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This book seems to have taken the book blogger world by storm as of late, with its author being lauded as the next J.K. Rowling, and if I told you that wasn't enough to make me pick up this book as soon as I was able to get my hands on it, then I would be a liar.
It becomes evident almost immediately that, while completely captivating, The Bone Season isn't Harry Potter. Not by a long shot. In fact, the only similarity I can think of is that both series truly have fantastic world-building. So many details are laid out in this book in a manner that's clear, believable, and not the slightest bit overwhelming. Being that I read The Bone Season in eBook format, I wasn't able to clearly see the chart of voyants or the map of Scion London, and the glossary in the back of the book was essentially useless to me--but the context in which the author's created words are given left little room for doubt in their meanings, and when I did get to the glossary (by, you know, actually finishing the book), I was already familiar with the meaning of most--if not all--of the words.
The main character, Paige, is well-developed, and I loved her for her loyalty to her friends, her protectiveness over Liss and the Harlies, and her strength, of course... but I loved her more for her weaknesses. I loved that she longed for the protection of her friends in the syndicate, but at the same time proved that she's no damsel-in-distress. Reading her history and her childhood spread throughout the book was heartbreaking and gave you true insight to the events that molded Paige into who she is in the book's present.
Now, let's get down to the thing that's really bothering me--the romance. It's not just me being a cynic; I really couldn't buy into the relationship between Paige and Warden. It felt contrived. I saw no chemistry. I would have expected a sort of strained friendship between the two of them by the end, sure, but certainly not random make-out sessions. Maybe if their feelings had come to light in a later book I would have been better pleased with the way it unfolded, but I legitimately would have preferred if there had been no romance in this book at all. And the fact that the Rephaim ultimately ended up being some sort of mystic, otherworldly vampires? It cheapened the rest of the story for me.
Coming in at over 450 pages, one might think that The Bone Season would be a chore to work through, but this book was addictive, whether I approved of the romance or not.