The Bone Season: All the Ingredients but not the Right Recipe

The-Bone-SeasonI approached The Bone Season, by Samantha Shannon with equal parts of intrigue and trepidation. The intrigue was because of the incredible hype surrounding the book. A twenty-one year old getting a six figure, seven book deal is definitely something that merits attention. I figured the book must be pretty good to get that deal and that attention. The trepidation was a worry of over hype. I highly doubted The Bone Season would be the elusive “next Harry Potter”. Once that expectation is in someone’s head, it is almost impossible for the book to live up to that. The Bone Season isn’t the next Harry Potter, but it does have all the elements of a successful series. After finishing the book, I’m still intrigued enough that I want to read the next book. However, the book itself wasn’t my favorite. It was too confusing. For example, see how complicated the summary on goodreads is. Two hundred pages in I still couldn’t keep all the characters or elements of the future fantasy world straight. Like at all.

I didn’t really warm up to the story until around page 300, but the last third of the book hooked me. Overall, the book felt like a prequel. The world is so complicated that I don’t know how Shannon would get around this and still tell the same story, but I wish the book had been edited down in some ways.

I think readers overall would have been happier with this book if there hadn’t been so much hype, but I have to believe that series is just going to get better and better. It is darker than most of the books I read, but it has high stakes, relatable characters, and a complicated romance. All the ingredients are there, so hopefully the combination will work better as the series continues.

7 thoughts on “The Bone Season: All the Ingredients but not the Right Recipe

  1. I’ve got this one sitting on my bookshelf but I keep putting off reading it for the same reasons you had. I’m excited about it but at the same time the fantasy genre has been really pushing for “the next…” and that really keeps me from being able to read a book and think about it as the first of something

    • I’ve read good reviews and bad reviews and the strange thing is that after reading the book I agree with both types of reviews. I think my disappointment in the book was a mixture of overhype and not exactly my thing. I do have hope for the series though (although seven books is a lot to invest in a new author).

  2. I had the same thoughts when I read The Bone Season a few months ago. I just felt that the storyline was too overwhelming and couldn’t figure out how it would be 7 books. I didn’t know about the hype surrounding the book as I just read what tickles my fancy.

    • Overwhelming is the perfect word. The society is too complicated with too many strange terms and the story had too many characters. I felt like I had to be okay with a lot going over my head to continue with the story, but by the end I was intrigued.

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