Book Review: The Bone Season

Thursday 16 June 2016 by

The Bone Season, Samantha Shannon, Book, Reading, BloomsburyThe Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

Published by Bloomsbury


Nineteen-year-old Paige Mahoney works in the criminal underworld of Scion London. 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.


No matter what I read, however many genres I explore, I always come back to fantasy. It’s my comfort. And The Bone Season has been one that everyone has been telling me to read. It tells the story of Paige, who is a dreamwalker, which means she can go in to other people’s minds and read them. Her life – despite the danger – is pretty set in her gang. But soon she finds herself scooped up and whisked away to Oxford, which reveals a whole other battle going on.

Paige is a prisoner, and her only thought is to get back to her old life. Things are never that easy though, and things end up getting a bit messy. This is the start of a series, so don’t expect a perfect result at the end, rather a tasty little cliffhanger to keep you going.

I love steampunk fantasy. It’s rich with story and filled to the brim with adventure. Paige is a great protagonist – although she’s a cardboard cut-out character in many respects. Fantasy characters often are – they only serve to progress the plot, rather than build character development. I can’t complain too much though, because this is a brilliant plot. I love the levels of clairvoyants, the hidden world of Oxford, the battle between the realms. I love that the monsters are never really given a face, that the good and evil is mixed up behind veils of mystery and confusion.

This is rich and multifaceted, with adventure and peril and romance and magic all stirred up in a big pot. Although the characters are very much secondary to the plot, it never feels like it’s lacking. Nothing is going to stand up to scratch after the Red Rising trilogy for a while, but this makes a pretty good stab at it. I will definitely be reading the next in the series, and following Paige for a few hundred more pages.

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