The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

75%

58 Critic Reviews

The storyline really sticks in your head due to its difference from any other. It doesn't feel like another overdone storyline but rather something fresh and brand new.
-Guardian

Synopsis

Enter the world of Paige Mahoney, a gifted clairvoyant, a "dreamwalker,?? in the year 2059. Her natural talents are considered treasonous under the current regime. Snatched away to a secret prison, she encounters another race, the Rephaim, creatures who wish to control the powers of Paige and those like her. One in particular will be assigned as her keeper, her trainer. But his motives are mysterious. To regain her freedom, Paige must learn to trust, in the prison where she is meant to die.

The e-book of the New York Times bestseller now includes an exclusive sneak peek at the second book in the series, The Mime Order.
 

About Samantha Shannon

See more books from this Author
Samantha Shannon was born and raised in West London. She’s currently pursuing her degree in English literature at the University of Oxford. The Bone Season is her first published work of fiction—the first in a seven-book series. It has been sold in eighteen countries and film rights have been optioned by The Imaginarium Studios, a film company led by Andy Serkis (The Lord of the Rings; The Hobbit) and Jonathan Cavendish (producer of Bridget Jones’s Diary). Follow Samantha on Twitter: @say_shannon; and on her blog: www.samantha-shannon.blogspot.com 
 
Published January 1, 2014 by Bloomsbury Publishing PLC. 481 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
Bestseller Status:
icon9
Peak Rank on Sep 08 2013
icon1
Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for The Bone Season
All: 58 | Positive: 44 | Negative: 14

Kirkus

Good
on Mar 17 2013

The first of a projected set of seven novels, this book is for those who like their dystopian science fiction multilayered, philosophical and complex to the point of impenetrability.

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Publishers Weekly

Good
on May 20 2013

This extremely strong beginning will have readers eager to see whether Shannon can maintain her stride for a lengthy series.

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NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Janet Maslin on Aug 26 2013

This book enforces a rigid, color-coded class system that places Paige high above others and causes her captors, the Rephaim, to refer to themselves with great, formal grandiosity. At last, we reach a reason for reading “The Bone Season”: though “Rephaim” has biblical provenance...

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Laura137 on Aug 23 2014

The storyline really sticks in your head due to its difference from any other. It doesn't feel like another overdone storyline but rather something fresh and brand new.

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Guardian

Below average
Reviewed by Philippic on May 17 2014

The Bone Season, the first instalment in Samantha Shannon's ambitious and imaginative seven-book series, contains great ingredients, but the resulting soup is less than satisfying. It would have benefited from a vigorous session with a red pen.

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Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Gwyneth Jones on Sep 04 2013

There aren't enough attractive characters for an epic, and maybe even fantasy fans won't be rushing back for more. But the first volume of printed fiction, by now, plays a relatively small part in the prospects of the Bone Season project; and besides, episode two may be terrific.

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Publishers Weekly

Good
on May 20 2013

This extremely strong beginning will have readers eager to see whether Shannon can maintain her stride for a lengthy series.

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WSJ online

Above average
Reviewed by Tom Shippey on Aug 23 2013

Vital questions, all embedded in a provocatively incomplete but highly arcane stew of aether, auras, spirit-spools, angels and poltergeists and ectoplasm. Ms. Shannon certainly has an advanced vocabulary for such things.

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NPR

Good
Reviewed by Jane Ciabattari on Aug 18 2013

So how is The Bone Season? It's terrific—intelligent, inventive, dark, and engrossing enough to keep me up late to finish. Paige Mahoney, the novel's street-smart clairvoyant narrator, is more akin to the post-apocalyptic girl gladiator in Suzanne Collins's The Hunger Games than to Harry Potter.

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Examiner

Above average
Reviewed by Alex Stine on Aug 16 2013

"The Bone Season," while an entertaining read that combines elements of the dystopian and paranormal romance genres, does not quite live up to the hype surrounding it. While Shannon proves herself to be a great world-builder, she is far more adept at telling than showing...

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Book Reporter

Good
Reviewed by Amy Gwiazdowski on Aug 23 2013

I picked up THE BONE SEASON on vacation and couldn’t put it down until I finished. Shannon is a first-time author, a 21-year-old college graduate, in fact, and the novel feels complete, until you get to the ending and find out it’s the first of a planned seven-book series.

