The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
There is so much hype surrounding this book, I was really excited to read it. Unfortunately, it disappointed. I had to force myself to sit down and finish it, and at over 400 pages, it was tough going, though to be fair it did improve by the end. I don’t really like writing bad reviews, but with this book being advertised everywhere as being amazing, I felt I should throw in my thoughts.
The Bone Season has been touted as a truly original story, but it really wasn’t. I can see similarities between this and several other YA books – Shadow and Bone, Divergent, etc. And they did it better. The story itself was simple enough but was somehow seriously overcomplicated. I really had to have my brain switched on to understand what was going on. Once I understood the mechanics of the world, I realised it was fairly simple but the way it was described made it difficult. This wasn’t helped when I didn’t know what the limits of the world was, magic-wise, as things such as a healing potion and magic blood were thrown in half-way through. Much of the world/dreamworld information was given by helpful characters throughout, and I would have preferred some of it to have been ‘show don’t tell’.
Paige, the protagonist, was all over the place. I did not know what she wanted half the time, and when I figured it out, she would suddenly act differently. She was also ridiculously stubborn; there was one point where she was poisoned by something that would not leave her system and that would cause her to lose her leg. But, because the antidote was in the hands of a guy she didn’t like, she refused to take it. You’re going to lose your leg, girl! Or how about when she was told not to go south, it’s dangerous, and so she does because it’s a chance to escape (she wants to escape, she doesn’t want to escape – I’m not sure). Then, half-way there, she suddenly remembers there’s a mine field that way and she is almost blown up.
To be fair, it did improve a lot by the end, which gives hope to the sequel. This is an ambitious debut novel which probably went through a lot of editing and tweaking so I can forgive some of the flaws. I won’t be holding my breath for the sequel but if I see it in the library I may pick it up as I hopefully the problems I had with it will be ironed out.
Thanks to Netgalley