Stephan Lee
August 09, 2013 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Bone Season

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Samantha Shannon
publisher
Bloomsbury
genre
Fiction

We gave it a B

It’s no wonder 21-year-old Oxford grad Samantha Shannon has been drawing comparisons to J.K. Rowling. With her debut, The Bone Season, she’s kicked off a seven-volume series set in an intricately imagined alternate version of London. An organization called Scion is in control, and clairvoyants — or ”voyants,” as they’re called in the novel — ”commit treason just by breathing.”

Unlike Rowling, however, Shannon occasionally gets bogged down by the nomenclature and textbook-like description of her fantasy world. Though her lovingly conceived pages are stuffed with ideas and eclectic characters, the plot languishes, and the tale of 19-year-old Paige Mahoney — an extremely rare kind of voyant called a ”dreamwalker” — never manages to get off the ground. But even if Shannon’s inexperience is evident, her potential is too. Now that she’s laid the detailed groundwork for her series, future installments may soar. B

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