The Bone Season is the debut novel by British author Samantha Shannon, published by Bloomsbury in 2013.
The novel takes place in the year 2059, in a dystopian London, which has been taken over by a new form of government called Scion. We follow the story of a 19-year-old girl named Paige Mahoney (pronounced MAR-nee / MAH-huh-nee) who is a clairvoyant (or voyant for short). Paige works in a gang of other voyants, called The Seven Seals, who run the I-4 cohort. There are seven orders of clairvoyance, based on higher and lower orders and Paige is a dreamwalker, which falls into the highest order, making her very special. Paige can walk through, and look at, other people’s dream scapes, which is the inside of their minds. For the sake of keeping this relatively short, I won’t go into it too much but, for more detail, you can check out my spoiler review.
Paige is a strong, independent woman, who knows what she wants and she isn’t afraid to go after it. Something I love about Paige is how strongly she believes in something, when she has a cause, she’ll fight for it until the very end, making her a good role model for younger readers. Paige, at 19, is one of the oldest protagonists in a book I’ve read in a long time (I don’t read a lot of adult fiction). She was the same age as I was when I was reading the book, which has also never happened to me, I was too young to be the same age as Harry while I was reading those books, so having a girl my age was nice. It helped me to connect more to the character, by the time the third book comes out, I’ll be older than Paige, which is weird to think about it a way.
I loved that Paige would go to the ends of the Earth to protect her gang (The Seven Seals). She wouldn’t give anyone names or locations. The Seven Seals are like her family, and it was lovely to see her being protective, even though she’s the youngest, which was another thing I found myself relating too, I’m always watching out for my friends and family and doing whatever I can for them.
Paige was an enjoyable character to read. Samantha has written a character who is believable and lovable, with strong morals and guts, a character anyone can enjoy and love.
Samantha does a very good job of world building. You really get the feeling that this government system is more corrupt than you first believe (spoilers!) which you find out within the first four chapters. Despite the fact that you are hardly in London for the majority of the first book, you have a good idea of how the city looks, with the Night Vigilance Division (voyants who have been taken by Scion and now work for them, arresting other voyants on the streets in exchange for 30 years of comfortable living) stalking about and television screens that project the Scion anchor all the time, unless they are showing citadel wide events or voyant hangings on the weekend. You read about London, mostly, in the first few chapters and then later on in the book, during Paige’s memories, the majority of the book taking place in Oxford. I love that, while the book is set in the future, they still ride in buck cabs and dress in either current day or Victorian style clothing including corsets, and it kind of reminds me of steampunk a little.
The setting and the idea of clairvoyance is what drew me to the book, and it was a very good choice! All in all, I would give this book 5/5 stars (find out more here). It was an incredible story from start to finish. It drew you in from the get go and I would highly recommend it to anybody who loves a bit of adventure and well written characters.
Featured image from: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17199504-the-bone-season