The Bone Season Series by Samantha Shannon – A Read Along discussion

The Bone Season (The Bone Season, #1)
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message 1: by Cynthia (new)

Cynthia Shannon  (cincindypat) | 1 comments Welcome to the group! Samantha will be answering questions throughout the day on Thursday, September 19th in this thread only. In the meantime if you have a question for the author or just want to introduce yourself feel free to do so in this thread.

Melanie | 1 comments Loved the book! I have a few questions, hope that is ok!

Why are the Rephaim forbidden to touch humans?

What does the cover of the book symbolize?

Do you have an estimated date the next book will be out?

Kayla Beck Kalnasy (kaylabeck) | 1 comments Hi, Samantha! I'm just finishing up The Bone Season, and I love it! Are there any authors whose world-building (the level of detail, not the actual world) has been the most influential on your own?

Charlotte | 3 comments Loved the book and am looking forward to how the series unfolds.

However, I'm a bit unclear as to why Voyants are banned and why busking for profit exists. What does, for instance, and Oracle do that's so dangerous that it's banned? "Hold on while I throw a picture at you!"

Or, when Jaxon sends out the Voyants on a "job" what kind of job are they doing? How is it profitable? Why is it dangerous (other than being illegal?)

I'd love a bit more information about how this society works, the illegality of voyants and what they do that is so dangerous, and how it can be profitable.


message 5: by Theresa (last edited Sep 16, 2013 11:38AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Theresa Ms.Shannon, congrats on the book! I've read it twice (second time was with the audio book which really helped me slow down and absorb the details). It was one of those great reads that left me wanting more. I was intrigued by Gomeisa's reference to a long ago estrangement between humans and Rephaim. Is that explained in future books?

message 6: by Amy (new) - rated it 3 stars

Amy (amesw8) Hi Samantha!
I was curious where you gathered a lot of your information and ideas for the entire chart in the front of the book. You have so many different Voyants listed there, some I've never even heard of, and it was so intriguing. Did you make some of them up yourself, or do they all exist outside of "your world" too?

Thanks!! Can't wait for the next book(s)!!
-Amy W.

Laura Wattie | 1 comments Hi Samantha, loved The Bone Season!! I've got a questions: Why did you use 19th Century British criminal language? And what do The Rephaim look like?? I kept on imagining them looking like Gargoyles crossed with angels for some random reason!

Erin Wagener | 2 comments Hi Samantha I really loved the book I heard about it from a YouTuber named Carrie Fletcher. And she spoke very highly of it and when I heard it was going to be released soon I got very excited. The day after it came out I got it and I could not put it down.

My question is you are a relatively young author when was it you decided that writing novels was something you wanted to do?

Also is the book cover supposed to resemble something like the seven dials? (I am an American and I read shortly after I read the book that the seven dials is a real thing or a place in London. Correct?)

June (juniemoonn) hi, like so many others , loved the story. what was your thought process in planning a book series? did u start out knowing you were going to write multiple books, or is it something that just evolved as the book progressed? ty june

1403Anna | 1 comments Okay, I may have missed something (I tend to be forgetful), but is it actually possible to kill a Buzzer? There must be some way to get rid of them or having the voyants wouldn't be necessary as they would do nothing to stop them. So, if there's a way, how do you kill a buzzer? Thanks Samantha!

message 11: by Sima (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sima | 1 comments Hi Samantha!

When did you start writing The Bone Season? Did you know it was going to be a 7 book series from the beginning? Do you always know what's going to happen with a character or are you surprised sometimes by the doors your own writing opens?


- Sima

message 12: by S (new) - rated it 5 stars

S | 1 comments Hi Samantha!

First of all THANK YOU for this amazing story! I was completely spellbound within the first 10 minutes! That doesn't happen often!

I am fascinated with Warden's character and looking forward to his evolution. Where did the rephaim come from in terms of your imagination? What inspired them? Was there any religious input from your younger years or something you studied in school?

I love the overlay of the paranormal with dystopias. Do you have "extra abilities" yourself? Do you know someone who does and did they inspire you as well?

