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This Song Will Save Your Life
Leila Sales
Shadows (The Rephaim, #1)
Paula Weston
The Bone Season - Samantha Shannon This book is hard to review, because I recognize that a big chunk of how I feel is based on my level of expectation going into it. It's one of the most hyped books of the year, the author has been compared to J.K. Rowling, and film rights have already been optioned. You can't really go into a book knowing that and expect it to win and impress you. So let me put that aside, and try to break it down a bit.This world takes place in a future society called Scion, where clairvoyant people known as "voyants" are condemned. Paige, our heroine, is a dreamwalker and has a very rare talent of being able to break into people's minds. She works in underground London in a secret "voyant" crew called the Seven Seals, but gets captured whisked off to Oxford, a hidden area controlled by another race call the Rephaim.This book's greatest "strength" is probably in its world building. You can argue that the world building is sophisticated and complex. However, it was a bit confusing for me. I often felt bored, and inundated by a bunch of words that "told" me more than "showed" me. The author used a ton of made-up words that I grasped to understand the meaning of, even in context. Thankfully, I found a glossary at the end of the book which I referenced very often. But I felt that everything was a bit overdone. When you strip it down to the basic elements of character and plot, the story is actually quite formulaic and unoriginal.One big aspect that was missing for me was characterization. When characters are flat, I tend to feel emotionally disconnected with them . Paige was probably the most developed, and I did appreciate Paige for her boldness and strength. Yet her care for a young boy she meets by the name of Seb felt very forced, as if he were there only to show you she has a soft side for a kid and to make you like her. I've seen this trick before! I need a little more than that to make me feel a character. Also, I couldn't see Warden as much more (at this point) than a very beautiful looking robotic being with compelling eyes. Of course there is mystery and much more to uncover as we progress through the series, since this is only book 1 out of 7. Sometimes books need to build, but I would definitely like to see more complexity, growth, and some depth in a variety of characters that I can know and love (versus a focus on only one or two mains.)I did find small douses of amazingness sprinkled in. I was interested enough to get through the very long book, in a very short amount of time. So it did keep my attention. I will continue reading the next in the series to see where it goes.