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“The Bone Season”: A dystopian thriller that delivers

There's time for one last gulpable summer novel before the season ends, and the perfect candidate presents itself in Samantha Shannon's "The Bone Season." The author is young (21) and the comparisons to Harry Potter and "The Hunger Games" might be as inevitable as they are glib, but this is an adult work, just a shade too jaded and challenging for YA. It gallops along through an initially perplexing world, daring its readers to keep up even as it sinks in its hooks with crackerjack action, deftly-accentuated conflict and a spangling of souped-up Victorian street slang.

Paige Mahoney is a young Irishwoman living in an alternate-history version of 21st-century London run by a huge corporation called Scion. Her father thinks Paige works in a bar, but in truth she belongs to the syndicate, a network of underground gangs made up of clairvoyants. Their abilities, while innate, are criminalized, and any "voyant" picked up by the authorities is reputed to be either executed or conscripted into an anti-voyant police force. The clairvoyants come in a dizzying variety of types, and the book opens with a chart outlining the different subgroups, as well as with maps of Shannon's re-imagined British citadel.

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