Lastly, kudos on the original title and the meaning behind it! I am so much looking foward to book 2, please hurry!!! I will be re-reading book 1 and thinking about all the fine details of this world in the meantime. By the way, every time I hear Radioactive by Imagine Dragon, it seems to bring my mind to your world :-)

message 13: by Dawn (new) - rated it 3 stars

Dawn | 2 comments Hi Samantha -
First of all - congrats on such a great book! I loved it! I can't wait to read more.
How did you get your inspiration for this series?
Also, how did you get such an amazing book deal straight out of that gate? Seriously huge congrats on getting such a fantastic deal for your first book series - amazing!

message 14: by Mia (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mia (fierce_reader_) | 1 comments Hi Samantha,
First of all, your book is incredible and I'm extremely looking forward to the next one.
Speaking of which, when will the next one be released?
Also, what influenced your story line and the world that your book is set in?
Also, will we be seeing more of Paige and Warden together?

Thank you!

Jamie Hi Samantha,

I read an ARC from BEA and was very impressed! I know that you started a blog around the time you found your agent. As a new writer in a changing publishing world, do you feel pressure to make yourself more accessible to your readers? How do you sell your book without selling yourself, or is that part of the business these days?

Thanks for your time! Looking forward to the sequels.

Chloé | 1 comments god oh god, only one question: when's the next one coming?

message 17: by Mad (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mad (madeleine_cassier) Hello, Samantha!

Thank you so much for the gift of such an incredibly complex and fascinating story. I picked up 'The Bone Season' on a whim and was so entranced that I could not put it down until I had finished it. I, myself, recently studied abroad in London and took a visit to Oxford, so I thoroughly enjoyed all your descriptions of the locations of 'The Bone Season.' I was curious, with this novel being set in the future, how you imagined the look of your novel's London in contrast with current London?

Congratulations, also, on having the rights picked up by The Imaginarium! This is such a visually evocative novel, that I can't wait to see its transliteration to the big screen! On that note, I am curious as to whether or not you plan on writing the film adaptation yourself, or whether it shall be turned over to other writers?

I'm so looking forward to the upcoming books in this series and wish you all the best of luck!

Cheers and thank you again for such a phenomenal story!

-Madeleine C.

message 18: by Tara (last edited Sep 17, 2013 10:12PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tara | 1 comments Amazing novel! I recommend your book to everyone who comes into the book store i work at. Other than wanting to know the answers to all the other questions posed, my question is... do you plan on coming to the states to do a book tour? Please say yes!

Israel Gamboa | 1 comments Hello Ms. Shannon, I greatly enjoyed your book and I look forward to reading the series as it unfolds.
I was wondering if there would be a more elaborate glossary for the types of voyants, such as what each voyant's special traits are and their aura color?

message 20: by Amber (last edited Sep 18, 2013 09:49AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Amber (puresurplus) Samantha,

The Casual Readers group chose your book for our September group read! So far, we are only hearing rave reviews.

Q: Has the fan-generated playlist been released yet?

You can read more questions directed to you in our discussion thread but encouraging members to come here and post for themselves.


♥ Me

Angie Rhodes | 1 comments Hi Samantha, firstly. I would like to thank you, for a great book. read, as a review book,
I would ,love to know where, you got the fantastic idea. of Scion? thanks

message 22: by Jaffareadstoo (last edited Sep 18, 2013 02:15AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jaffareadstoo Great book Samantha, I really enjoyed it and look forward to the seeing how the story progresses in the later books.

Where did you get your first flash of inspiration for the story, and which writers have inspired you?

Thanks !

Tiffany Harris (lionyx) | 1 comments Hi Samantha,

Congratulations on The Bone Season. I honestly spent every free moment I had reading your book. It was incredibly intriguing. However, my question is about the publishing process. I've been writing since I was very young, I'm 22 now, and I hope to have the novel I'm currently working on published, but I am very nervous about breaking into the publishing world. I know it can be difficult and disappointing. Is there any advice you could give me on what goes into having a book published and what I should expect? I would greatly appreciate advice from a young author like myself. And again, congrats on the book! I am looking forward to watching the series unfold.

Tiffany H.

