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Samantha Shannon Books In Order

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Publication Order of The Bone Season Books

The Bone Season (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Mime Order (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
On the Merits of Unnaturalness (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Pale Dreamer (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Song Rising (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Dawn Chorus (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Mask Falling (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of The Roots of Chaos Books

The Priory of the Orange Tree (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Day of Fallen Night (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Day of Fallen Night is a prequel.

Publication Order of Anthologies

Because You Love to Hate Me(2017)Description / Buy at Amazon

The world has known so many authors but there are very few who have stolen the spotlight wherever they go or whenever their names are mentioned. At the mention of the names of such authors, images of the riveting drama playing out in their books swiftly come to the minds o lovers and haters alike. Samantha Shannon comfortably fit into this glamorous group of timeless authors. Because of her six-figure, seven-book deal with Bloomsbury Publishing, Samantha Shannon has been compared to “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling and Suzanne Collins, author of “The Hunger Games.”

Her first book, “The Bone Season,” published in 2013, was a critical and commercial success, selling 7,000 copies in seven days andeventually becoming an international bestseller. A second book, “The Mime Order,” was published in 2015.

“The Bone Season” earned rave reviews. NPR called it “Intelligent, inventive and engrossing.” Booklist called it “dazzlingly brainy, witty and bewitching.” NBC’s Today show chose the book as the first for its new monthly book club. While some reviewers for “The Bone Season” described it as covering “familiar” territory, others praised it for its fresh original concepts and for the author’s ability to make familiar territory seem new.

Positive reviews led to the book being optioned for a film, an even potentially a film series. Imaginarium and actor Andy Serkis optioned the film rights to “The Bone Season” in 2013 and the project is currently in production. Shannon will serve as a consultant.

“I’m thrilled to be working with Imaginarium to make The Bone Season’ into a film,” said Shannon in an interview with The Oxford Student. “Having consultation rights means this will be a collaborative project. I’ll be involved every step of the way.”

Shannon was only 21 when her book was published and the movie rights optioned. But maybe her early success should not come as a surprise since she began seriously writing at the age of 12. She has listed poet John Donne, Margaret Atwood’s “A Handmaid’s Tale” and Anthony Burgess’ “Clockwork Orange” as sources of writing inspiration, although reviewers also compared her writing to Tolkien, Dickens, the Bronte sisters and fantasy author Philip Pullman.

By the time Shannon was 15 she completed her first book, the unpublished fantasy novel “Aurora.” She spent so much time in her room, writing that novel, that her mother worried she might become a recluse. But despite her mother’s concern Shannon would not stop writing. She couldn’t.

“Writing was a drug I couldn’t stop taking,” she said in an interview with The Guardian.

Shannon sent her first novel to several agents and received almost a dozen rejections. Her mother intercepted and shredded some of Shannon’s rejections so she would not become discouraged. David Goodwin was one of the agents that Shannon submitted her manuscript to. He passed on representing the novel but offered her a summer internship instead. During that internship she worked on the slush pile, reading through the agency’s unsolicited manuscripts. Reading manuscripts and submission letters helped her to better understand why some novels were sold and others were not.

While studying Language and Literature at St. Anne’s College in Oxford, she began writing “The Bone Season.” The novel began she imagined what her daily life might be like if she was clairvoyant.

Shannon credits the campus, with its well maintained landscaping and historic buildings, for providing the setting for the penal colony in her first book. Shannon graduated St. Anne’s College in 2013 but by then she was already on her way to becoming a successful author.

Selling “A Bone Season” did not prove to be that difficult. Bloomsbury Publishing Editor-in-Chief Alexandra Pringle bought the book and signed her to a seven-book deal. Pringle was not really interested in fantasy novels before that but when she read Shannon, she was impressed. “The Bone Season” reminded her of fairy tales and the C.S Lewis Narnia series.

“Samantha is just fizzling with ideas,” said Pringle in a 2013 interview with the Daily Mail. “The book is an utterly consuming adventure and we are committed to the seven.”

The series begins in the year 2059, when a security force named Scion rules London. The book’s main character is Paige Mahoney, a 19-year-old, whose very existence brands her a traitor. She’s a clairvoyant, known in the book as a dreamwalker or voyant. She can not only read thoughts,but wander around in the mind of another person. This skill makes her very dangerous to the Scion and valuable to criminals.As a result she works for a special cell known as the Seven Seals in the criminal underworld of London.

She’s captured and taken to a penal colony in Oxford, which is run by otherworldly ectoplasmic beings known as the Rephaim. A Rephaim warden is assigned to supervise Paige’s imprisonment and while she fears him, she finds that she is also attracted to him. She realizes that the only way to escape her prison will be to learn more about him and what motivates him.

In the series’ second novel, Paige finally manages to escape the prison but her life is in danger. She’s the most wanted person in London and is being pursued by voyants working on behalf of Scion. She has no choice but to return to the criminal underworld and the Seven Seals gang. But the underworld is not a safe place either. Rifts and secrets are creating terrible conflicts that threaten to splinter the underworld. Also, the Rephaim have plans to expand their influence and Paige’s feelings for her Rephaim ally will complicate her life.

Shannon’s novels have been praised for creating a detailed alternate reality complete with its own language and points of reference.

Are Shannon’s books YA novels or cautionary tales for adults? In some countries her books are published as adult novels and in others they are marketed as YA. Shannon thinks it doesn’t really matter and it’s time to end the snobbery about YA novels.

“There is a sense that adults who read YA are reading down but I don’t think that’s true at all,” said Shannon in an interview with BBC. “It’s fine for all ages to read whatever they want and I think it’s important to always encourage reading.”

While Shannon’s novels follow a popular trend of exploring a potentially dysfunctional future, the book’s themes are classic. Paige Mahoney is a classic heroine, challenging a repressive regime for the right to exist.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Samantha Shannon

One Response to “Samantha Shannon”

  1. Angela English: 3 years ago

    when is book5 6 & 7 of the bone series coming out? We love your books!


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