Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Bone Season (review)

3.5/5 stars

I know The Bone Seasons (Goodreads | Amazon) is supposed to be the next big thing book-wise.  Set in 2059, when an organization named Scion is ruling most of the major cities in the world, The Bone Season is part-fantasy part-dystopian. Paige Mahoney is a criminal just for existing in a world where any sort of magic is illegal, Paige, a dreamwalker, works for the magical mob in London.  That is until she's caught, arrested and taken to a clairvoyant prison where she learns that world as they know it is a lie.

The world building in this book is detailed and interesting.  I appreciate the hierarchy  of different clairvoyants it established, how some are more valuable and some practically worthless.  The idea of outlawing magic and thus giving the criminals power is intriguing, it makes this book feel like a quasi-prohibition-era mob movie.  Sometimes the world building is actually too detailed and it slows down the story considerably, to the point where you can skim passages of explanation without missing much plot-wise.

So for me where does this book seemingly fail? I never felt connected to the characters.  They felt like cardboard cutouts that I was supposed to care about but really couldn't.  There's a couple of points where someone hurts a character that Paige has just recently befriended and it's suppose to be this major impacting moment in the novel, only I didn't feel much of anything because these side characters felt underdeveloped and more like accessories to Paige's story than people in themselves.

So the question, I suppose, is "Will I read the next one?"  Probably if the reviews are good.  Maybe now that the over-explaining is done we'll get some honest-to-goodness plot movement and some fleshed out characters.  It's an interesting enough world, with the criminal underbelly and outlawing of magic, to explore again.

I received a paperback copy of this book from the publisher.  


Cassi said...

I felt the same way about the world-building. It's unique and compelling but overwhelming. I felt like there was a lot of info-dumping especially in the beginning. I'm also hoping that with The Mime Order we get a lot more plot development and less world-building! Great review!

Jessica @ a GREAT read said...

Nice review! I still need to read this one. I had the feeling that the world-building would be tricky. Earlier reviews made this one seem like a promising read, but then I thought that about another read too. But will still need to give it a go! Hopefully soonish!