Blog Tour: The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon (Review + Giveaway)

3 September, 2013 Blog Tours, Giveaways, Reviews 60 comments

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Blog Tour: The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon (Review + Giveaway)The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
Series: The Bone Season #1
Published by Bloomsbury USA on August 20th 2013
Pages: 480
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal Fantasy
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Amazon Good BooksBook Depository

It is the year 2059. Several major world cities are under the control of a security force called Scion. Paige Mahoney works in the criminal underworld of Scion London, part of a secret cell known as the Seven Seals. The work she does is unusual: scouting for information by breaking into others’ minds. Paige is a dreamwalker, a rare kind of clairvoyant, and in this world, the voyants commit treason simply by breathing.

But when Paige is captured and arrested, she encounters a power more sinister even than Scion. The voyant prison is a separate city—Oxford, erased from the map two centuries ago and now controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. These creatures, the Rephaim, value the voyants highly—as soldiers in their army.

Paige is assigned to a Rephaite keeper, Warden, who will be in charge of her care and training. He is her master. Her natural enemy. But if she wants to regain her freedom, Paige will have to learn something of his mind and his own mysterious motives.

The Bone Season introduces a compelling heroine—a young woman learning to harness her powers in a world where everything has been taken from her. It also introduces an extraordinary young writer, with huge ambition and a teeming imagination. Samantha Shannon has created a bold new reality in this riveting debut.

The Bone Season is easily the most hyped book of 2013, surpassing even the conclusion of the Divergent series, Allegiant. As the first in a seven book series, it’s already been optioned for a movie and did appear on the New York Times Bestsellers list its debut week. But when I heard the magical words “the next J.K. Rowling” my interest, along with many, was instantly piqued due to my severe lack of will-power. But like any book surrounded by a massive amount of hype, there’s concern that it won’t live up to it. And, in my opinion, The Bone Season both did and did not, leaving me very conflicted at its conclusion. For every one thing I loved about it, the yin wasn’t far behind.

It’s clear that The Bone Season‘s strength lies with the world building. As frustrating as it is fascinating, London 2059, under Scion rule, was one imaginative place that kept me in a state of awe over such creativity of all the intricate layers to Paige’s world. In fact, it’s so imaginative and complex that the first few chapters show the novel’s biggest flaw: info-dumping. (Though, this didn’t bother me too much in my reading experience, I can see it being an issue for others who may have less patience. My advice to anyone who struggles with the beginning is to power through because the ending does not disappoint.) Learning the workings of the underground crime syndicate, remembering the order of clairvoyance and their abilities, understanding what Paige herself can actually do as a dreamwalker, a rare type of clairvoyance, is a lot to take in, and doesn’t really get easier as the novel goes on. That coupled with the novel’s slang and the constant addition of other explanations, was enough to make my head spin. But there is more, of course, when Paige is captured, adding another layer of complexity and another set of rules the reader has to learn… all within the first 40% of the book. Then, there’s a chart of the order of clairvoyance, a map of London, a map of Oxford, a glossary for the slang, fancy words I don’t use and bloody Roman Numerals!

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Suffice to say, reading The Bone Season is not for the faint of heart and, at times, was a bit of a chore to keep up with.

Do not get me wrong, this is not necessarily bad thing at all. It’s not everyday I read a book with the level of depth as The Lumatere Chronicles, Star Wars, Harry Potter or possibly even, Lord of the Rings. Shannon’s imagination was definitely working overtime with The Bone Season. But unlike the aforementioned works, I’m not sure it possesses the same level of fines to tie it all together. It holds enough intrigue to keep you reading and “your wheels a’turnin’,” because even when I wasn’t reading, I was thinking about the book and what would happen next (and even after finishing it, I’m still thinking about the ending!). That’s not something I can say for most books.

