Samantha Shannon’s debut novel (the first of a seven-part series) has already been compared to both Harry Potter and The Hunger Games, and this comparison is spot on. The Bone Season begins in underground London in the year 2059. Hundreds of years earlier, the fabric that separated the human world from the spirit world had been torn. Because of that, clairvoyance—the ability to connect with ghosts—has become prevalent across the globe. The security force Scion, which controls London and other major cities, considers those who are clairvoyant to be “ill” and will do anything to protect the non-seeing by eradicating those with the gift. Enter Paige Mahoney, a 19-year-old with the rarest form of clairvoyance, one that allows her to break into people’s minds. Her life changes when she is caught and imprisoned, and the rest of the novel revolves around her efforts to escape.
While it takes some time to sort out Shannon’s magical lexicon (which she mashes up with British slang), Paige’s action-packed journey is worth the persistence, and she turns out to be an inspiring (and realistic) lead. The worst part about this debut is that we have to wait for the next installment.