May 11, 2017

A Moment. A Choice. A Revolution.

Can you think of one book that you just had to buy as soon as it came and yet still haven't read? And I'm not talking about a few months passing... more like years. If you're a blogger, there's a good chance you can think of a lot of books that fall into that category. For me, The Bone Season series by Samantha Shannon would be one of the first that came to mind if someone asked me that question.

I bought it around the time it was released - in hardcover, on Kindle when it was $1.99 and then added the audio edition for a couple extra dollars. Y'all, I basically owned three copies of a book I hadn't even read yet. And yes, I know how that makes me sound. I never said self-control was my strong suit! There was so much hype when it was released with news of Shannon's seven-book deal drawing comparisons to J.K. Rowling,  and I didn't want a repeat of my "I didn't read them until they were all published" experience with the Harry Potter books. I wanted to be in the know!

But every time I started it, I set it aside for later. I'd read a few pages, decide it wasn't what I was in the mood for and promise myself that I'd come back to it soon. The next thing I knew, the third book was being released. Kelly and Alexa had been begging me to finally read it, and I figured there was a good chance I'd enjoy it since they both did. But I kept putting it off until I got an email from Little Shop of Stories saying that Samantha Shannon would be in town for a book signing. At that point, I realized I had to finally start this series. Shannon is from England, which meant this event would probably be my only chance to meet her. If I ended up loving the series, I didn't want to kick myself for having missed her! Within a week, I'd finished The Bone Season, The Mime Order and The Song Rising and was desperate to learn what would happen next.

For the first 55% of The Bone Season, I was liking it but slightly mystified by all the love it had received. It was creative and interesting, sure, but it was also overwhelming and confusing. The terminology alone made me feel like I was reading a book written in another language. I just kept moving forward, turning the pages and wondering if any of it would ever make sense to me. And then, there was a shift. The pace picked up, the plot became more engaging and the characters took center stage. Suddenly, I was hooked.

Then, I immediately picked up The Mime Order. Paige returns with a vengeance in the second book. The world and terminology were still a little confusing for me at times, but I found myself so much more immersed in the story. I couldn't wait to find out if - and how - Paige would accomplish her goal. Plus, of course, WHO might help her (and I think we all know who I was hoping to see...). This series seemed to just keep getting better and better! The pace is sometimes uneven, but I didn't have a problem with it. There's a lot of character development in this installment - for Paige and for several secondary characters - and even more world building. I loved it, but the plot does occasionally slow down because of it.

And finally, I raced through The Song Rising. There are things I love about each book in the series, but I think this one is my favorite so far! At her signing, Shannon talked about how she'd always wondered about the larger world in most dystopian fiction. For example, how did the rest of the world react to the Hunger Games in Panem? And this is the book where you see that question explored. I wasn't sure how I'd feel about going beyond London before I started reading, but now I'm sold. The idea of a global dystopia is so fascinating, and I have no doubt Shannon will continue to surprise me! I love the scope of this world, the higher stakes, the fast pace, the complex characters and the dilemmas they face.

Shannon also talked about how books 1-4 in the series have their own arc vs. books 5-7, which makes me both nervous and excited (nervocited?). It reminds me a lot of the shift in tone in the Harry Potter series after the fourth book. But oh goodness, I don't know if my heart can take the "jawdropping ending" she's got planned. Regardless, I look forward to finding out where she takes Paige next. I was a little late to the series, but I definitely consider myself a fan now! If you like the idea of a dystopian fantasy with a global perspective, this is definitely a series you should consider. It's confusing at first, but it's worth it in the end!

So Quotable
“Knowledge is dangerous. Once you know something, you can't get rid of it. You have to carry it. Always.” — The Bone Season

“Words are everything. Words give wings even to those who have been stamped upon, broken beyond all hope of repair.” — The Mime Order

“Never allow yourself to believe you should be silent.” — The Song Rising
Released: August 2013; January 2015; March 2017 | Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Pages: 466 pages; 510 pages; 363 pages | Source & Format: Bought; Hardcover

1 comment:

  1. I've just discovered your blog and love your style of reviewing, with the addition of quotes and the stats of the book like page length, publisher etc. It's very thorough and a nice touch that I definitely will start doing on my own blog and wish i'de been doing all along!

    ReplyDelete

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