The Bone Season (The Bone Season #1)

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The Bone Season (The Bone Season #1) audiobook

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Review #1

The Bone Season (The Bone Season #1) audiobook free

The idea of this book is an interesting one. Something weird happens in 1856 and human history is changed. Many people become clairvoyant in a wide range of ways. An anti-clairvoyant political system emerges that oppresses the people with the new skills. And of course there\’s more…. Those ideas drew me to buy this book. Nothing radically new, but some classic science fiction ideas rearranged into a potentially interesting new form. The problem is that the the author\’s writing skills aren\’t up to the par of her idea for a book. The hero (Paige) spends most of the book pissed off at the world in general in various ways. She\’s a lot like a classic romance novel heroine where the lead character is very lightly sketched out so that the reader can pour herself easily into the role. Paige is special, though, like all the romance novel leads are. All the important characters are drawn to her irresistibly. They see more in her than she sees in herself… classic character from teen or romance fan fiction. The Warden is also a classic romance novel character dragged through a science fiction plot. Instead of behind a noble man or vampire, this time he\’s a being from another dimension. Other problems include, but aren\’t limited to, the pacing of action scenes. The author is terrible at organizing how an action scene is presented. If there is more than two characters involved, the scenes get confusing. It\’s hard to keep track of who is where and what\’s going on. Worse yet, I didn\’t really care to do so. Then there\’s the end of the book where the author inexplicably jumps back in time to fill in a gap in the heroine\’s origin story and to explain a ghost that was repeatedly mentioned. Why was this section placed at the end? Why wasn\’t it better integrated into the book? It\’s placement just didn\’t make sense. This book isn\’t really a complete story. It\’s the set up for the series the author intended from the beginning to write. It sets the tone, and a weak one, for the franchise but doesn\’t stand well on it\’s own.


Review #2

The Bone Season (The Bone Season #1) audiobook streamming online

I honestly didn\’t know what to expect and wasn\’t feeling particularly enthusiastic about starting this series, but I was shocked by how much I loved this book! This was more of a 4.5 star read for me, but I didn\’t feel good about rounding down for this one. Despite Paige sort of falling into the classic YA \”chosen one\” trope, she\’s a really enjoyable narrator. She develops a lot during the book, and by the end, she has come to this realization that a lot of her pre-Rephaim life was not what she thought it to be (no spoilers, don\’t worry). She did bug me a couple of times with her relentless sarcasm and cynicism, but it was nothing worth writing home about. Arcturus… what can I say? I joked with some friends that I was worried I was temporarily trading in my feminist card for how much I loved his character, despite his being portrayed as her \”captor\”. I won\’t spoil the ending, but there\’s a lot more than meets the eye with this big teddy bear. There are also a handful of really delightful side characters, like Julian, Liss, and Michael, all of which I just wanted to squeeze and hug and keep safe forever. This was my first book by Samantha Shannon, of course, and I was really pleased by the writing in it. It wasn\’t anything extraordinary, but it definitely did the job for me. She uses a lot of words that are not ones you would find in everyday speech, but the physical book has a glossary in the back with definitions. I didn\’t find that I needed it more than three or four times, honestly. The world itself is built pretty efficiently, and since it\’s a magical realism book, there isn\’t much to tell that isn\’t already the reader\’s basic knowledge (like locations, etc). I enjoyed how in-depth the world of voyants went, with references to a multitude of different varieties (dreamwalkers, soothsayers, oracles, etc). (Fun fact on the topic: the hadal zone, as referenced in this book, is also a term for the deepest parts of the ocean. I enjoyed that comparison!) If you\’re familiar with the YA/NA dystopian genre, I really don\’t think this will be an earth-shattering read for you, but it is a fun story with a lot of enjoyable characters and action. If you absolutely hate the \”master-turned-lover\” trope, you may not be able to delve into this one much, but then again, this is a slightly atypical variation on that theme. There are definitely some cliche moments throughout it, but altogether, I found this a delightful read that kept me up late and craving more, and I will definitely be continuing the series!


Review #3

Audiobook The Bone Season (The Bone Season #1) by Samantha Shannon

The thing I like least about this story is the main character. The primary relationship reads more like a rebellious bratty teenager and her dad than what it actually it. I found the main character to be a vapid selfish winey idiot. Complaining about getting pancakes while the world outside starves and she undergoes her little bouts of rebellion Im not eating pancakes!. She often does selfish or nonsensical things that get her or others hurt. The world building was great. Thats undeniable. I only wish the author had more depth to offer her characters instead of saddling us all with her Daddy issues. None of the characters were well developed or likable. The story is depressing and not well put together.