One thing I did really love were the characters. Paige was the perfect kind of heroine for me, neither badass nor weak, leaving her with room to grow as a character, but not possessing a few of the more annoying traits of other main characters. She’s smart, but still makes a few careless mistakes, giving her a more realistic feel. She’s someone I could sympathize with and understand. I also think the members of the Seven Seals, Paige’s gang, were very well-developed. Though, they don’t have larger roles in the novel until the end, through Paige’s dreams we learn about each of their personalities and whims. Unfortunately, I didn’t quite feel that way about Warden, a big player in The Bone Season and Paige’s Keeper at Oxford. Throughout most of the novel, Paige attempts to figure out Warden’s secrets and plans, but even at the conclusion, I don’t feel like a have a firm grasp on his motives.

The plot was slowly paced and may frustrate some readers, but I found it worked well in this situation and helped build the anticipation for the growing rebellion at the ending. My only qualm is that the book reads long (at 480 pages, with smaller print and long pages, I guess that explains it). And with so many things happening and so many new things being thrown at the reader constantly, you really have to pay attention to everything. This may seem like a lot of work to read a book, but it does suck you in fairly quickly and is so very addictive. I didn’t like being away from this book for long and was always hungry for the next chapter. It was also never boring despite the slower pace, and by the end, it’s pretty much non-stop action. The amount of detail and care that went into arranging everything was evident and impressed me. And the ending. It was pretty damn brilliant and the best part of the novel. When Shannon hit her stride, things definitely came together nicely.

I do have three personal issues, which I’ll hide in spoiler brackets are below, but just know that it never really detracted from my reading experience.

1. View Spoiler »

2. View Spoiler »

3. View Spoiler »


To conclude, The Bone Season is a very imaginative novel that will take your brain for one hell of a joy ride. If you’ve been searching for book with more complex world building and plot, this may be it. I can see this being enjoyed by YA lovers and Adult readers alike with its strong paranormal-fantasy-dystopian roots.  Despite my reservations, I can safely say I’ll be checking out the next book because this has the potential to be one serious kickass series. And with the high stakes ending The Bone Season had, I look forward to seeing where Shannon will take this story over the course of the next six books.


Disclaimers: ARC was provided by the publisher for an honest review. Thank you! I have also met this author and think she’s a lovely person. I promise her loveliness did not sway my thoughts in this review. Pinky swear!



Because I love you all and want to share the love, I’m giving away my ARC of The Bone Season.

Contest Rules:

  • To enter, please fill out the Raffelcopter form below.
  • We ask that all entrants be at least 13 years or older to enter.
  • The giveaway is open Internationally.
  • When the winners are chosen, it will be announced here and the winners will be emailed. Please check your email because we are only giving the winner 48 hours to respond! Otherwise another winner will have to be selected.
  • Please enter your email address in the Rafflecopter form and not the comments.
  • Also, please understand that we reserve the right to disqualify any entries we find gaming the system. Cheaters never prosper.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Steph Sinclair

Steph Sinclair

Co-blogger at Cuddlebuggery
I'm a bibliophile trying to make it through my never-ending To-Be-Read list, equal opportunity snarker, fangirl and co-blogger here at Cuddlebuggery. Find me on GoodReads.

60 Responses to “Blog Tour: The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon (Review + Giveaway)”

  1. KellisAmberlee_

    I haven’t read The Bone Season yet. The reviews have been really mixed so far. But that is typical with the fantasy genre. You love it or you hate it. I’m still intrigued.

  2. rabbitsfortea

    I knew that this was crazily hyped and I also knew about the seven book deal, but there is even a movie optioned?! Wow. I’m genuinely curious as to what the publishers saw in this and of course, I do plan to find out for myself… Soon-ish. 
    A friend also did mention the info-dumping issue but I guess if the world is creative and intriguing enough, I might forgive that flaw. Also, I’m a sucker for characters and if the characters are amazing, I’m pretty willing to go easy on other aspects as well. And a 3.5 stars rating from Steph isn’t shabby at all! (Especially from a over-hyped book) Hopefully this will turn out to be good for me (and other readers) and hopefully the second will be better for you!

  3. Zemmy89

    I already read The Bone Season. I agree with you about the romance. I even mentioned it in my review. It should’ve been better if it happened in the second or even third book because there will be seven of them. Just to make things interesting.

