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The Bone Season by Samantha ShannonTitle: The Bone Season
Author: Samantha Shannon
Narrator: Alana Kerr
ASIN: B00E3WVKHS
Audiobook Length:  14 hours, 57 minutes
Genre: Science Fiction; Fantasy
Origins: Mine. Lisa Weinert Consulting/Audible
Release Date: 20 August 2013
Bottom Line: Still compelling but slightly better in print
Synopsis:

“The year is 2059. Nineteen-year-old Paige Mahoney is working in the criminal underworld of Scion London, based at Seven Dials, employed by a man named Jaxon Hall. Her job: to scout for information by breaking into people’s minds. For Paige is a dreamwalker, a clairvoyant and, in the world of Scion, she commits treason simply by breathing.

It is raining the day her life changes for ever. Attacked, drugged and kidnapped, Paige is transported to Oxford – a city kept secret for two hundred years, controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. Paige is assigned to Warden, a Rephaite with mysterious motives. He is her master. Her trainer. Her natural enemy. But if Paige wants to regain her freedom she must allow herself to be nurtured in this prison where she is meant to die.

The Bone Season introduces a compelling heroine and also introduces an extraordinary young writer, with huge ambition and a teeming imagination. Samantha Shannon has created a bold new reality in this riveting debut.”

Thoughts: Having shared the love for Samantha Shannon’s debut novel a few short months ago, there is no need to rehash how awesome this story is. Hearing it rather than reading it does not diminish the impact of this fascinating story at all and may in fact make it easier for a reader to move past the unfamiliar names and experiences. There is an added bonus in experiencing the audiobook version; the narrator has an Irish lilt, making it very easy for listeners to forget that she is not Paige Mahoney.

Alana Kerr’s performance is very subtle. She saves the emotional performance for the dialogue, and the narrative remains calm and almost soothing. In fact, the narrative is so quiet and emotionless that those experiencing the story for the first time may struggle remaining focused enough to understand Ms. Shannon’s unfamiliar world.  For those who are familiar with the story though, her performance enhances the familiar, placing emphasis on Paige’s Irish roots and the diversity of Oxford’s inhabitants. Ms. Kerr proves herself more than capable of tackling the hundreds of local accents that is a natural part of any story taking place on British soil as she switches from one character to another without pause or problem. All of the characters have their own unique accent, pitch, delivery, tonality, and intensity. It is an understated and most excellent performance but one most listeners may not appreciate given the lengthy amounts of world-building required to understand Paige’s situation and the strange world of Scion and the Rephaim.

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