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Toronto Star

Above average
Reviewed by Alex Good on Aug 30 2013

Nicely dressed in a full wardrobe of psycho-speculative trappings...The Bone Season is a very effective, albeit very conventional adolescent fantasy. It has a YA flavour, but in recent years this has become an all but essential ingredient of bestsellerdom.

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The Washington Post

Good
Reviewed by Elizabeth Word Gutting on Aug 27 2013

The large talent on display here suggests just how good Shannon could get in the next six books of this promising series.

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The Telegraph

Good
Reviewed by Helen Brown on Aug 10 2013

...Shannon writes so well that you stay interested, intrigued by the knife-edge motivation of characters with “six-seater lips” whose “high-collared dresses always made her think of the gallows”.

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Booklist Online

Good
Reviewed by Donna Seaman on May 15 2013

Shannon’s smart and imaginative tale of intrepid dreamwalker Paige will captivate teen fantasy and suspense fans with its keen details, thrilling plot, lucid emotions, and moral concerns.

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The Maine Edge

Good
Reviewed by Allen Adams on Sep 04 2013

Modern mythmaking is no easy feat, but Shannon appears to be well on her way; this is a potential classic.

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The Boston Globe

Above average
Reviewed by Ethan Gilsdorf on Aug 27 2013

...like a painstakingly concocted serum, Shannon has combined a cup of “Harry Potter,” a pound of “The Hunger Games,” and a smidgen of “Twilight,” pouring her words into a vessel that once held the Burgess “Clockwork” classic. The result is mixed — at times tasty, often bland, and never fully settling on its own unique formula.

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Tor

Above average
Reviewed by Alex Brown on Sep 11 2013

Long story short, The Bone Season is a good yet problematic first novel. The problems aren’t enough to derail the story, nor are they issues everyone will find difficult to deal with. They frustrated me, but not enough to want to throw the book across the room.

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USA Today

Above average
Reviewed by Brian Truitt on Aug 19 2013

Even with so much going on, it's hard sometimes to imagine how exactly Shannon will stretch this tale into a seven-book saga.

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Newsday

Above average
Reviewed by Sonja Bolle on Aug 29 2013

Don't worry if the terms are confusing; readers are supplied with a glossary and a chart listing the 51 types of clairvoyants...At this point, there is a squeak of protest from those in the peanut gallery who take pleasure in the sound of words. It's difficult to find a satisfying pronunciation for many of Shannon's neologisms.

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Deseret News

Above average
Reviewed by Tara Creel on Aug 17 2013

With Shannon being referred to in the publishing world as the next J.K Rowling, one would anticipate complex world-building characters to love...and a story to follow for several installments. While Shannon shows talent, "Bone Season" just doesn't measure up to all its hype.

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Salon

Good
Reviewed by Laura Miller on Aug 25 2013

...remarkable is the discipline of Shannon’s prose. Young writers, and especially young fantasy writers, have a tendency to ladle on the description...But more often than not, “The Bone Season” is as economical (if not quite as stylish) as a hardboiled detective novel...

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Watermark Books And Cafe

Excellent
Reviewed by Wendy Ward on Sep 11 2013

The Bone Season is a striking, brain-breaking, lushly vivid world, with a simple and beautiful struggle between men and monsters and the unspoken rules governing all.

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Book Buzz

Good
Reviewed by Erin McCracken on Aug 29 2013

This series’ blend of sci-fi and sorcery recalls “Potter.” Its dystopian themes recall “The Hunger Games.” The population will likely be devouring these books — and probable film adaptations — well into the next decade. 

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DNA

Above average
on Aug 18 2013

The pace of the book is slow at times and there’s an information overload but Mahoney’s fictional escapist world is well-etched out and things start gathering pace towards the end.

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The Young Folks

Good
on Aug 08 2013

The Bone Season will cater to all age ranges. It has a lot of YA crossover appeal with a young heroine who is no longer a teen. Despite the familiar narrative, readers will appreciate this new world and the characters it brings forth. It’s a promising beginning to what could be an epic series.

