Tuesday, 17 September 2013
The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
Goodreads Summary : It is the year 2059. Several major world cities are under the control of a security force called Scion. Paige Mahoney works in the criminal underworld of Scion London, part of a secret cell known as the Seven Seals. The work she does is unusual: scouting for information by breaking into others’ minds. Paige is a dreamwalker, a rare kind of clairvoyant, and in this world, the voyants commit treason simply by breathing.
But when Paige is captured and arrested, she encounters a power more sinister even than Scion. The voyant prison is a separate city—Oxford, erased from the map two centuries ago and now 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.
My Rating : 4 of 5 stars
My Thought :
As the most hyped YA novel of 2013, there is no doubt that Samantha Shannon’s novel The Bone Season is a wonderful, ground-breaking debut.
In this debut, we are faced with the familiar setting of a near future dystopian society with some unfamiliar concepts. The author did an excellent job into weaving them altogether and creating a beautifully crafted, richly imaginative novel—a thrill ride of improbable escapade. After surviving the info-dumps on the very first chapter, the story had me absorbed into pages.
The world of Bone Season was a unique itself and intricate in its complexity where magic met sci-fi trickery. The story began in a futuristic London under control of a centralized security force called Scion and follows 19 years old Paige Mahoney, a clairvoyant, one of the rarest of the voyants with the ability to encroach anyone’s mind. And in this realm where physic powers are forbidden, where the voyants commit treason simply by breathing, Paige works for Seven Seal—the underground criminal syndicate. Her talent of dream-walking lies with her connection to the aether, and during her out of body experience she simply stops breathing. Soon after, accidentally killing two guards, she was captured and shipped off to Sheol I— a colony controlled by an otherworldly race called Rephaims (They aren’t angels in traditional sense. They don't have fluffy wings. They are rather frightening, godly-looking creatures who shred yellow/golden blood). There she began training under Arcturus Warden, her stoic Rephaite keeper. From here the story took an interesting turn.
I really loved Paige as a character, neither too weak nor not too strong that gave her room to grow as an individual. And so was Warden— Mystical behind his brooding demure, we get occasional glimpses of the man inside, who cares for his lowly human protégé. The author put her characters into situation and watching their evolution was the best part of the novel. There was one particular moment I would like to mention, when Paige took stand against oppression even though standing wasn’t easy, where at the same time Warden simply stood silent and watched as his ruthless consort murdered an innocent. Given their circumstance, both the characters acted according to it and such contrast in their behaviour made them distinct from each other.
Talking about the info-dumps which was the biggest weakness of the book, some details were unnecessarily ambiguous,where few other terminologies were unexplained. Providing the glossary was given at end, it was difficult to go through them every time a new term appeared, which according to me slowed down the pace at places.
For the work that has been ironically compared to J.K. Rowling, the weight of expectation was too much to bear, and while The Bone Season was quite successful in satisfying my cravings, it can't be considered as the next Harry Potter Saga. But after the slack-jawed, I’m truly interested to see what happens next.
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