This is a dark but good book. I'm impressed at Samantha Shannon's talent as a debut author. I have read reviews that state that this is the next Har..Show More »ry Potter and it is to be a 7 book series. I've also read reviews that say it is overhyped and for teenagers. I wasn't aware of the hype when I read it, but I will say that if I expected it to be the next Harry Potter I would have been disappointed for a couple of reasons. One it is not for children nor about children. The only similarity I see is that is takes place in an alternative London with a magic system and it will be a seven book series. I believe it is unfair to the book and to Samantha Shannon to set that expectation.
I mentioned this is not a children's book. This is about a 19 year old clarvoyant who works for a criminal underground syndicate. Clairvoyance is unnatural and those with the various abilities are hunted and arrested. There are many twists and turns as you find out why it is outlawed and hunted. It is not simply due to fear of the talent. This book is predominantly about what happens to our protagonist once she is caught.
You need to get through the first few chapters of set up before the story really unfolds. Alana Kerr gives a dry, detached performance that fits the character of the protagonist impeccably. This is one I would prefer to listen to rather than read but you do have to pay attention. Stick to mundane tasks so you can pay attention to the detail.
I found this to be a fresh, not a formulaic dystopian fiction novel, with a unique magic system. I'm excited for the next book and definitely recommend it.
I admit to have being undecided following the first book in the series, "The Bone Season." Though the alternate-historical world-building had..Show More » its compelling aspects, I found the Rephaim a bit too gothic. That's still the case, but it doesn't matter, because like all good stories, this is now clearly a human drama, with the Rephaim merely part of the scenery. The alternate history is more vivid and plausible than ever, despite elements both counterfactual and supernatural; this London is eerily familiar.
A word needs to be said about the narrator, Alana Kerr. Hers is clearly the voice of protagonist Paige, Irish accent, weary compassion, and all. She does not have a huge expressive range, and sometimes distinguishing character voices can be tricky in dialogue. However, there is one moment in this narration that makes up for all the defects. Usually narrators simply "punt" when confronted with verse the reader is supposed to imagine as sung; they either just read the verse, or they improvise embarrassing half-melodies. Not so Ms. Kerr. I won't say any more about the scene here, except that it was deeply moving, demonstrating extraordinary musical and affective sensibility.