Wildly imaginative, with a sprawling scope, a complex story world, and a huge cast of characters, The Bone Season is not the book to pick up if you're in the mood for a quick and easy read. The story commences in London in the year 2059, and blends fantasy, alt history and paranormal elements. An 1901 epidemic of clairvoyance has divided the population into Voyant (those with paranormal abilities) or Amaurotic (those with no abilities.) But using one's clairvoyant abilities is prohibited, and main character Paige Mahoney is among a group of Voyants who secretly work for a mime lord named Jaxon.Just as I was trying to absorb all this, Paige is captured and thrust into a completely different environment, a brutal penal colony where Voyants are forced into servitude by a race called the Rephaim. Each of the Voyants is claimed by a master, and Paige is spoken for by Arcturus, Warden of Mesarthm, the male consort of the female sovereign.Though I was blown away by the creativity of the book's story world, I found that being plunged into not one, but two different and complex settings in the opening of the story was a lot to handle. A huge amount of information was conveyed in the first third of the book. There is a taxonomy of Voyants in the front and a glossary of terminology and slang in the back, though I didn't find the latter until I'd finished reading. Even with those aids, I felt lost much of the time.That might explain the fact that I didn't feel fully connected with the main character, Paige, until the last section of the book. On the plus side, once new information stopped coming and I could relax and enjoy the story more, and once I got to see Paige's special Voyant talent in action, there were some memorable and well-written scenes that really captured my imagination. I also loved the way that the story world married the futuristic with the anachronistic -- the glossary explains that the slang used by Paige and her cohorts in London is based on real slang used by nineteenth century British criminals.Samantha Shannon is definitely a talent to watch. I can't promise I'll read six more books, but I'll definitely check out the next installment!Find my full review, plus all my YA reviews and giveaways, on my blog, YA RomanticsI received a copy of this ARC at BEA.