Monday, October 28, 2013

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

genre: adult urban fantasy

In Paige Mahoney's London, it is a crime to have any sort of clairvoyant powers - and there are many, many different kinds of clairvoyance, some far more unique than others.  Paige's powers are so unique that just being alive and aware of her abilities makes her a criminal.  When one decision on a train leads to her kidnapping and internment in a secret London penal colony, she has no one to turn to but herself.  She is given a "keeper" and is admonished to do what she's told or risk the terrifying consequences.  In a world where human beings are a subjugated race and the rules for survival are far more complicated than what's on the surface, Paige has to figure out who she can trust and how she is going to ever be free again.

This is a pretty unique book.  Our author has designed a truly splendid new reality with an intricate history and where people can have amazing abilities that allow them to interact with the spirit world and those stuck there.  It took me a while to get into Paige's story - I felt lost for the first few chapters, the learning curve was steep at the beginning with all the new history and colloquialisms.  But once I found my footing, I had a hard time putting it down.  The interaction between the dominant race of creatures - the Rephaim - and the humans served as the catalyst for most of the action, and I really did like the interplay of all the different abilities.  The plot was certainly more social justice and politically oriented than romantic but a thread was there by the end and I can see that there is a lot of room for interesting growth in the narrative in general.  I don't honestly know how there can be SIX more books worth of things to happen, but hopefully I'll be surprised.  Does it live up to the incredible amount of hype?  Meh.  I don't know about that.  But it DID make me want to read it with one hand while I walked in and out with the groceries, so that must count for something

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