Samantha Shannon can write. At 21, she knows how to work a complicated plot. She can create a complex and believable world with skill, and there is a beauty to her choice of language that is as rare as a blue apple.
However, I find the hype around this book, her first novel, to be a bit premature. As I understand it, she secured a three-book deal with J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter publisher, with plans for seven books in total. I am even told that she has secured a deal for the film rights.
This is all a bit hard to believe, as I was well into the book (by several hundred pages, in fact) before I began to even care for the main character. To me, Paige felt cold, distant, and I can’t help but feel that given the circumstances of her dystopian London, she should have been more passionate in her rebellion. I mean, she’s Irish for God-sake. That should pack a whollop alone.
And while I understand that Shannon may have purposely designed this chill in as a part of her world-building, at some point I have to invest in her character. And as I said, I did not feel this pull until perhaps that last third of the book. I only kept reading because she had done such a good job of making me interested in the setting.
Now with all that out, I will tell you that I plan to pick up the next book in the series. I just won’t be chomping at the bit to get at it. Not like I was with The Hunger Games series, which gripped me from the beginning. Now there was some passion! And I’m not talking Peeta vs. Gale. Katniss really wrapped you up in herself. That was characterization as it should be done.
BUT given the improvement in that element towards the end of Shannon’s book, I expect the next one to be spectacular.
And on another note, I hope that she decides to stay with the current color scheme. I have been in love with this particular shade of blue since Outlander first made its appearance at roughly the same time as the author.
That’s right. She’s that young. And absolutely charming on her Twitter account. Follow her @say_shannon.