SFF

The Bone Season

Bloomsbury USA, dist. by Macmillan. Aug. 2013. 384p. ISBN 9781620401392. $24; ebk. ISBN 9781620401408. SF
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In the not-too-distant future, London is controlled by a totalitarian force called Scion, whose sole purpose is to discover and destroy the "unnatural curse" of clairvoyance. When Paige Mahoney, a dreamwalker (a rare type of clairvoyant), is captured by Scion agents, she believes her life is about to end in torture and death. But when she awakens in Sheol I, a prison camp dedicated to teaching voyants to fight an enemy called the Emim, Paige discovers that the world she thought she knew is not at all what it seems. To escape and survive, Paige, who has been renamed XX-59-40, will find herself making unlikely allies as the line between enemies and friends has become blurred almost beyond recognition. With this debut, young British author Shannon (she is getting her degree in literature at Oxford University) has created a world with a very 1984 feel to it. Throw in some otherworldly creatures, some who are supposed protectors and others who just want to eat people, and you have the makings of an epic sf/fantasy series. However, while there is plenty of action and tension, this foundation-building book ends on a nice round note; sadly, readers will not be breathless with anticipation about what happens next.
VERDICT The first in a series of seven titles, this book sets the stage for a journey of discovery for Paige who may very well discover that she has to save the world whether she wants to or not. It will be interesting to see what Shannon does in her next installment. [The book has been sold in 18 countries, and actor Andy Serkis's film company has optioned it as well.—Ed.]

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