This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Reviewed by Amanda Keats
When a debut author signs a massive six-figure book deal with a publisher, has the film rights bought almost immediately and is likened to JK Rowling, it would be wise to pay attention. Especially when that author is barely in her twenties.
The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon is a breathtaking and enthralling debut from the young novelist about a world within our own where clairvoyants are shunned from everyday society. 19-year-old Paige Mahoney is one of the more unique clairvoyants – a dreamwalker who can enter the dreamscapes of others via the æther. Having moved to the relative safety of the criminal underworld, Paige is ripped from the life she knows in London to a whole new world in Oxford. There, an alien race called the Rephaim are in control and have been afforded their own prison colony of sorts. As part of this colony, they have also been given the right to capture clairvoyants and use them as they see fit. In exchange, they protect the population at large from the threat of the Emim – mysterious and beastly creatures who threaten both races.
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Resistance in this new world is futile but, for reasons unbeknownst to her, Paige has been given a very unique opportunity – to learn about her new home under the intriguing eyes of Warden, her new master.
The Bone Season is an incredibly complex story with history rewritten and a new future imagined. For Paige, her fellow clairvoyants and the non-clairvoyants, known as amaurotics, there are new creatures to consider, new customs and skills to learn. One of the most important elements of this novel, however, is just who can or cannot be trusted. Paige herself is a fiery young clairvoyant who doesn't fully understand the extent of her own powers. She has worked too hard to find a place where she fits in to simply roll over and do as she is told. She is smart, though, and knows better than to sign her own death warrant by going against the Rephaim's leader – the nasty Nashira, who just so happens to have a particular interest in her power. When Paige makes up her mind that she will find a way to break free, she must be extremely careful about who she confides in.
The Bone Season is a captivating page turner. You will stay up late to read it, miss your stop on the bus because you are so engrossed in it and you will regret nothing. It is one of those rare books that has the imagination and adventure to appeal to both younger and older readers and an exciting new heroine for readers to get behind.
Incidentally, don't worry if all the new vocabulary becomes too much. There is a glossary at the back of the book to help you and a map and explanation of the different types of clairvoyants in there too. No doubt many of these words will soon become just as commonly used as muggle or hipagrif.
I cannot wait to see what happens next!
Samantha Shannon's Website