The Bone Season By Samantha Shannon

The Bone Season has an interesting world (alternate universe UK) in which the arrival of extra terrestrials has greatly changed the makeup of Earth. But what started as an intriguing and well-thought out world of x-men like characters soon degenerates into a bodice ripper paranormal romance – featuring adonis-like alpha male angel and plucky (read: annoying) unique snowflake who does stupid things so she can be rescued. A lot.

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Plot: Paige has a rare clairvoyant gift – she is a dreamwalker. In Scion-controlled London, that ability is illegal and a death sentence. So Paige survives in the criminal underground, doing espionage for a crime lord. But then she is discovered and sent to a top secret prison, she learns the true fate of her world and the aliens who control it.  Her “pluck” puts her under the attention of Warden – a super handsome, brusque, loner who doesn’t like humans or women. Can she win him over? What do you think.

As noted above, I enjoyed this book up until the point we were introduced to the Rephaim. Because at that point, this turned sharply into yet another cliche’d soppy romance – spirited girl gets the attention of and then wins over hunky male in power with insta luv. But in the meanwhile, she’ll show her spirit by getting constantly in trouble and needing to be saved. He’ll show he’s a MALE by arrogance, rudeness, and standoffishness. If you’ve read any historical romance novel, you’ve seen this plot before.  If the romance had been jettisoned, I would have liked this book much better. But yet again we have a ‘superior’ culture that looks down on the lowly humans, lord over them in obvious ways, and we’ve just seen it too much from British fantasy (from the Elves in the Lord of the Rings on up).  Neuromancer this isn’t.

At this point, I’m not sure if I will continue with the series. The romance was just so cringeworthy that I still haven’t completed the last 20% of the book.  I’ve read enough sci fi and fantasy that all the terms didn’t daunt me – I enjoyed that intelligence (though I could have done with less info dumps ALL over the place). But the Mary Sue aspect of the romance really shut me down.

Reviewed from an ARC.

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