Book Review: The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

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The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA

Genre: Fantasy and New Adult

Release Date: August 20, 2013

Pages: 480 (Hardcover)

The Bone Season

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.

First of all, I would like to thank the Publisher, Bloomsbury USA for giving me an ARC of this book to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.

opinion

I can see why there’s so much hype around this book! There’s a lot of action and drama and all that fun stuff packed in here. And I really like this novel, I do. The Bone Season held my attention for a lot longer than I thought it would, but unfortunately there is just so many things that I can’t overlook and allow me give this book a higher rating. Nonetheless a lot of people will still enjoy this, maybe even love it. I’m just not one of those people who can overlook things easily.

The first thing that I can’t stand about this book is the abundance of information. And it’s also not only a few pages long, throughout the book, I had to skip everything about Paige’s past life and albeit important, information on all of the different types of clairvoyants and such things just to make sure my head didn’t explode. There’s just too much info-dumping which leads to the disorganized plot. A lot of things happen in the book, like I mentioned before, there’s a lot of action but it’s all over the place and a bit confusing at some parts. Another thing that frustrates me about The Bone Season is the protagonist, Paige because she’s not only predictable but crazy as well. She is constantly getting into trouble for no good reason except to get killed, and then she gets everything handed to her. There’s very little proof that makes me like Paige even in the slightest because of the way she acts and receives everything because she’s ‘special’. I really dislike her character.

Samantha Shannon does a fine job building a believable world though. With everything that’s happening, I fell in love with the setting and the atmosphere, everything feels like it’s happening right in front of me and I couldn’t stop reading. The story is also well written, it’s smooth and exciting. I love the way that Shannon hooks readers in with simple yet complex writing.  A lot of the characters are well-developed, especially Arcturus. He’s really complex and layered with lots of passion. Even when I didn’t want to, I felt myself loving him.

The Bone Season is a novel many people will love, no doubt. There’s tons of action and friendships and pain with a little bit of romance that takes the backseat. But there’s a few things that stand in its way of being an amazing start to a seven book series. Still, I recommend this to anyone who likes a lot of action and a well-developed world and don’t mind an abundance of information. Or are willing to skip half the book to get to the good parts. Hopefully there’ll be a lot less info-dumping in the next book and Paige grows up a lot more.

2.5 Clouds
2.5 Clouds

Book Review: Mind Games (Mind Games#1) by Kiersten White

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Mind Games (Mind Games#1) by Kiersten White

Publisher: HarperTeen

Genre: Fantasy and young adult

Release Date: February 19, 2013

Pages: 237 (Hard Cover)

Mind Games (Mind Games#1)

Fia was born with flawless instincts. Her first impulse, her gut feeling, is always exactly right. Her sister, Annie, is blind to the world around her—except when her mind is gripped by strange visions of the future.

Trapped in a school that uses girls with extraordinary powers as tools for corporate espionage, Annie and Fia are forced to choose over and over between using their abilities in twisted, unthinkable ways…or risking each other’s lives by refusing to obey.

opinion

Mind Games is a really odd book. And by odd I mean I hate it but then I kind of like it at the same time. This is a 237 paged novel about assassins and love…Does that even make sense? Because it doesn’t to me. It feels like huge chunks of the story were taken out and no one felt like making what was left into a proper story and just left it like that. Making close to no sense at all.

Everything moves really fast in the book. Many things are disorganized concerning the plot and the characters. In fact, there isn’t any character building in the book, Fia’s voice is very cluttered and unfocused, going from topic to topic in a very rough type of matter. And Annie feels like a blank wall, very stiff and very boring. I wish that Kiersten White put as much focus on Annie as she did with Fia because Annie does not feel like an important character in the story although she should. With Adam, the relation between him and Fia gives off an insta-love type of feeling that I did not like at all. And although the ending is a bit of a surprise, I think because the rest of the book is so predictable that I couldn’t bring myself to care about it at all.

Fia is an odd character, and her voice is very cluttered but I sort of like it as well, I’m not exactly sure why. It’s fresh and new but poorly executed and that’s what makes me dislike it. But I love the fact that she has perfect instincts. I mean, how cool is that! She may not be a badass but she has some badass skills that make her very unique. Her relationship with James albeit familiar, is pretty good. The foundation for the relationship is there, and it’s growing even with how predictable it is. Kiersten White did a nice job by making Annie blind but also a Seer, I think that just adds to how different this story is. I also like the four stories in one book aspect this book has because while reading about the adventures Annie and Fia go through, we’re also learning about their histories and pasts.

Unfortunately, a unique story with some creativity doesn’t help the story as much as it should because it’s poorly executed. The story is very predictable and it’s a shame because this could have been a very amazing book if it was given the proper care. I recommend this to anyone who has liked White’s other novels or don’t mind short stories that don’t entirely make sense.

2.5 Clouds
2.5 Clouds

For quotes from this book, click here.

Book Review: Shatter Me (Shatter Me#1) by Tahereh Mafi

10429045Shatter Me (Shatter Me#1) by Tahereh Mafi

Publisher: HarperTeen

Genre: Dystopia and young adult

Release Date: November 15, 2011

Pages: 338 (Paperback)
Shatter Me (Shatter Me #1)

Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

(My Opinion)

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi seems to be a hit or miss novel for most people. And I can understand why with the overuse of similes and metaphors that makes this novel quite different from other dystopian novels (in both a good and bad way). Another thing about the novel is there’s a lot of strike out text. I’ve never read a book with strike out text before and I think that’s why I had such a hard time trying to get comfortable with it. But, during the second half of the book, the strike out text is a lot less prominent than it is in the first part which helps make the novel a lot more bearable. Although this book does have some problems (that can sometimes be overlooked) I really liked this. Tahereh Mafi took a very mainstream, very overused idea and added a very cool twist to it.

The beginning is odd, there’s too much use of similes and metaphors. Even simple sentences have been changed into more complex and ‘poetic’ sentences. It reminds me of that episode on friends where Joey finds out how to use a thesaurus. (Season ten episode five: The One Where Rachel’s Sister Baby-Sits.) Because of this, the writing is really clipped and straight to the point instead of smooth and kind of casual (for the lack of a better word). I also don’t like the romance much because the book focuses almost always on the romance instead of the actual plot.

With all that being said, I still liked most if not all of the characters. They’re all different and pretty well-developed with strong personalities especially James who is a very realistic ten-year old. I love how Juliette is explained to us, although she’s had her powers for a long time now, she’s still learning about them and how to control them. We’re showed this with a few examples of just how killer her touch is with not only children, but against adults as well. It’s pretty amazing.

The idea to bring in superpowers into a dystopian series is pretty creative. It helps make the story stand out in a genre that is all the same (for the most part). Shatter Me is a thrilling read that is both intense and exciting. I recommend this to anyone who likes dystopian novels as well as people who like a lot of romance and a kick ass protagonist.

Four Dreamy Clouds
Four Dreamy Clouds

For quotes from this book click here.