Brian (eschen19) | 1 comments Samantha,
Thank you so much for this book, this series! I enjoyed it immensely, and I cannot wait for the next one. My question is about any historical connections to your writing. Believe me, I do not expect you to divulge exactly what you were thinking of when you sat down to write this series, but I am quite interested in the type of research you focused on preparing for it. There are so many possible parallels between Scion and our current socio-political landscape. And I understand that there could be absolutely no parallel at all. What, if anything, did you delve into during your research for this story? History? Politics? Contemporary culture? Or should I simply simmer down and enjoy the story?
Thank you again!
Your fan,
Brian E.

Jennifer | 1 comments Samantha,
So I picked up this book because of all the 'buzz' and started reading it not quite realizing it was in the SF category. Yet your development of the characters (especially Paige) pulled me in. Although wish I had discovered the glossary earlier. That being said here is my question: Will we learn more about Paige's mother in the future?

Britt (britainlee) | 1 comments Samantha,

I know you are hard at work continuing to write your wonderful story-- I imagine you have a general layout and overall arch for the rest of the story.. But I was curious how much you plan for which bits would go in which books? Or do those specifics come later?

Do you intend to write/release a book a year, or every other year? (Harry Potter was mostly my generation, but I never really got into it so much that I had to (im)patiently await the arrival of the next book :])

Will proceeding titles revolve mostly around the same cast of characters, or do you plan to add like... Game of Thrones number of characters that are occasionally hard to keep track of? (I hope you don't kill everyone off like GRRM ;] )

How excited are you for the novel to be brought to the big screen? Will you have a big hand in the planning and execution stages? Do other book to film audience acceptance (such as mortal instruments) sway your excitement? I'm very excited to see the world come to life, in any case.

Thanks for answering questions!

Alyssa Hoggett | 1 comments Congrats on a fantastic book :)
If you were Clairvoyant, what would your dreamscape look like?
Can't wait for the next one!!
Alyssa x

Sarah (sarah_sgriffiths) | 4 comments Is there a planned publication sequence for the future books? Like 1 every year? I can't wait for the second book! :)

Daniel I loved The Bone Season and am looking forward to the next books.

Other than some of the questions already asked, I'd like to know a little more about the timeline. The story is set in 2059, but the Rephaim arrived in 1859 and Scion was established in 1901. Is this simply an alternate reality or is there something else going on, like perhaps Scion exists in 2013 but people don't know about it?

Looking forward to the second book. Thanks!

Andrea (andreaking) I loved your book and how detailed your world-building was. My questions are:

1. If you were a clairvoyant, which type would you be?
2. What was your inspiration when you were writing this book? How did you come up with clairvoyants in the future and the Rephaim?
3. When, where, how, and what were you doing when you first had the idea to write about The Bone Season? Tell us the story of how The Bone Season came to life in your mind.
4. Give us a dream cast for the main characters.

Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions. Looking forward to the next book! :D

Nannette McMurtry (mrsmcmurtry) Hi! I loved escaping into your new world in The Bone Season, and I feel like so many questions that I've had have already been asked.

However, here's one more:

What's Warden's back story and will we see more of his character in the next book (or books)? We piece together a bit of his past, but so much is left unsaid...curious to learn more about him!

message 32: by Gem (new) - rated it 5 stars

Gem | 1 comments What is your favorite and least favorite character trait of Paige?

Sarah (sarah_sgriffiths) | 4 comments What was your reaction when your book got optioned to be turned into a film by The Imaginarium studio? Do you have any new news about the film?

Jamie Lynn (jamielm) | 1 comments Hello! I enjoyed The Bone Season so very much. Top of my list for 2013 reads :) Most of the questions I had in mind have been asked already (I am most curious to hear how you came to the idea/development of this story). It will be great to read the responses.
Thanks and All the Best.

Mallory | 1 comments I'm so glad you're doing this discussion group. I'm the first in my group of friends to read it & have no one to obsessively discuss with. I'm going to try not to repeat any previously asked questions...

How do you feel about the comparisons to JK Rowling? Does it add extra pressure?
Will we get more info about the creation of Scion or the history of its relationship with the Rephaim?
How are the Rephs hiding their true appearance? Will they be revealed?
Will we find out what created the Emim (are they infected Rephs?)?

