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Book Review: Anticipated ‘Bone Season’ ambitious, but won me over
10/30/2013 12:05:48 PM

By Daniel Pringle
Liberty Lake Municipal Library

In the year 2059, it has been 200 years since Victorian London became Scion London, a society organized around rooting out clairvoyants-or "unnaturals"-who threaten civilization by communing with spirits to commit all manner of crimes, from petty thievery to assassination. The persecution of this enemy class of voyants has created an underground of those with special powers, who cannot live in mainstream society in their true forms. It has also created a police state run by a secretive power that harvests voyants captured in "bone seasons" every 10 years and uses them in a war against the netherworld.

Paige Mahoney is one of these voyants captured after she loses control of her powerful gift and kills two police as they attempt to apprehend her. She is taken to a hidden penal colony, where she discovers the truth about Scion and the fate of the voyants who have been disappearing without a trace for two centuries.

Mixing fantasy with noir and dystopias like "1984" and "The Hunger Games," young author Samantha Shannon's "The Bone Season" is the first in an already highly-anticipated series that has drawn comparisons to "The Hunger Games" and Harry Potter. With a nine-page glossary and a two-page chart showing the many orders of clairvoyance, she faces a daunting task establishing her world while telling an exciting story. Apart from an overwhelming array of characters going by several nicknames and numbers, all with different varieties of powers, and some slow patches explaining the historical path leading to Scion, she succeeded in drawing me into a classic struggle of a band of rebels fighting for freedom from their rulers and an exploration of conformity and prejudice in an unjust world.

Daniel Pringle is adult services and reference librarian at the Liberty Lake Municipal Library.