Samantha Shannon is being hailed as the new J. K. Rowling and having been given the chance to read her first novel I can see why. The Bone Season blends fantasy and dystopia and is darker and bloodier than Harry Potter or The Hunger Games to which it has also been compared. Our 19 year old heroine Paige Mahoney is tough as nails and living a double life; while her father works for the government, unknown to him she works for the criminal underworld using her clairvoyant skills which the government of Scion have declared illegal. It is 2059 and Britain as we know it no longer exists and is now under totalitarian rule, Paige is already an outsider as she hails from Ireland and through her memories we catch glimpses of her past there. Paige is attacked and kidnapped and finds herself a prisoner in Oxford, a city controlled by the Rephaim, a non-human race who have invaded Scion and are using voyants to control the Scion government and fight their own enemies. Here Paige is trained and imprisoned by Warden a Rephaite leader and while she does not trust him she soon learns that he is not the darkest enemy she will have to face. Samantha Shannon has created a fascinating and darkly gothic world and at just twenty one her writing skills are astounding. The Bone Season is the first of a seven book series and film rights have already been optioned. With huge crossover appeal this will undoubtedly be the next big thing in fantasy fiction.
The Bone Season is published by Bloomsbury on 20th August 2013