Review: The Bone Season

This review is long overdue.

I read The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon over a year ago following the recommendation of Librarian Extraordinaire Alexandra Patterson (seriously though, go read her blog y’all).  It was awesome.  I loved it.  And now, I’m telling you that you oughta read it now, because its sequel is being released in January.

bone season

Normally, I would include a Goodreads synopsis for the book, but I think it’s borderline spoiler-y, so you get the Cardigan-Clad Culinary Condensed Version:

The Bone Season is the debut novel by a burgeoning young author.  It plays on the dystopian fiction trend in a new way — rather than toying with magic or divergence or some other facet of interest, The Bone Season deals with clairvoyance in London of the future.  Written about a young adult (okay, 19-year-old), this is not a young adult novel, per se.  It deals with adult themes from cover to cover, and address complex relationships in a way that young adult books do not.  Another distinguishing factor: I would classify this books as a little bit steampunk.  It’s pulling on Victorian slang, themes, and imagery.  In The Bone Season, our protagonist, Paige, is captured.  She leaves the criminal underworld and is forced to work in a prison run by the beings who set her dystopian reality into motion.

I’m hesitant to say more about The Bone Season for fear of too many spoilers.  The book is complex and delightful.  And you know what?  I give it five out of five stars.

Samantha Shannon is pulling new themes into mainstream literature, and I think that’s amazing.   Shannon’s writing is amazing; her sentence structure and storytelling are powerful, and her use of Victorian slang is delightful.  Having a background in literature myself, I noticed pretty quickly that she’s got a foundation in the classics (from Oxford, no less).  What’s more, is that The Bone Season is the first in a seven-book series, yet it is deftly satisfying and tantalizing at the same time.  Its sequel, The Mime Order, has been pushed back to January, and I am unbelievably anxious to read it.

Every single person I have recommended The Bone Season to has loved it, regardless of taste in books otherwise.  If you liked Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, or Divergent, I would say there is a pretty good chance you will enjoy Shannon’s debut novel.  Go pick up a copy.  You’ll thank me for it later.

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