Micheline's Reviews > The Bone Season

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
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it was ok
bookshelves: science-fiction, dystopia-utopia, young-adult

*An ARC was provided by Bloomsbury in exchange for an honest review.*

The Bone Season is a book that garnered MAJOR buzz when it came out. Right from the start it was announced that there would be a 7-book deal for the series and a film based on the first book is already in development. This set the bar for this one pretty high, especially since everyone was comparing this to the Harry Potter series. Naturally, I was a bit skeptical of that last claim, but nonetheless, I went in with an open mind and reasonably high hopes. I'm not sure what exactly I was imagining in terms of content but now that I've read it, I can honestly say that it was not what I was expecting.

The Bone Season has been marketed as a fantasy read but that's wasn't my impression with it at all. I'd categorize it as a mix between sci-fi and dystopian. It starts off in this strange future with very little in the way of world-building. At first, it felt very confusing but I get the impression that that was done on purpose. Even though the story is set in the future, the world here had a very alien and foreign feel to it. Once I was able to get past all the strange vocabulary and get into something of a flow, things seemed to improve a bit. The first half was compulsively readable, despite my issues with the lack of world-building. Apparently the less I know about a world, the more motivated I am to get me some answers! Soon I was immersed in this world that had a seriously strange vibe and I was eager to know more. Unfortunately, the information was not forthcoming on how the world morphed into what Miss Samantha Shannon has imagined here, which is a shame. Sure, it's crazy unique, but I need more than that. Lay me some ground work. Make me believe.

Character-wise was where The Bone Season really fell flat for me. The main protagonist, Paige should have been an instant favorite, given her clairvoyant skills and the situation she gets thrust into, but I never truly felt any kind of a connection to her. She came off sort of bland and I didn't feel like I knew much about her - a trend that continued till the end I'm afraid - I still don't have much of a read on her. I certainly admired her resilience and the way she adapted to being imprisoned by the Rephaim. I just couldn't make myself care all that much about her predicament.

Speaking of the strange creatures called the Rephaim. I still have absolutely no clue what they are, where they come from or how they got to Earth. I mean, I know there's 6 more books to come but I feel like I should at least know something about them. The sparse details made it challenging to properly imagine the creatures throughout the book. As much as mysteries can be alluring, what I felt was a lack of important details in The Bone Season was really frustrating. Of course, given the high-fantasy kick I've been in lately, maybe I was just in world-building withdrawals ;)

Unfortunately, I mostly lost interest in The Bone Season beyond the halfway point. Sure real life was crazy busy, but I didn't lose interest in the others books I was reading at the time, so to me that says something. I just couldn't bring myself to care about these character and this world when so little explained and so much was left up in the air. I mean, the stakes are sky-high throughout but it just didn't move me the way it should have. The ending brought some level of resolution, but considering the planned length of the series, lots of plot-points were still unresolved.

The Bone Season would have gotten a 3-star rating, if the ending had really stepped things up a notch, but sadly, it didn't. I'm still planning on checking out the sequel, in case the world-building and character development really pick up as the story progresses but for the most part, this was a letdown for me.

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Reading Progress

November 2, 2014 – Started Reading
November 2, 2014 – Shelved
November 2, 2014 – Shelved as: science-fiction
November 3, 2014 –
page 90
November 3, 2014 – Shelved as: dystopia-utopia
November 3, 2014 – Shelved as: young-adult
November 7, 2014 –
page 221
December 1, 2014 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-8 of 8 (8 new)

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Leah Meh?? Intrigued!

Micheline Yeah I don't know...parts of it (especially during the first half) were super compelling, but it was really odd too. Like I can do weird, but this felt weird just for the sake of weird o.O Have you read this one yet ^^

Leah A lot of people have said something similar from what I can tell. Not yet! I have it and #2 ready for my Dec TBR so we'll see how it goes!

Micheline We'll have to compare notes then!!

Kerry *Soulcaster* I think this may be one of those "you either love it or hate it books." I have it and I'm frightened to read it.

Micheline Yup, that definitely seems to be the case ^^ it could have easily gone both ways for me. I do hope you have better luck w. it if/when you decide to give it a try :-)

message 7: by Mary (new) - added it

Mary "I just couldn't make myself care all that much about her predicament."
This is always is a letdown. I need to connect with the characters and care about them, just like you said. I am so glad that you went into the depth you did in this review. It's a shame that books get so popular only to be not what you expected.

Micheline I'm the same way Mary and when I don't connect with the characters, it's never a good sign >.< People seem to either love this one or hate it, with no in-between.

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