Review #4

Audio The Bone Season (The Bone Season #1) narrated by Alana Kerr Collins

When it was released, The Bone Season by Samatha Shannon was marketed as being the next big thing, the new Harry Potter, despite being nothing like Harry Potter. The second in the series is freshly available at a bookshop near yourselves, so it seemed like a good time to read it. It was… okay. Paige Mahony is a clairvoyant in a future alt-England where such powers are illegal. More specifically, shes a dreamwalker, one of the rarest types of voyant, who can separate her spirit from her body. Paige lives in London where she works for Fagi- erm, Jaxon Hall, her Mime Lord (Gangster boss), until she accidentally kills an Underguard. Shes captured, drugged, and sent to a place she and the rest of the populous didnt know existed: Oxford. Okay, Sheol 1. Formerly Oxford. There she learns the things which make this book and this review such a challenge: the extensive world building. It is confusing. For a start, there are the various types of voyants. I spent my youth with an orange dot energised by Yuri Geller himself so I came to this knowing terms like cartomancer and when I didnt know I word I could make an educated guess. Then theres the world of Scion, the government, and its creation in the first place (Edward VII was the first voyant, and also Jack The Ripper, and apparently still Edward VII rather than Prince Albert Edward, despite people knowing this at the time of its occurrence). Then theres the world of Sheol where the Rephaim a race of beings from the Netherworld, as scholars of Hebrew mythology will remember keep voyants as slaves and mobile larders, feeding on their auras. Those who embrace their new overlords can become Red Jackets, a necessary part of the attempt to stop the Emim from overrunning the city and the rest of the world. Then theres a whole host of other stuff, sometimes with nicknames and a light smattering of Victorian slang in addition to the books own terms, and as a result the book proceeds in fits and starts, bogged down by its own exposition, not really getting into to gear until a good half-way through. Its intermittently interesting until then but the first 20% is quite a slog requiring more than one consultation of the books glossary. Because this is YA, its necessary for the MC to be imprisoned in some fashion. Paige becomes the property of a Rephaim who instructs her to call him Warden, even though thats not his name, whose job it is to train her to earn her Red Jacket. If she doesnt [world building stuff] but if she does [world building stuff] but theres also the fact that [character] wants to [spoiler] because [spoiler]. Did I mention this gets a tad bogged down by itself? Some aspects of the plotting are bland and predictable Paige does something for Warden then repeatedly asks herself why she did it. Then it happens again and she repeatedly asks herself why she did it again. Other aspects give a nice spin to that predictability, setting up threads for coming tomes in the 7 book series. Others feel like theyre ripping off another YA series entirely. The main story is … merely okay. As is the trend in YA books, we have a female MC who gives the illusion of being active. Paige, like Katniss Everdeen, is at the mercy of her situation and can only act within its restrictions so much of the book involves Paige hoping to get out of her situation but having to go along with it. Your enjoyment will depend on your tolerance for reading about Paige being Paige. I was fairly meh. There are some good scenes Shannon can write action when she wants to – but the final sequence, like much of the book, could have been a lot tighter. I read this because it was an offensively low price but I dont think Ill be picking up the sequel. I didnt expect huge amounts from it and it gave me pretty much what I expected. The world building is going to be a huge plus several books down the line and this has got the potential to create internet communities in the way Harry Potter and Game of Thrones has but I, who can barely remember how to spell her own name sometimes, was left unengaged and frustrated. I suspect I may get more out of it on a reread, but right now I feel no compulsion to give it one, nor to continue with the series. 3 stars.


Review #5

Free audio The Bone Season (The Bone Season #1) – in the audio player below

3.5 stars. I went into this thinking it was YA and have since discovered its actually classed as adult fantasy. I think in reality its probably a good crossover from one to the other the protagonist is 19, so the older end of YA theres more complicated worldbuilding and moral grayness than a lot of YA fantasy (though I can think of YA example with both of those things as well), but the plot has a lot of familiar elements and themes a YA reader will feel comfortable with. I really enjoyed the setting, a mix of Victoriana and futuristic elements with a seedy, gritty feel to it that portrayed the main character, Paige, and her life very well. Paige was strong and resourceful, with a confidence in herself and her abilities and a fierce vein of anger and injustice which fuelled her throughout the story. The side characters, at least the human ones, were intriguing and complex. But while the Rephaim certainly had a sense of otherness and being able to understand them too clearly would have lost that, they did often feel a bit of a stretch too far for suspension of disbelief like pantomime monsters, at times, particularly (if I can say this without getting spoilery) the way they treated the humans in their city it seemed counterproductive, evil for the sake of evil. There was a lot of info-dumping in the first few chapters which really stalled my ability to get invested in the plot. Partly its a result of the complicated magic system Im sure it could have been simplified, or at least the broad shape of it fed to us with details coming where they were needed. After that things got interesting, with danger and intrigue and betrayal or the prospect of I on every side, and I was keen to see how it played out. I think the romance was unnecessary, and didnt fit with the story or the characters not that I cant see them together but the way it happened. Maybe rushed would be a better word it could work but needed a lot more development. The later books in the series might flesh it out a bit more, I suppose. Overall, it did feel very much like the first book in a series.


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    1 thought on “The Bone Season (The Bone Season #1)”

    1. Does you know where I can find the newly revised anniversary edition (published early 2023)? It’s different than this original publication and I’d like to hear the changes!

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