world in the next in the series.
Overall, a great read - although I caution patience early on with the unfamiliar terms and world building. It takes a bit of time to 'get into' but it is well worth the early feeling of being lost or overwhelmed.
Can't wait for book 3.
I have been looking for a new series that will have a lot of books to come that takes me to another place. The Bone Season is it! I’m so thrilled to have found it. I love both the male and female MC (which is rare because I usually have an issue with one of them) and the world Samantha has created is brillaint.