Book Review: The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

10 years ago Shaili Desai 3

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon is an interesting book. It caught my attention when I read somewhere about Shannon being the next J K Rowling. It also led me to interview her and she was kind enough to answer a few of my questions, in the middle of her graduation and the book release. The Bone Season also got a mention in another piece on this website, called August Book Releases. I was extremely delighted when Bloomsbury sent me the book! And now, I have finally finished reading it!

the bone season promo

The Bone Season is part of a seven book series with Paige Mahoney who is the main character. Paige is a dreamwalker and she has the ability to delve into the minds of other people. In the dystopian world that Shannon has created, all clairvoyants are outlawed and their abilities are termed as ‘unnatural’ which leads to persecution. However, Paige gets abducted after an accident one day and transported to another city where Rephaites, creatures from another world, reign supreme. It is also a place where, seemingly, clairvoyant abilities are prized, although for entirely different reasons. But still, Paige is not truly free and is assigned to a ‘Keeper’ called Warden.

I love it when authors use a lot of musical references to set the scene. Samantha Shannon has used a lot of interesting songs in the background to set the proper mood. These are the ones that Warden plays on his gramophone. You can find the playlist on her blog. This is one of my favorite songs. 

The relationship between Paige and Warden is interesting but I wonder how that’s going to turn out in the next book. I am still not sure about the intentions of certain characters in this book who profess to be ‘good’. Sometimes, things seem to be too easy for Paige (of course she’s a prodigy but yet). There are so many things that I would like to say about the plot and the characters but I would then be giving it all away, which would completely destroy the whole experience of reading The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon.

Through this book, Shannon also explores the true meaning of freedom. Which is better? Living in a world where there’s always a risk of being hunted down? Or living in a world where you are essentially free to walk anywhere and yet, there are boundaries you cannot cross and self-respect goes for a toss when you are essentially a slave to the whimsies of another race of people. Another theme Shannon explores is the politics of ‘protection’, or the heavy price of ‘being protected’ by another race.

The Bone Season is neither Harry Potter nor is Samantha Shannon another J K Rowling. You can’t really compare J K Rowling with anybody. However, Samantha Shannon creates her own unique space with this book. The magic is in the world that she creates. It is fascinating yet an equally frightening dystopian world and Shannon brings out human fallacies very well.  

And thus, I wait anxiously for the second book in the series.

About the book: The Bone Season | Samantha Shannon | Bloomsbury Publishing | Fiction | 463 Pages | Rs. 499.

Note: A copy of the book was provided by the publishers, Bloomsbury Publishing.