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The Bone Season - Samantha Shannon Review originally posted at Book Probe Reviews.Samantha Shannon’s debut The Bone Season was a compelling and intriguing first in a new fantasy-supernatural-dystopia series. Bloomsbury globally has pushed this novel to the max and they used their money well, and with the great expectations set upon Bloomsbury and Samantha Shannon due to the praises and acknowledgements for example by Forbes – whom called Samantha Shannon the next J.K. Rowling (I suppose in terms of ‘greatness’ rather than specifically in the written word sense) – you can only hope good things will come out of promoting a novel so much. Samantha Shannon has created a world revolving around the supernatural of clairvoyants and spirits in such a way that it makes me want to return as soon as I can, despite the bleak landscape portrayed throughout most of the book, especially towards the end. If it’s one debut this year that you read let it be Samantha Shannon’s.Where I hear many readers having felt bogged down in the first few chapters due to all the information-dumping first hand from our main character Paige Mahoney, I however lavished in the information. From page one I was interested to learn more about the world – more about the Seven Dials and Scion – no matter how it was conveyed. It may have also been a testament to the voice of Paige, who was innocent but knowledgable at the same time – this may make some ambivalent as to whether to trust the character, but she is someone who has struggled to control her power and would know a lot more about herself and the world around her than you would originally believe. She was strong and independent. As you read The Bone Season you visit her memories and experience her past and youth in action, so by the end I forgot all the reservations I had made in the beginning.Despite the voice being strong, I believed this story could have been told better if it were in third person. I think that’s exactly why Harry Potter was so relatable to people of all ages – and I hate to make a comparison to such a successful series. You were distant but still involved in the plight and struggles of the characters. Paige is a 19 year old and so was neither a young adult in the literary sense or an adult, but rather is still discovering who she is in the society she resides in and her relationships with others, and not so much discovering “herself” and the relationships facilitating her discovery. Paige knows who she is but just struggles to control who she is. If we could have gotten the views of Warden and Jax throughout this novel I believe that could have made this novel more rounded, fuller, and complete. I also feel as though third person might have increased the suspense and surprises – I give no logical explanation why – but this is one area in the storytelling that I believe needs to be strengthened and polished in future books. But know this: Shannon knows how to write.What was the most intriguing about The Bone Season was learning about all the different clairvoyant orders and the specific clairvoyants within them – many of them created, some taken from previous mythology, and others taken but reworked. The latter can be said for the Rephaim, the race of beings that governs Scion and the clairvoyants forced to fight for them. The name makes you immediately think of angels, but you don’t know that much about them throughout this first book, and I only hope we learn more about them in upcoming books. Like I said, third person may have expanded how much we were able to learn about the Rephaim – if we were given Warden’s perspective we could have learned things from inside the Rephaim circles, especially his relationship with the head of Scion.Even the Emim are a surprising addition that I wasn’t expecting – though I still find them hard to picture.Shannon has also developed and set up the world of The Bone Season so intricately in this first book, with so many places to explore and discoveries to uncover in the next six books – not just in Scion or London, but across the world in the Scions in other countries. The world-building really is impressive.There were many side characters from the syndicate of Paige’s life before and from inside Scion (of both Rephaim, clairvoyants, amaurotics – humans – used as slaved) that for most of the novel you’re wondering how any of it will tie in together – and it was surprising how it all did. There was a part of me that believed this turn in the plot came too early, but then the other part makes me think there’s going to be a heck of a lot more conflict in the future. Characters are killed for purposes greater than anyone can comprehend. Whatever occurs to the characters occurs for the sanity and muscle of the story.The Bone Season needs to be your next read. Your future may be different – and better – if you do.