Thursday, September 26, 2013

Shannon Brings In The Bone Season

The Bone Season
In the world of Paige Mahoney, only one kind of person faces open discrimination on a daily basis — anyone who lives with the condition of clairvoyance. Those people, afflicted with any type of vision that allows them to gain information from a means beyond the five senses or communes with the dead, can be considered a criminal for the simple act of breathing. She should know. She is one of them.

For the most part, Mahoney has done a better-than-average job of hiding her rare ability. She pretends to work for an oxygen bar, which is a front for her position with the criminal underworld of Scion London.

Paige Mahoney is a criminal of sorts. She was made that way to survive.

Her job is simple enough. She can more or less break into other people's minds by sending her spirit into the æther, a translucent plane of existence that the Greeks once called the "fifth element." Once there, she can sense disturbances in the dreamscapes of other people or any rogue spirits. She can even touch them on occasion, a trick she generally avoids because of the mental and physical side effects.

She can cause a nosebleed or make them forget something. She can cut a deal with a ghost or whack someone's spirit into the æther. But mostly, the crime syndicate uses her as human radar. With her body connected to life support, she is free to travel Scion London and look for voyants, spirits, and other unnatural things that most people would prefer didn't exist.

It is an exceptionally rare talent, especially when compared to more common types like reading auras or summoning spirits or divining the whereabouts of an object or trying to glimpse the future. It's also especially useful because, after all, a girl has to eat.

The only downside is that she is beholden to a mime-lord named Jaxson Hall. She isn't the only one. There are six others who work directly for his section of the syndicate. And all of them, even Jax himself, have developed a family-like bond despite being pressed into service as a means to stay safe.

A day like any other day can suddenly change, even when you're exceptional. 

As if the world set in 2059 (with an alternate past to our own history) isn't enough, there is another secret world that resides outside her gang's purview too. This world, Sheol (formally known as Oxford), is an unusual penal colony that feels like it exists half in and half out of the physical world.

It's ruled by ectoplasmic beings who have cut a secret deal with the outside world, specifically Scion. In exchange for staying out of their affairs, the Rephaim remove troublesome voyants by making them slaves under the guise of rehabilitation. And, unfortunately for Mahoney, she is considered troublesome.

She is captured after a random patrol stops her train. Using technology and the help of clairvoyant turncoats, Mahoney and another voyant are forced to defend themselves with deadly consequences.

It's after she is captured that she learned the truth. Voyants aren't imprisoned in the infamous tower. They are deported to Sheol 1 and sold into slavery to the Rephaim, who employ them as an expendable army, entertainment and spiritual food source. And all the while, they do it in such a way that many clairvoyants believe that their new lives in a barbaric and unforgiving incarceration is superior to trying to survive in the shadows of the world the Rephaim took them from.

A few graphs about author Samantha Shannon.

Samantha Shannon
As an imaginative otherworldly story, Samantha Shannon has created a dense and completely realized world that lurks under the surface of our own. The Bone Season is a riveting and imaginative work, giving credence to why she was able to command a six-figure book deal on the first three books in what will become a seven-book series.

The deal was the result of a bidding war following the London Book Fair. The 21-year-old author, who just recently graduated from Oxford University this year, wrote her first novel when she was 15. While it remains unpublished, The Bone Season has been optioned by The Imaginarium Studios.

The Bone Season Sees 7.8 On The Liquid Hip Richter Scale. 

The depth of this world frequently overshadows the need to tighten the writing as Shannon frequently allows her protagonist to get lost in her thoughts. Sometimes it works, such as weaving in Irish-English tensions over governance. Sometimes it does not, as Mahoney mulls some topic in a near circular manner. Still, there is no question that The Bone Season is a supernatural world that any reader will enjoy becominh lost in for awhile.

You can find The Bone Season: A Novel on Amazon. The novel can also be ordered from Barnes & Noble or downloaded for iBooks from Apple. The audio version is available from iTunes and is read by Alana Kerr. The decision to cast Kerr as the narrator was one of several smart moves by Bloomsbury Publishing. She lifts the story off the page, delivering some needed nuances for a especially complex character.
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