Monday, October 14, 2013

Audiobook Review: The Bone Season (The Bone Season, #1)


The Bone Season (The Bone Season, #1)Author: Samantha Shannon
Narrator: Alana Kerr
Released: August 20th 2013
Publisher: Audible for Bloomsbury
Lenght: 14 hrs and 57 mins
Buy: Audible

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.
Intricate and richly imaginative, The Bone Season is a book that clearly stands out, one of the very few titles completely worthy of the hype. Rarely do I get so utterly swallowed by a book, living and breathing along with its characters, but Samantha Shannon’s debut held me prisoner for days. Though admittedly willing, I was no less a captive than Paige Mahoney was in Sheol 1.

And what a horrible place Sheol 1 is. Shiny on the outside, rotten on the inside, based on slavery and lead by the vicious Rephaim, it is a prison for voyants and unlucky humans alike. Paige is brought to Sheol from Scion London for killing a man by using her powers. She is immediately chosen by Arctrurus, Warden of the Mesarthim and the blood sovereign’s fiancée and taken to his tower for training.

Paige and Warden start as enemies: he her master and she his furious slave. She hates him, there is no doubt about it, even though it’s often obvious that he goes out of his way to protect her from his fiancée Nashira Sargas, the blood sovereign. Slowly, gradually, and above all realistically, their relationship changes from outright hatred to something akin to respect, closely followed by affection and attraction. It’s one step forward, three steps back for Paige and Warden, every ounce of trust has to be earned over and over, but to lose it is as easy as breathing.

He and I were natural enemies; there was no use pretending otherwise. And yet he had observed so much about me: the way I held myself, my tension, my vigilance. Jax was always telling me to loosen up, to let myself float. But that didn’t mean I could trust the man who kept me locked in this cold dark room.

The social structure, both in Scion London and especially in Sheol 1 is extremely well thought-out. Samantha Shannon thought of everything and she created a realistically structured society, based on fear and mistrust, as these things usually are. Shannon’s writing is well-measured and elegant, each word carefully chosen and each sentence a beauty to behold. I find it almost astonishing that this is her debut novel. With her prose, she shows a level of maturity many seasoned authors can only dream about. Even though The Bone Season is set in the future, her writing has that easy grace I associate with older, classical authors.

With her superb narration, Alana Kerr turned The Bone Season into what is surely one of the best audiobooks I’ve ever listened to. Her calm, steady voice gave Sheol 1 a three-dimensional quality and personality to its inhabitants. Through her interpretation, Paige Mahoney became more than just a character on page, she turned into a strong young woman, brave but slightly detached, and it’s because of this detachment that her emotional moments came across more strongly, making me shed silent tears while witnessing her heartbreak.

The second book has no description, cover, or even title, but I’m ready to sell a piece of my soul to get it regardless. Paige and Warden have a long and presumably dark journey ahead of them. I look forward to it more than I can say.


28 comments:

  1. Ooh so glad to see that you loved this one, Maja! I my only issue with the book was the info dumps and pace at the start but from then on, I loved it just like you.

    Fabulous review as always, chick! <33

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  2. Well, I'm so glad to hear you loved this one! I've been wondering about it cause I've read some conflicting reviews, but this one has swayed me to reading the book!
    Great review, Maja!

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  3. I'm so glad you enjoyed this, Maja - I loved it myself! Paige and Warden's relationship was so complex and wonderfully written, so I'm very excited about the direction it's going to take in future installments. Fabulous review, dear!(:

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  4. This is definitely an unusual story but so intriguing! I wanted to know more about Sheol and Warden and the backstory -- I didn't think there was enough, even though, technically there was. MOAR!

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  5. Okay this one wasn't one my radar but it is now!!

    Fantastic review!

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  6. Yay it's good! The library is getting it

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  7. OMG! This sounds SO GOOD! This book has been on my radar for a very long time now, tho I am yet to get a copy. I do realize I need to do that soon, tho. It sounds too good to pass up. I love books with intricate plot lines and characters that are complex (like you said - rotten on the inside!). I can't wait to read it, thank you for the beautiful review, Maja!

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  8. I was wondering how this was as an audiobook, because I was using that taxonomy in the front of the book like crazy as I tried to figure everything out.
    Glad you enjoyed this -- I did too!
    Thanks so much for stopping by! Jen @ YA Romantics

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  9. Ha, too funny selling your soul for the next. I know that desperate to read more feeling all too well

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  10. "t’s one step forward, three steps back for Paige and Warden, every ounce of trust has to be earned over and over, but to lose it is as easy as breathing."