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That's What She Read

Good
Reviewed by Michelle on Aug 13 2013

As the tension ratchets up to a fever pitch, the action – which was already intense – kicks into high gear, and a reader can only sit back and enjoy the ride. The final breathtaking pages will not only leave a reader anxiously anticipating the next installment but also celebrating the diverse and multi-layered world Ms. Shannon creates.

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http://caffeinatedbookreviewer.com

Good
Reviewed by kimbacaffeinate on Aug 22 2013

Fans of fantasy, dystopian, science-fiction will enjoy Bone Season with is fleshed out characters and vibrant world-building.

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http://skrishnasbooks.com

Above average
Reviewed by Swapna Krishna on Aug 20 2013

The writing style of The Bone Season isn’t exactly smooth, but it’s easy to read. There are some rough spots in Shannon’s narrative style that will hopefully be smoothed out in future installments. Despite my quibbles with the book, however, I enjoyed meeting Paige and reading about her adventures in this well-detailed new world.

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All the Books I Can Read

Good
Reviewed by 1GIRL2MANYBOOKS on Aug 21 2013

...The Bone Season is a great start to a series. I became invested in Paige and Warden as well as some of the Seven Seals and the people Paige met at Oxford. I wanted to learn more about the various abilities and how they connect to the æther.

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Readings

Good
Reviewed by Julia Tulloh on Aug 28 2013

The Bone Season is one of the most gripping books I have read in months. Its plot turns left me breathless, and often terrified. I really cared for Paige and her friends and became invested in Paige’s unnerving relationship with her Rephaim keeper.

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Once Upon a Twilight

Excellent
Reviewed by Yara on Aug 21 2013

The Bone Season is for the reader that likes a good story that engages you and takes you on a thrill ride. Make sure you ties your shoes tight and get ready to sprint through these pages until you cross the finish line.

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Novelicious

Excellent
Reviewed by Amanda Keats on Aug 29 2013

The Bone Season is a captivating page turner. You will stay up late to read it, miss your stop on the bus because you are so engrossed in it and you will regret nothing.

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The Book Smugglers

Above average
Reviewed by Thea on Aug 26 2013

Ultimately, I was entertained by The Bone Season and will likely return for book 2...Recommended, but with some reservations.

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Book'd Out

Good
Reviewed by Shelleyrae on Aug 20 2013

The Bone Season is easily one of the most enjoyable paranormal/distopyian novels I have read...I’m excited about the development of the series...

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Annette's Book Spot

Good
Reviewed by Annette on Aug 07 2013

At almost 500 pages, The Bone Season is an investment, but it's one I would recommend. Anyone who enjoys a totally different, futuristic, paranormal society won't want to miss it.

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The Guilded Earlobe

Below average
on Aug 26 2013

...I felt like a passive, uninvolved observer, when I much prefer to be pulled into the pages of a book, feeling just as much at jeopardy as the characters guiding us on this journey. In The Bone Season, this never happened.

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http://rabidreads.ca

Good
Reviewed by Sue Miller on Aug 14 2013

This story is original. The ideas of a clairvoyant being able to jump into the minds of others and linger in someone’s “dreamscape”, are complex and explained in such detail that it was believable and easy for me to detach from reality and enjoy this amazing ride of a book.

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Booktopia Blog

Good
Reviewed by Haylee Nash on Aug 20 2013

The Bone Season is the kind of novel that reminds you why you love reading – one that not only transports you to another world but has you walking around in a haze after closing the pages and searching for fellow readers to discuss the book with.

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Alexa Loves Books

Good
Reviewed by Alexa Y. on Aug 27 2013

Honestly, The Bone Season is the type of book a reader needs to experience for himself. It's not necessarily going to be everyone's cup of tea, because it's pretty dark, complex and twisted. But it was, personally, the book I didn't know I wanted until I had cracked it open -- and I devoured it instantly.

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King of the Nerds!!!

Above average
Reviewed by Mike on Jul 17 2013

...I did find that attraction between Paige and Warden was a bit of a stretch. I enjoyed their later verbal and mental fencing but Paige’s trunaround from closed off to completely trusting was a bit too abrupt for me to completely feel comfortable.

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M Live

Above average
Reviewed by Yvonne Zipp on Aug 27 2013

Paige is a scrapper and the world-building was interesting enough that I would pick up the second book. But I'm not as eager for that sequel as I am to get my hands on the third in Laini Taylor's "Daughter of Smoke and Bone" trilogy or the sequel to Rachel Hartman's "Seraphina,"...

