The year is 2059
Nineteen-year-old Paige Mahoney is working in the criminal underworld of Scion London, based at the Seven Dials, employed by a man named Jaxon Hall. Her job: to scout information by breaking into people’s minds. For Paige is a dreamwalker, a clairvoyant – and in her world, the world of Scion, she commits treason simply by breathing.
It is raining the day her life changes for ever. Attacked, drugged and kidnapped, Paige is transported to Oxford – a city kept secret for two hundred years and controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race called the Rephaim. Paige is assigned to Warden, a Rephaite with mysterious motives. He is her master. Her trainer. Her natural enemy. But if Paige wants to regain her freedom she must allow herself to be nurtured in this prison where she is meant to die.
It is safe to say, I’m late to this party. By a long way – but, I will start by saying I feel blessed by my current TBR; this has been the icing on the cake in the bad times we’re all going through right now. I hope you are all okay. I hope you’ve all got somewhere safe to be, and a good book to whisk you away from these…troubling, horrible times. We’re all in it together, and we can make it better together!
Now, to the book. The book itself is gorgeous, the cover art is striking. My usual fancy are illustrative covers, but this does it all with such an eye-catching title. The symbols scream I want to know what you are! so much so that it was an easy one to pick up. Call me weird, but if a book cover doesn’t please my eye, I can’t read the book. Simple. There’s a lot to say about a good cover – one that you have to admire every so often when you’re reading the book is even better. As in this case.
I went into this one blind. Yeah, somehow, I’d manage to avoid any spoilers online, despite following Shannon. And to say that I was captivated, enthralled, gripped, would be an understatement. I started and finished this book yesterday and am currently taking a break from the second to write this. This is a story about Paige Mahoney, a clairvoyant, and one with a particularly coveted skill set. The whole idea of voyants, and the individual categories and types of ‘magic’ that they wield is nothing short of original. Shannon has been masterful is taking what the average person would attribute to clairvoyancy, spiritualism, rituals etc, and morphing it into a living, breathing magic system.
The London that this book is set in (SciLo) could be our very own – the author clearly has a great knowledge of the city and its denizens. The city is as alive in the book as it has been on the many occasions I’ve visited it. But this is a London, and a Britain, which has had a very different history. One where Jack the Ripper started a plague of clairvoyancy that would rip through, and alter the very histories, spurring forth Scion and its wicked ways; hidden beneath it all is the world that Paige is thrust deeper into. Shannon writes it in such a way that if you let your mind run away with it, you could imagine it true. Our governments really do hide these people…it just goes to show how immersive the plot is. And how real and fleshed out the world-building is – Shannon has requisitioned or reclaimed 18th century London slang, created futuristic medicine, and put a wall around London, and none of it seems out of place.
Scion holds a dark secret. The mystery woven into this novel crept up on me in the dark, and I didn’t see it coming until it was too late – even down to Oxford, and its initial mysteries. This is the type of book that makes you stop and go wow, I wish I’d thought of that – especially concerning the Rephaim, who bear some semblance to creatures of myth, but even at the end of the book have you second-guessing, wondering whether your speculation is right. A LOT happens in The Bone Season, but with the mature, clear prose and well-paced drama, you don’t get left behind. Details from this book tend to stick with you. Even in the beginning, I didn’t feel overwhelmed.
I only finished this yesterday and have already found myself recommending this to my friends, shoving the book in my partner’s face and saying, READ. I’ll finish the next one tomorrow, I’m sure of it. I’ve blabbered on about it, but my favourite thing is the world-building. I never like to know too much too soon, so having many questions still after the final page is a delight. I’ve mentioned it in previous reviews, but my favourite type of ending is a complete cliffhanger – I love book series that aren’t afraid to just stop. And then continue exactly where they left off in the last – so when this book ended in the midst of action, it was guaranteed to sit in my top five books.
Being as late to the party as I am, I know this book needs no introduction, no recommendation, but I’ll say it anyway: go out and buy this book! If you like magic, dystopian settings, sophisticated prose, and characters that make you feel, and are as human as they come, then this is for you.
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