***Edit: While I was laying on the floor with Jayden after he had his dinner, I thought about looking Samantha Shannon up on Twitter. One of her tweets had a link to a blog post so I began reading from her most recent. She mentions a target finish of February 2014 for the next book, yay! I also wanted to link to this post which has an interview with Alana Kerr. “The Bone Season” was her first audio book, so that was interesting to learn and the interview details what it’s like to record an audio book.***
“The Bone Season” is Samantha Shannon’s debut novel and is the first in what will be a seven book series. Shannon wrote the novel when she was only twenty-one and a student at Oxford. Pretty awesome eh? I thought so, which is why I bought it awhile back. Was it a daily deal? I can’t remember how Audible alerted me to it but I’m glad it did.
Nineteen year old Paige Mahoney has a special gift. Unfortunately for Paige, this gift is illegal in the year 2059 when clairvoyants like her are hung for treason when they are discovered. Or so Paige has grown up believing. However when she commits a crime with her gift and gets caught, it’s not the hangman’s noose she faces, it’s the abandoned grounds of Oxford, long since off limits after a disaster made it too dangerous. Here, Paige finds other clairvoyants like her but this isn’t Hogwarts and there’s no kindly professor to help her sharpen her skills.
I made that comparison to Harry Potter since it seems Shannon’s series and even her writing are being compared to J. K. Rowling and her magical world and I honestly cannot fathom the comparison. Saying “The Bone Season” is like Harry Potter is like saying baseball and basketball are similar because both balls are round.
Yes, both series will have seven books, both authors are from the U.K. and both are women. To me, that’s where the similarities stop. Well ok fine, that and the fact that both series involve special human powers. Honestly a closer comparison would be The X-Men, where people’s powers are considered to be mutations. Why must a comparison be drawn though? I think Samantha Shannon is simply Samantha Shannon.
The beginning of the book was a little hard for me to listen to. The way the clairvoyants are treated as though they’re vermin, it was just hard to stomach. I nearly turned the book off. I’m glad I stuck with it. I just don’t like it when humans torture other humans. Sometimes this book made me feel the way I did when I listened to “The Handmaid’s Tale. Humans aren’t nice to each other in that book either.
Speaking of humans, there is a humanoid alien race in this future dystopia. In fact the past isn’t even our past. This alien race came to Earth in 1859. One of the things I rather enjoyed about this book was the fact that our alternate history was never explained in detail. Shannon leaves it up to the reader to imagine a world in which aliens landed before the American Civil War. So many questions! I love being able to add my creativity. Perhaps more will be revealed in the coming books.
I grew to like Alana Kerr’s narration. At first I thought to myself, wow add some inflection would you? You’re awfully monotone, like you’ve never had a happy day in your life. However the tone fit. This is quite the bleak story. I was also confused at first by Kerr’s accent. Is she British or Irish? You discover why that also fits though. So overall Kerr did a good job. The only issue I had was sometimes not knowing who was speaking. Kerr doesn’t add a lot of delineation between male and female which is fine if that is obvious in the text, but Shannon doesn’t add a lot of he said she saids so sometimes it was confusing.
This was an entertaining book and I’m disappointed not to find any hint of when the next one will be out. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens with the characters and I also think Shannon has the potential to be a great writer. This wasn’t a perfect book but as her first, it was pretty impressive. I think her ideas are quite fresh and I refuse to compare her to anyone else. Now to wait for the next book. *sigh*