  4. kristiemjm

    I’m kinda excited to read this book. I think with any fantasy novel, it’s safe to say that the reviews will be mixed. Kinda the same feeling with A Discovery of Witches, which I ended up loving! Thanks for the giveaway 🙂

  5. Steph Sinclair

    rabbitsfortea You know, I actually think this would make a GREAT movie. But I really wonder how they would fit it all in in just 2 hours. 
    The plot was insane. Really love it even though it was pretty complex at times. It was like my brain was shouting, “I don’t know what’s happening, but I think I like it!”

  6. Tammy

    Wow Steph, you pretty much summed up just about everything I said about this book in my review. We even gave it the same rating. I’m surprised by how many rave reviews I read of this book, but at least someone agrees with me! I agree, I felt there were so many things that are never explained. Also, why is Paige always sleeping? She spends half the book asleep and waking up bleary-eyed. LOL.
    Here’s <a href=””>my review.</a>

  7. heartJESS

    This book has been on my radar awhile.  It just looks so intriguing.  I do appreciate your review though, it is good to hear something other than a rave.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  8. rabbitsfortea

    Steph Sinclair Seeing as it’s all the craze to split movies into two parts these days, they could always split it into two right from the first movie, hah. 
    I’m actually a little excited now but I’m trying to keep my expectations low, going into this. But an insane plot done well is definitely a good thing!

  9. atticusfinch1048

    looking forward to being able to read this book as it is coming with so much praise

  10. Jack

    I’ve heard so many great things about this andy feel left out, because I’m like the only book blogger you didn’t get a review copy! Great review, glad you liked it, but it does look slightly confusing. 🙂

  11. ellieM

    Lol. I haven’t read it yet., but I read your spoilers anyways. The shivering made me laugh. Now, when I read it, I’ll be looking for them all 😛

  12. sandrus52

    I almost bought this book this weekend!! I read a review prior as well as an author interview which was fantastic and naturally made me really want to read this.

  13. Ashley S

    I have been wanting to read this book since I read a preview chapter on earlier this year.  Looking forward to checking it out!

  14. Carolinement_

    I met Samantha Shannon at LeakyCon in London in August and since then, I’d love to read her book ! She was really excited about it and she made me curious ! Thanks for the giveaway !

  15. DemonAsianChild

    Shannon did say the relationship is complicated by Stockholm Syndrome, and it is meant to be acutely uncomfortable, but never fear – that will be addressed in later books. 😀

  16. VajSaj

    The Bone Season is quite an amazing debut. I love how this new world is yet to surprise everyone even more as the years go by.

  17. irish_banana

    Awesome review, Steph! I can’t wait to read it for myself. Gabrielle loved it, but I’m so behind on my reading. SIGH.

  18. lareinasofia

    I want to read it because I also am interested in the JKR comparisons and because the worldbuilding sounds interesting!

  19. Alix

    I’ve been hearing so much about The Bone Season that I feel like I have to read it no matter if I end up liking it or not since it’s such a huge book in YA. I’ve found the premise interesting but the mix reviews have me wondering if I’ll end up liking it!

  20. sandraselvasv

    I’ve been waiting to read this book for months now, because I read an interesting article saying that Shannon could easily be the next J.K. Rowling, and that just caught my attention and made me eager to find out about it. The premise sounds so interesting and original and I cannot wait to read it.  

    After reading your review, I’m actually more excited to read the book.

  21. WeaklingNo14

    I haven’t read it, but it seems to be in every corner of the blogosphere. Everywhere I go, there is some mention of it. I would love to read it! Seeing people’s reactions, reading what they thought. Has definitely wet my appetite. 
    Sadaf Habibi (WeaklingNo14) –

  22. beadnread

    I have not read this but I have seen a few friends have this in their book hauls and it sounded pretty good to me. 1 of my friends said it was her favorite book of the year so far and her and I have similar tastes.

  23. Alex U

    I haven’t read it yet but there is a lot of hype about it and I am so for any book set in London even a futuristic one.

  24. MyEclecticBooks

    I haven’t read this yet but it sounds epic…and after all the great reviews I’ve seen I can’t wait!

