The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

The Bone Season Cover

Rating: 3 Stars ★★★☆☆

I like to imagine there were more of us in the beginning. Not many, I suppose. But more than there are now.


The year is 2059. Nineteen-year-old Paige Mahoney is working in the criminal underworld of Scion London, based at Seven Dials, employed by a man named Jaxon Hall. Her job: to scout for information by breaking into people’s minds. For Paige is a dreamwalker, a clairvoyant and, in 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, controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. 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.


The worldbuilding and magic system of Bone Season were great. It mixes sci-fi elements, such as future technology, a dystopian and an all-seeing state and fantasy elements, such as the abilities of Paige and the other clairvoyants have.

Cash-in-hand clairvoyance was rife among those who couldn’t get into a gang. We called it busking. Scion called it treason. The official method of execution for such crimes was nitrogen asphyxiation, marketed under the brand name NiteKind.

It was a really interesting set-up and for the most part, it worked. I loved the magic system. I loved the different types of clairvoyants, set against the city of Scion, who was built with the purpose of hunting them down.

If the story had stayed in London and focussed on the dystopian-sci-fi-government against paranormally-gifted-clairvoyant-crimelords, I think it would have been way better.

As it is, Paige quickly gets caught and transported to Oxford, where all clairvoyants are herded together, overseen by cruel…human-like creatures to fight monster-like creatures. The human-like creatures, called Rephaim, are supernaturally beautiful and fairest of them all is Arcturus, Paige’s handler.

His skin was a dark honey gold, setting off two heavy-lidded yellow eyes. He was the tallest of the five males, with coarse brown hair, clothed in embroidered black. Wrapped around him was a strange, soft aura, overshadowed by the others in the room. He was the single most beautiful and terrible thing I’d ever layed eyes on.

I didn’t care much for the relationship between Page and Arcuturus. It’s a weird mixture between romance and distrust. He is one of the Rephaim, who treat clairvoyants cruelly, and therefore, Paige doesn’t trust him.

Her “distrust” of Arcturus was really annoying. It got to a point where I just rolled my eyes at it. It also doesn’t make any sense. She doesn’t like him, distrusts him, yet she keeps his secrets and protects him.

Furthermore, most of the characters remained a bit flat. People just flew to her aid when she needed them. It was very centered on Paige and we didn’t get much from the other characters.

It wasn’t helped by the writing style, which was a bit odd. There were way two many slang terms thrown in and it meandered sometimes and then switched too fast from point to point.

Tilda had the dab hand of an aster junkie, or courtier, as they called themselves; only they would call a pound a donop.

Despite all that, an enjoyable read and I look forward to the next in the series.


Set in a really interesting dystopian world with a great magic system, it’s an enjoyable read despite some flaws.


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