The Bone Season - Samantha Shannon

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.

 

So much fabulous tension in this book!

 

From the get go, this was filled with action and had me on my toes. I was expecting it to be kind of slow, but though I did read it alongside another book, it did manage to hold my attention.

 

I honestly didn't understand the world very well. I wish there had been a glossary at the end defining everything, or a section that more clearly explained how this world had come to be. I think if I went back and read everything a second time I'd get a much better grasp. As it was, I understood enough to justify the story. Normally, worlds based around ours are easy to comprehend because they break off from ours in the present, but this one broke off in 1869, and as such it was confusing to me to be constantly rewriting history in my head.

 

Despite this, the whole concept of the aether and the entire world is an absolutely incredible feat of imagination. I don't know very much about religion, but it was fascinating seeing names like the Rephaite pop up and remembering their context. I loved hearing about dreamscapes and about the various talents that the various clairvoyants had.

 

Shannon's diction was exquisite. I'd almost forgotten what it was like to read a book that was so well crafted. I loved her word choice, and found myself looking up quite a few words, something that never happens anymore. There were so many sentences that were so well crafted and conveyed an extremely precise meaning.

 

This is far from a romance, but there's a hint of romance, and it's the perfect amount of romance to not bore those who do like romance while turning people like me who need that shred of romance into quivering bowls of butterflies and jelly. Like I don't think this could ever fall under romance, but it seriously had the best romance I'd read since March. And my whole soul is still weak on the inside from the perfection of the one scene with romance. Ugh, my soul. I haven't shipped anything so hard in a long time.

 

This was a gorgeously written, action filled book that I highly recommend to anyone interested in action or fantasy.