    *sigh* This is such a gorgeous review Maja. I already wanted to read this book because of the Paige/Warden relationship, but now I'm moving it to the top of my list. I absolutely have to meet these two, and I can't wait to watch as their relationship oh-so slowly morphs from hatred to so much more. Your review just makes me happy:)

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  11. Wow! What a beautiful review, Maja. I've had this book for a while now, but I've been a bit hesitant to start it because of how long the series is supposed to be. I completely love how you described Paige and Warden's relationship. It makes me want to drop everything I'm reading and to start this. It sounds like their relationship is slow moving which I always appreciate in YA books. I must get to this soon.
    Thanks for the lovely review, Maja.

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  12. I had my eye on this book for a while but the over hype made me a bit reluctant, but I'm so glad you thought the book deserved it. The size and complexity of the book makes me think I should reserve reading this one during the holidays when I have more time. I'm glad the world building is strong, especially since the series is roughly going to be a 7 series book. Terrific review, Maja!

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  13. I wondered if the audio could do this beautiful, well written book justice..from the epic world building to the fleshed out characters. Your review is lovely and I am beyond excited that you loved this as much as I did :)

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  14. I'm really curious about this book, I keep hearing amazing things about it and now that I've read your review I'm even more curious.

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  15. Darn it! You just added to my huge wishlist. AND now I know it rocks on audio. Shoot... which to wish for? I love the sound of the writing and these characters. Oh I know I'd get lost in this book too. You know it's good when you want the next w/o blurb! :D

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  16. This book was so hyped up before its release. Then I saw a few 3.5 star ratings for it which made me think maybe I shouldn't get so giddy about it. I'm glad you thought it was worth the hype though, Maja, and will move it closer to the top of my TBR pile. The world Shannon created seems very well thought out, and I like the sound of the romance.

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  17. I have read some great reviews on this one and I snatched up an ARC but due to my frantic reading schedule I haven't found time for it, I hope to remedy that soon as you are glowing about it. I hope you aren't really selling a piece of your soul for the next book, I love ya just the way you are !

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  18. Ooh, this sounds like a really good book, Maja! It's on my to-read, but I don't know that I'll ever get to it. :/ I love that Paige and Warden don't jump right into love or anything like that, although the idea of jailer and a prisoner falling in love always makes me whisper "stockholm syndrome" under my breath. LOL. Awesome review, girly! I hope that I get to read this eventually. <3

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  19. Wow, this is a great review from you! I have to admit, this doesn't sound like the type of book I would normally pick up but I'm definitely curious now!

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  20. Oh wow, this sounded good before but you have me dying to buy it NOW! I have heard only amazing things and it sounds like one I would definitely get lost in!

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  21. Spectacular review Maja. I love hearing so much about this book. It's great finding a dark world that explores enemies following a lusting path.

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  22. Oh wow. That's amazing. Sounds like everything was well done with this one. Thank you!

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  23. I'm so happy to see that you loved The Bone Season too Maja! I remember seeing so much hype for this book at first, but I'm so glad that I gave this book a try, and the world Shannon created was absolutely amazing! I can't wait t dive into the next book either, I agree I have a feeling it will be a much darker journey for both Paige and Warden! Gorgeous review hun! :)

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  24. What a beautifully written review! I'm so glad to see that you love the audiobook in particular because I read an advanced readers copy and desperately want to re-read this amazing book. Now that the narrator has your stamp of approval, I'm using my audible credit on this one. Isn't this world so creative and fascinating? I'm in awe of Samantha's imagination. Can't wait for the next book (and for my re-read listen). Lovely review!

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  25. Reading your review made me giddy about this book again! It is a wonderful thing when a story actually lives up to the hype, and I agree that this one deserves all of its praise. I really like how you talk about the complexity of the social structure of this world, and also the change in Paige and Warden's relationship that comes throughout the book. Their slowly developing bond is my favorite type of romance. I agree that we're not really there yet, but we've got lots of books to move it along ;). I'll be right there with you selling my soul for the next one!

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  26. I just glanced through your review because I'm actually in the middle of this one now. So glad to see you loved it! I started reading this in print and found it dragging. Ended up picking up the audio and it's MUCH better. Will come back and read your review once I'm done. :D
    Bonnie @ For the Love of Words

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  27. Gasps! 5 stars???? Rest assured, I will not be postponing any longer. Mostly, I love the characters' love story. Yes, yes. I'm a sucker for romance. Lol.

    Great review, Maja. <3

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  28. So so glad you enjoyed it, Maja! :) What an outstanding book it was! Looking forward to whatever comes next from this author.

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