Book Review: The Bone Season

A few words on the new novel by Samantha Shannon: too much! Reign it in!

The-Bone-SeasonThe 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.

A Love Letter to Daenerys Targaryan

dany3Dear Daenerys,

I’m not really sure if I love you because of your character, or because of Emilia Clarke playing you on TV inĀ Game of Thrones, but I will count these two separate entities as one and the same.

First off all, I am impressed with how you have overcome being a girl simply used for the gains of men. You have gone from being the demure, fragile, person that your brother sold into marriage, to a scared and unsure woman married to a terrifying Dothraki warlord. But you gained confidence, you began to assert yourself, and you finally used your voice. You found love where there was initially only fear, and you discovered that there was something powerful inside you that could get out, and could help others. Granted, many of these learned things came from your sexual awakening with Khal Drogo. But this further demonstrated your assertion of who you really had become.

dany2The dragons may be the source of your power, but you have nurtured and cared for them, in order to become a more powerful person. You understand their abilities, and what having them means to you and your future in Westeros. You have harnessed their strength, and along the way, have become the mighty Mother of Dragons.

There is much power in your tiny frame. There is a lot of rage. You make promises to burn cities to the ground, no longer the weak girl you were when we first met you. You have sought what is yours, and you are willing to pay whatever price to get it. As you grow in your power, you have become a good leader. You are freeing the slaves along your journey, and this is commendable, not only because it makes you a better person and more respected among your followers, but because it is a shrewd move, both in the military and political sense. You know that by promising these people something- their freedom- they will follow you to the ends of the earth. Where, one would imagine, is where you will ask them to go at some point.

You have been able to play your beauty and innocence as a strength, using it against your enemies. They see a young girl who is nothing but afraid of the things she has already done. We know that you are willing to go further, and are not afraid to spill a little blood along the way. This, coupled with your cunning (upon learning of Old Valerian as your mother tongue, that warlord probably still hasn’t removed his jaw from the ground- that was seriously badass), has created a force to be reckoned with in Daenerys Stormborn.

The game of thrones is something that is being played by the women of the story. It is becoming more evident that the men are merely their pawns in their deadly game, and I cheer for you, to take back the Iron Throne that is rightfully yours to begin with. These women already have varying degrees of power, but no one has risen from the ashes (literally), as you have. From weak to strong, you are perhaps destined to become the one true leader. For that, we will have to wait and see and continue to cheer along when you are on the screen.

Red Waste- Rakharo is ahead of the gameSure, I understand that you are not a real person, that you are a character in a story. But you are the best character, because you have undergone the most thorough change. While time passes and other people remain the same, you have become a true force to be reckoned with in the development of these novels and TV show. You are learning along the way, becoming a true player in the game of thrones. A player that many people in Westeros do not even understand or realize yet. But they will, when their castles burn from the fire of the dragons.

This may be the nerdiest thing I have ever written.

Fantasy Football Playoffs

Most of my focus goes into fantasy hockey at this time of year, and I am often only in football leagues that are low stress and not for money. I put minimal effort into fantasy football, it is more something that is there to check on every once in a while to see how I’m doing. And I don’t often do that well, meaning that Week 16 and 17 of the NFL is more a time to focus on the real teams and their playoff races.

However, this year, I actually seem to have drafted a pretty solid team. I finished in second place during the regular season, and am currently doing battle in a tight semi-final matchup. I have been a lot more invested in my team this year, made a few moves here and there, but mostly have just rested on the laurels of my top picks truly panning out. Instead of taking risky choices early on, I went with the tried and true. In this way, I got Marshawn Lynch and Drew Brees with the wrap-around pick in the first and second round (10th and 11th overall). And I have been riding that train ever since. Brees pretty much has got me to where I am.

So now I must be like millions of others. One eye on the scoreboard, the other glancing at my fantasy team. I no longer care about TDs and victories. I only care about my guys getting TDs, yards and receptions.

It is much more stressful than I am used to at the end of the season, but I like it.

Even if I’m not going to win any cash if I end up taking this thing. But still, pride counts for a lot.