The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
For such a young author, this is a remarkably realized world. However, like other young authors (I'm thinking Christopher Paolini) it does rely a little too much on previously reads, like The Night Circus or Daughter of Smoke and Bone. That said, it didn't rely so much that it dragged my overall enjoyment down.
Nearly 200 years ago something happened that created a rift between our world and that of the Rephaim. Using the "Bloody Prince" (aka Edward VII, possibly Jack the Ripper) and a seance he held as an excuse to persecute clairvoyants - who aren't all what we currently consider clairvoyants but anyone with some sort of sixth sense, from palm readers to "dreamwalkers" - control over the country was given to Scion. It's unclear right now if Scion is a corporation or something more like the Third Reich. We're now in the year 2059 and Paige is one of those clairvoyants, working for a mime-lord in the criminal syndicate that shadows London's legitimate world. One night, on her way to her Scion-employed father's apartment, she is stopped by the Scion troops looking for voyants and manages to murder one and seriously injures another. Captured, she's taken to Sheol I (the former city of Oxford) and claimed by the Warden as his human tenant. Of course Paige isn't going to take well to this change of status and location... but can she escape? And what about the others "harvested" from London during the 20th Bone Season?
As this is the start of a many-volume series, possibly as many as seven, there's padding in the form of exposition. Luckily this is dribbled out throughout the book, not doled out in huge chunks. And as often happens in long series, the pacing is sometimes off, especially at the end. The last 10% (I read this in an eARC, not a print version) felt very rushed.
ARC provided by publisher.