winged reviews
Review, Young Adult / March 7, 2017
The Song Rising by Samantha ShannonThe Song Rising
Author: Samantha Shannon
Series: The Bone Season #4
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Date: March 2017
384 pages
Source: NetGalley
Genres: Fantasy
Buy the BookGoodreads

The hotly anticipated third book in the bestselling Bone Season series – a ground-breaking, dystopian fantasy of extraordinary imagination

Following a bloody battle against foes on every side, Paige Mahoney has risen to the dangerous position of Underqueen, ruling over London's criminal population.

But, having turned her back on Jaxon Hall and with vengeful enemies still at large, the task of stabilising the fractured underworld has never seemed so challenging.

Little does Paige know that her reign may be cut short by the introduction of Senshield, a deadly technology that spells doom for the clairvoyant community and the world as they know it…

* This review is for the third book in a series. While there are no big spoilers for the previous two, this is not a stand alone and will make more sense to those who have read the previous installments.

If I am reading a series that is longer than three books and am going to lose interest in it, typically book three is where it all starts to fizzle out. I enjoyed the first two book in The Bone Season despite the fact that, in general, I have no interest in dystopian novels. However the criminal underground + supernatural element in this one kept me invested and entertained. I went into The Song Rising with some prejudice, almost prepared to finally get bored and be let down.

But I still really like this!

I like Paige Mahoney and the world building.

I also like the fact that this book is relatively short. There are a couple of really popular series out there that drive me nuts by putting hundreds more pages than the plot necessitates into nearly every book. Happily, you’ll find no such self-indulgence here. This was a clean tight story that moved quickly! No element, plot thread, or setting every got the chance to wear out it’s welcome. At the start I was very dubious about where Paige’s story had left off in The Mime Order and was afraid that the whole Queen-of-the-Underworld thing would take over and annoy me. Not only was I relieved and happy to discover that it did  neither, but am very excited about where the story ended with her heading into book four.

 

I need to point out how much appreciate that the Rephaite’s sense of otherness is maintained while still involving them heavily in the story.

I’ve said it before, but one of my biggest pet peeves is when otherworldly races come across as little more than humans who are hot, immortal, and super-powered. In truth their nature should feel alien and difficult to understand, that’s not easy to do while still making one a main character. Warden remains quite alien. Some may find his lack of emotion, or the fact that those he does have are so rarely glimpsed, frustrating. I however am glad who and what he and the other Rephaite’s are have been kept in focus, even if it makes Paige’s attraction to him slightly less clear. I don’t think this is easy to achieve and imagine the desire to default to more human characteristics would be a challenge to avoid. I’m really impressed with Samantha Shannon’s success at this so far.

The last portion of this book was scary, exciting, and all around had my adrenaline pumping as I flew threw the pages!  I love that it ended in such a way that how and where Paige functioned in the story was set to pick up in a totally new place with a new purpose in book four.

4 Stars

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