|Published 20 August 2013|
The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
Welcome to Scion: No safer place
Set in 2059, in a dystopian future where London is a hot bed of intrigue and moral turpitude, nineteen year old Paige Mahoney, is a dream walker and clairvoyant, working as part of an elite criminal underworld in the notorious Seven Dials area of Scion London. On a rainy day, and due to a catastrophic error of judgement, Paige is kidnapped, drugged and taken to the secret city of Oxford, where she is assigned to a Rephaite, who becomes her master, and who is as mysterious, as he is deadly. In this whole new world, complete with its own syntax and idiom, Paige must learn to curb her natural instincts, or risk the consequences.
The Bone Season is unlike anything I have ever read before, and so far out of my comfort zone, that I am at a loss to know where to start to evaluate the story, but I can’t do the author or the story a disservice by describing all that happens. Heck, even after finishing the book, I still don’t know half of what happens, but what I do know, is that this is a remarkably good debut novel. The strength of imagination needed to control a world within a world is finely explored, and the inspired use of original and highly inventive terminology adds authority to a story which ultimately takes you by surprise and leaves you, in the end, wanting more. Thankfully, there is a wonderful glossary which reveals a vocabulary which gets to be so utterly familiar, you find that you want to drop the vernacular into your own life; I mean who can resist a good Flash House?
There are going to be the inevitable comparisons made between The Bone Season and recent trends in popular fiction, and yes, it does have some of the magical elements of Rowling’s Harry Potter, the otherworldliness of Pullman’s His Dark Materials, and some of its own shades of grey in the relationship between keeper and voyant , but ultimately, what’s important is that you should read the book on its own merits, and judge it against none – merely enjoy a good story, settle in and take your seat for a ride to Scion London.
My thanks to Chloe at thinkjam.com and Bloomsbury for my ARC of this book and to the author for an introduction to a whole new world.
Samantha Shannon wrote this novel when she was nineteen. The Bone Season has already been sold into 18 languages and Andy Serkis (Lord of the Rings) and Jonathan Cavendish (Bridget Jones’s Dairy) have optioned film rights through their British production company, the Imaginarium Studios.
I have one copy of The Bone Season for one lucky UK reader in this great giveaway.