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Ivy Book Bindings

Good
Reviewed by Keertana on Aug 12 2013

I fell into this book completely, heart and soul, utterly invested in this world and its characters. It's hard to form such tight connections and bonds with just a debut, but Samantha Shannon manages to do it.

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Hobbitsies

Excellent
Reviewed by Tara on Aug 28 2013

Underground London! Oxford! Futuristic fantasyness! Romance! So much goodness. I’ll definitely be curious to see how Samantha Shannon explores this world in the future books.

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Birth of a New Witch

Above average
Reviewed by ASHLEIGH PAIGE on Aug 07 2013

...the romance between them...makes me a little uncomfortable. It’s almost like Stockholm Syndrome to me, which is a deal-breaker to me. Keeping it platonic might have been a better idea...

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The Starry-Eyed Revue

Good
Reviewed by Jen on Aug 29 2013

Samantha Shannon may or may not be the next whoever, but she is definitely a masterful storyteller. The Bone Season was engaging and thought-provoking, and I'll definitely be picking up a finished copy for my shelves.

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Anna Reads

Excellent
Reviewed by Anna on Aug 27 2013

I knew I was in for a real treat when I opened my review copy to find pages upon pages of charts printed on the first few pages and a full-on GLOSSARY from the publisher tucked inside. To some that might seem daunting, too, but to me it says one thing: serious world-building!

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The Oaken Bookcase

Above average
Reviewed by ANGELYA on Aug 20 2013

...Samantha Shannon has done an amazing job of keeping the pace up in this debut work. I had a hard time stopping at the end of each chapter, especially towards the end! The action grabbed me more than the characters did...

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Great Imaginations

Good
Reviewed by Kara on Aug 15 2013

The Bone Season has an incredibly engaging plot. And to me it never felt excessively long or drawn out. I love fantasy novels, and it has been some time since I read one that engaged me the way this one did.

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Excellent Reads

Excellent
on Jul 24 2013

So this is one of those book that there are so many words to describe it with but even then they're not enough. Because quite honestly The Bone Season left me speechless. Phenomenal.

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Fantasy and Sci-Fi Lovin' News & Reviews

Above average
Reviewed by SQT on Aug 23 2013

The characters in "The Bone Season" are good, but not great. Paige is a protagonist in the Katniss Everdeen mold but she isn't given the same purity of motivation as someone like Katniss and, while it's easy to sympathize with Paige, she isn't a character that the reader can connect to on a deep level.

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Beyond Books

Excellent
on Aug 23 2013

I highly recommend you give this a try if you like this genre of novel. It is very well written. It is not fluff. It is amazingly imaginative and action-packed.

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Flyleaf Review

Good
Reviewed by Heather Roddenberry on Aug 21 2013

You see, The Bone Season has gotten under my skin, in a good way, but I would be a total liar if I didn't also say that I have so many freaking questions floating around my head right now that I feel like my brain might explode. And it's cool, I know it's probably all part of Shannon's master plan.

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YA Romantics

Above average
on Aug 14 2013

For about 200 pages, I felt a little anxious about absorbing everything, which might explain the fact that I didn't feel fully connected with the main character, Paige, until the last section of the book.

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Stellar Four

Below average
Reviewed by Sara N. on Aug 27 2013

The Bone Season does have an interesting plot, and Shannon can write a heck of a fight scene, but it wasn't a book that I was compelled to keep reading from chapter to chapter...

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Steph's Stacks

Good
on Aug 22 2013

I don't want to ruin it for you, but let me just say that plots are hatched, friendships are betrayed, alliances are made and broken, battles (small and large) are fought, kisses are kissed and lessons are learned...in the most amazing way.

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Christina Reads YA Blog

Good
Reviewed by Christina on Aug 13 2013

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...Samantha Shannon has created a bold new reality in this riveting debut.

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Leisure Reads

Good
Reviewed by Henrietta on Jul 30 2013

I like the world created by Shannon. It’s mysterious and dangerous – the atmosphere is thick with a mixture of fear, tension and frustration. Each person has their own agenda and there is no easy way to tell who can be trusted.

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Reader Rating for The Bone Season
73%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 1124 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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