This is the novel I wish I had wrote. Shannon builds her world with deep originality and a fascinating dystopian concept. Though it seems like I should have waited it out until I’d persisted with all of the series first, I wanted to just get right in and gush about The Bone Season…
I like the way we jump straight into the mystery with one of those vague ‘we walk among you’ paragraphs followed by an initial development on the setting of the novel. There are dates and histories to Shannon’s world that show great care and imagination, not to mention the whole ‘Seven orders of Clairvoyance’ and the detail given to each (I think I would want to be a Dreamwalker by the way, in case you were interested. Though I am intrigued by the Augurs and there many subtypes.) The whole ‘dreamscape’, ‘aether’ and ‘spirit’ concept completely beguiled me, despite my tiny brain having initial trouble following all of the information dedicated to the plot. It was a little overwhelming jumping straight into everything but the terms and mechanics of the novels make up grow more concrete as you read.
As always, I stayed with the book because of the characters and I’m hugely keen to spend more time with the Seven Seals and get a real taste of the Dials in the second book. Paige is intriguing from the get go because of her gift, it’s the first thing we learn about her and it throws you in deep rather than beating around the bush and dragging you through a hefty build up. There is a fierceness in her that makes her immediately respected, if not likeable, she’s stubborn and grows from being dependant on Jax and his Seals to being reliant and trusting in herself. You’re on her side because she’s so headstrong and, well, badarse. Even the smaller characters, like Liss and Julian become dear through their struggle. In this world the humans are the weak ones, the hunted and their circumstance builds pity and anger in the reader, especially toward the amaurotic’s (the fully human, no clairvoyance to grant them worthy) and the brutality of the slavery they face.
Sheol I was a gnarly setting, again with that well set up back story of the fire in Oxford and the isolation from the rest of the Scion. And the clairvoyants revolting and overcoming the imposing power of their Rephaite captors appealed to the underdog backer in me. You wanted to keep at the story because you needed to know the outcome.
I’m less keen on the love story development. It felt rushed, like Paige was all of a sudden smitten just because Warden showed her some attention. There didn’t seem any gradual warming to him at all. It was as if the author thought it best to shovel a love story down our necks to keep us interested for the second novel. Warden was an okay guy, loved the heart of gold rebellion he had going on, but mostly he was sort of dull. I was more intrigued by Dave, the fellow red jacket and the prospect of an, at least friendship, blossoming there. There are so many lose ends to continue with though so I’m almost certain the next instalments in the series will be just as compelling.
What did you guys think of it? Any recommendations along the same lines?
Light and Love, N x