A few words on the new novel by Samantha Shannon: too much! Reign it in!
The Bone Season is a dystopian novel set in an alternate version of England where London has become a Scion Cathedral, a city where things are clamped down on, as they tend to be in dystopian novel. The biggest problem facing Scion seems to be the unnatural people in the city, mainly the clairvoyants.
Voyants are all over the place, it seems. Like, everywhere. There are actually tons of people who have a second sight, and they are all categorized into different groups, and gangs, living in criminal circles, doing unseemly things to the non-voyants in order to make a living.
If all of it sounds pretty convoluted, it’s because it is.
There are a lot of good ideas in this novel, and it is cool when voyants are stolen away to another place (formerly Oxford), where they are run by a new race, called the Rephaim. Here they are trained to fight an onslaught of menacing creatures that have put the Rephaim stronghold in danger. Each voyant has their own certain skills, from controlling poltergeists to being able to wander in to the dreams of another person. They do all of this by working within the aether, a place beyond the aura that a person puts off.
It is confusing to explain, and more often than not, it was confusing to read.
I wanted to like this book, because it is an investment in time, but when it came down to it, I found the book to be only alright. There were cool moments, but they were interspersed with pages upon pages of confusing explanation of different types of voyants and a myriad of forgetful characters that you begin to wonder if they are really important to the story or not.
This novel is the beginning of a long series, and I’m sure that Shannon would be able to do something interesting with it. She has certainly created an elaborate world for her novel. She is definitely a capable writer. One that I could see a lot of people buying into.
Just not me.
This was not the novel for me, but I understand that there is much to like here, and a definite audience that will gobble it up.