Review: The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon (The Bone Season #1)

Title: The Bone Season

Author: Samantha Shannon

Pages: 480

Published: 20th August 2013

⭐️ 5 / 5

N.B This review is taken from my previous blog Theatre and Movies and Books, Oh My, which was deactivated in 2016.

The Bone Season follows nineteen year old Paige living in a future dystopian London controlled by an oppressive, authoritarian government called Scion. Kidnapped and ripped from everything and everyone she knows, Paige must survive in Oxford the city hidden from society for centuries.

I adored this book, the first in what will be a seven book series. It was full of action, incredible world building, likeable and wholesome characters, and clairvoyance – which made a really pleasant change to the magic I’m used to in the fantasy novels I usually read. Throughout the novel we gain a really good understanding about the different types and levels of clairvoyance in this world. It all surrounds how the individual interacts with/affects/is affected by the aether and through what. For example: cartomancers use tarot cards to interact with the aether, bibliomancers use books, and dreamwalkers like Paige use their own spirit. This is just one example of the extensive world building Samantha Shannon has created. It is truly mind-blowing the level of detail and thought involved. This world is so real and tangible. It includes history of the world and how it moved from something resembling ours to this authoritarian government-controlled half clairvoyant society. The world has already been extended beyond London to Oxford with mention of other parts of the world including Ireland, Sweden and the free nations beyond Scion control, which I feel could all be explored later on in the series.

The characters are all wholesome and complex and either so likeable or so punchable, as it were. They are representative of LGBT and BAME communities as well as from countries outside of England, which is so important but especially considering the London setting which is a very diverse and multicultural city. I love how much I can get behind characters like Paige and Liss, fall in love with characters like Nick, Jaxon, and Julian, and absolutely despise characters like Nashira, Carl and Warden. Yes, I’m sorry. Unpopular opinion but I really don’t like Warden at the moment. I’ve seen so many people who love him but there’s just something really not sitting right with me here and I really don’t like him. Absolutely not my favourite character. Paige is an excellent protagonist. I was rooting for her for the entire novel. She is flawed, discovering herself, and absolutely kickass. I’m really looking forward to some further character development throughout the series from all of my favourites.

The plot is well paced and expertly woven. It had me itching to turn the page and I read this in one setting. Samantha Shannon’s writing is superb. She writes beautiful prose and witty dialogue. The Bone Season was gripping and became one of those impactful books that I think about for days after and cause a ‘book hangover’ born from desperation for the next novel. Talking of which, the CLIFFHANGER. AHHHHH. Good lord the cliffhanger. I envy anyone who reads this novel much closer to the release of book two so they do not have such a long wait to find out what happens.

This is the easiest 5 star rating I have given in the whole of 2013. I hope you all enjoy The Bone Season as much as I have. Let me know in the comments.


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.

from Waterstones website (I am not affiliated with this, or any other, bookshop)

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