  25. Charlotte

    Steph, if this author is said to be the next JK Rowling.  And the depth of the book can be almost compared to Star Wars, HP and LOTR then I’m in. Glad that this GA is open internationally.

  26. Charlotte

    Waaa. My comment didn’t show up!  Okay, I will have to repeat it again even if it’s awkward. 
    Steph, if this author is said to be the next JK Rowling and its depth is compared to HP, Star Wars and LOTR, then I’m in.  I hope it would really work for me. 😀

  27. Guppy5700

    Future London? Love the idea as I’m already a big UK TV fan (Corrie, skins, Being Human and many more.) And as I’m just recently into YA lit, that combines 2 interests!

  28. shadownlite

    I have been waiting to read this book and am way down the “hold” list on the library for it! Would be cool to win because it looks fascinating.

  29. Chantelle

    I haven’t read it yet, but I want to so much it hurts! Okay, that might be a slight exaggeration but I do really wanna read it. With it’s comparisons to HP & JKR as well as a pretty interesting sounding plot of it’s own, Chantelle wants to read.

  30. Chantelle

    I haven’t read it yet, but I want to so much it hurts! Okay, that might
    be a slight exaggeration but I do really wanna read it. With it’s
    comparisons to HP & JKR as well as a pretty interesting sounding
    plot of it’s own, Chantelle wants to read. Enough to refer to myself in third person. 
    Loved your review btw.

  31. shuchun

    I can’t wait to read it! I met Samantha at LeakyCon, but I didn’t know anything about the book then (and I don’t think it was out yet). I’m struggling to find it in Norway, ugh.

  32. selselxu

    Wow, I can’t believe I haven’t heard of this book before this! But it sounds seriously amazing 🙂 All the terms about “The Scarred Ones” and “blood-consort” just makes me want this book so bad 😀
    Lovely review, Steph!

  33. Great_East_Road

    I found the romance dragged slightly, mostly because I called it from the moment Warden was described as being so handsome and I was waiting for the whole book for something to happen between them.

  34. RealityIsNovel

    I haven’t read this.  I’m not to describe how cool I think it is, but…  yeah, the premise just sounds really interesting to me.  I mean, in the near future and all that.  I’m not sure it just sounds cool.  I’m also excited to hear that the worldbuilding was good, because that makes such a difference!  I really can’t wait to read this.


  35. erinf1

    I think this sounds very interesting and unique and I definitely want to read it! Thanks for the review!

  36. Mona6014

    The next Harry Potter? No… it can’t be. And I’m quite surprised it’s received more hype that Allegiant. divergent deries is wildly popular around tumblr. 
    I’m always up for some good world building, so I’m definitely in.

  37. PatriDuarte

    I would like to read it, I deeply enjoy dystopian book and having such expextetions…well…I wouls like to have a chance and read it myself.

  38. sayitcharlie

    I would like to try reading this one, especially with a good world building but I’m a bit wary about it being dubbed as the next Harry Potter. That might lead to disappointments, but the summary and your review is enough to stir my curiosity. I love books that would make my imagination go wild.

  39. MarkusCarlsson1

    I would really like to try this book. Not just for the buzz it generated, but also for the great worldbuilding I heard it has.

  40. Primrose

    I haven’t got the chance to read it yet. Hopefully it will live up to the expectation. But seriously that cover just turned me off.

  41. DarithL

    Wow, it sounds really mysterious and good! I really want to read it now, after hearing that it’s so hyped, even though I’ve never caught wave of it. 😀

  42. Kamla L,

    I haven’t read it yet but I am dying to.  With all the world building and complex magic system, not to mention the intriguing plot, it sounds like a fantasy that is right up my alley.  Thanks for the insightful review.

  43. CK

    I’ve read The Bone Season, and I’ve absolutely loved it! I really think that the plot’s very edgy, daring, dark, and absolutely unique. The fact that my imagination was working overtime to picture and figure everything out means that it was a challenge (the best kind of challenge!) to read it. I’m proud to have survived and read it!

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