I 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.