The Bone Season | Samantha Shannon | Audiobook Review

Why Did I Listen To This Book?

Samantha Shannon’s debut, The Bone Season began to peak my interest at BEA 2013, when it was this book that everyone seemed to be buzzing about. Then I read Anna’s review for it and was like OMG I NEED TO READ THIS. But y’all, I was daunted by the size, because I am kind of a loser, and so when the author contacted me asking if I would give the audiobook a listen, I said YES, because I actually enjoy listening to books and like how accomplished I feel about audio-ing a book. And so, after finishing up some loose audiobook ends, I downloaded The Bone Season and settled in for some pretty intense listening.

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon | Good Books And Good Wine

What’s The Story Here?:

It’s 2059 in England, main character Paige Mahoney is a clairvoyant who finds work as a criminal who reads people’s brains for information. She’s employed by Jaxon Hall, who plays a pretty big role in The Bone Season. FYI, being clairvoyant is tantamount to being a traitor. And so, people with those sort of abilities do their best to hide them. Otherwise, they can be arrested and shipped off to god knows where.  So anyways, one day Paige is on the train, when holy crap, there are these people who sniff out clairvoyants aboard, and oh NO she gets caught out for her abilities. Paige is dragged off to Oxford, a secret city where she hangs out in the jail awaiting The Bone Season. While in Oxford, it is discovered that there is this race of aliens called rephiates who basically are parasites and not super nice. Paige is taken in by a Rephite called Warden, who is consort to the leader of them all. She’s the first clairvoyant Warden has taken on. And so, we learn that everything is bleak mainly because of the Rephaim. OH OH and there is this gang called the Seven Seals that Paige becomes a part of. There are a lot of things going on in The Bone Season, so let me give you some friendly advice — if you are going to listen to the audiobook, make sure you also have a physical copy on hand for when you get confused, trust it will help.

Let’s Talk About Paige:

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t too sure about Paige at first. I mean, sure I felt for her situation and how she has to pretend to be something she’s not.But, I did not immediately connect with her. Yet, as the story wore on, I really liked her. I have a soft spot for rebellious people and untamed women. I just really liked how Paige stood pretty strong in her convictions. Like, this mean Rephiam tries to get her to kill this kid she helped out in jail, but Paige refuses. Granted, that backfires on her, but still I liked that she had the strength of mind to be firm in her believes and that she acts on them. But yeah, she takes awhile to warm up to, at least for me.

How Is The World building?:

Samantha Shannon’s world building is intense, y’all. There is A LOT going on in her world of Scion. From the whole clairvoyants and amaurotics (people who do not have mind powers) to the Rephiams and their collusion with those in power. It is intense. ALSO! The Rephiams basically train the human clairvoyants to kind of be their lackeys and they have this whole merit system based on the color of your jacket. There’s a lot going on and it is kind of confusing, but you know me, I like intricate when it comes to world building.

How Is The Writing Style?:

The Bone Season is damn good. The pacing is on point. The concept is creative, at least to me. The characters have intriguing motivations. The bad guys are delightfully evil. Basically, I am totally on board to read more from Samantha Shannon. I know some people don’t like how long this is, but hey, I liked that it was so chunky and that there was just a ton of action, characters, and world packed into the pages.

What About The Narration?:

This is where I have to be negative. I could not stand Alana Kerr’s narration of The Bone Season. Y’all, I just started listening to this after an audio of Matilda narrated by Kate Winslet so I could not help but compare. For a story like The Bone Season, I want a narrator who is interesting and dynamic and has an arsenal of different voices. I thought Kerr was a little too subdued. I was constantly zoning out because her voice doesn’t do anything except talk with a slight accent kind of intently. I don’t know. I’ve heard better. I plan on continuing with this series, but it will be with a physical book and not with the audiobook. Actually, I am thinking I need to re-read because of all my zoning out. I think if you prefer your narrators not do a lot of voices, you will like this audiobook. However, if you are into a more over the top performance, skip this one.

Sum It Up With A GIF:

clueless confused GIF

On the one hand, I liked the story, on the other I did not love the narration, so my thoughts are a toss up.

Disclosure: Review Copy Provided By Author

Other reviews of The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon:

Alexa Loves Books – “the journey within its pages is worth a read
Anna Reads – “sets a new bar in terms of freshness, quirk and creativity
Ivy Book Bindings – “I fell into this book completely, heart and soul

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. I really want to read this after seeing the author on BBC Breakfast. Large books intimidate me too (like Game of Thrones) but I would rather attempt it than listen to a bad narrator. Anne Hathaway reading The Princess Diaries makes everything pale in comparison.
    Btw, love the Clueless GIF!

  2. Well, I am so glad you are going to continue with the series, regardless of whether you loved the audiobook or not. That says a lot, really. I am glad the story worked for you anyway, and I am really happy I suggested you to Sam when she was looking for audiobook listeners. I can’t wait to continue on with this series and maybe as we read (7 books!!) over the years (LOL) we can compare notes. Yayayay!

  3. I love it when you do audiobook reviews because they’re such a different experience from reading a physical book. This story sounds interesting, so I might end up checking it out.

  4. I’m also a huge audiobook fan. They tend to be my go-to with larger books, just because the material is easier for me to digest that way. However, if the world is that complex that you need to keep a hard copy on hand, I’ll probably just stick with actually reading it (although the length is still pretty daunting). I’ve heard wonderful things in terms of the world-building and creativity so I’m really excited to give this one a try!

  5. I’m so glad you enjoyed this one! I can see how the size is daunting but the book is SO engaging that I barely noticed the length. It’s definitely a lot of information though.. I’m still not sure if I have everything 100% straight lol. But I loved Paige as a protagonist.. like you, I like rebellious characters. And I loved Warden too.. I can’t wait to learn more about him.

    Great review!!