If you only get to some of the posts, I also vote for the questions about Paige's mom & the character focus of future books.

message 36: by Danielle (last edited Sep 18, 2013 06:13PM) (new) - added it

Danielle Mcgraw | 5 comments I loved it!!! My question, Why does the flower in the bell jar come back to full beauty? Is it from the kiss? Is it tied to Warden? Or all of the rephaim ?
Also do the rephaim have any angelic lineage?
Can't wait for the next book(s) and I'm so grateful you dropped off signed copies in NYC :) congrats and keep up the great work !

Declan | 1 comments Mazing So far! Almost done. Can't wait for the next book. I do have a few questions. I do hope that's okay.

Do you have an estimated date for the release?

What does the Cover symbolize?

Can't wait for the next books! And Congrats on a best seller!

message 38: by Dave (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dave Kearney Hi Samantha


I'm curious about your writing process. Do you have the series plotted out or is it evolving as you write? What tips do you have for wannabe fantasy writers?

All the best.

message 39: by Samantha, Author of The Bone Season (new) - added it

Samantha Shannon (samanthashannon) | 113 comments Mod
Hi everyone,

Thanks so much for all your questions so far! I'll be answering as many as I can throughout the day, starting in about 20 minutes.


Sarah (sarah_sgriffiths) | 4 comments WOO! Can't wait! :D

Amber (puresurplus) Samantha wrote: "Hi everyone,

Thanks so much for all your questions so far! I'll be answering as many as I can throughout the day, starting in about 20 minutes.


Yay, we're ready! However, I must sleep but will enjoy reading your responses later today.

message 42: by Amber (last edited Sep 19, 2013 12:46AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Amber (puresurplus) How do you feel about being called the next J. K. Rowling and having the series referred to as the next Hunger Games?

What inspired you to use Nadsat?

Glossolalia is otherwise known as the language of angels. What are you not telling us yet?

Do you have a fascination with linguistics?

How important is your connection to music during the writing process?

What is the significance of the field of red poppies in Paige's dreamscape?

How many books in the series are currently completed?

Are you already positive on how it all will end?

I could probably think of a lot more, but I'm extremely tired. Have fun!

Thanks, again.

message 43: by Samantha, Author of The Bone Season (new) - added it

Samantha Shannon (samanthashannon) | 113 comments Mod
Melanie wrote: "Loved the book! I have a few questions, hope that is ok!

Why are the Rephaim forbidden to touch humans?

What does the cover of the book symbolize?

Do you have an estimated date the next book ..."


Hi Melanie,

I'm so glad you enjoyed The Bone Season! I'm afraid I can't yet reveal why the Rephaim aren't allowed to touch humans, but you'll find out in later books! I'm hoping the second book will be out in 2014 – I'm going to work hard on the manuscript over Christmas.

The book cover is composed of three symbols: the dials, the anchor and the flower.

The flower is the amaranth: the eight-petalled symbol that appears on some of Warden's belongings in the Founder's Tower.

The anchor is Scion's symbol. To them, it represents being anchored to the natural path, and not straying into unnaturalness. The style of the anchor was inspired by an ancient Nigerian language system called Nsibidi.

The dials represent Seven Dials and Paige's life in London. If you're wondering why the number 6 appears twice, it's because the cover designer, David Mann, based the image on one of the real sundial faces at Seven Dials. I interviewed David on my blog here if you're interested in finding out more.

Thanks for your questions!


message 44: by Samantha, Author of The Bone Season (new) - added it

Samantha Shannon (samanthashannon) | 113 comments Mod
Kayla wrote: "Hi, Samantha! I'm just finishing up The Bone Season, and I love it! Are there any authors whose world-building (the level of detail, not the actual world) has been the most influential on your own?"


Hi Kayla,

One of my biggest inspirations is Margaret Atwood. Her worldbuilding technique in The Handmaid's Tale is wonderful: subtle yet richly detailed. JRR Tolkien was another one – I don't think any author has yet surpassed his worldbuilding skill. And of course, I think we can all agree that JK Rowling built a spectacular fantasy world in Harry Potter. Those three authors all built their worlds in very different ways, but all are incredibly believable and immersive.


message 45: by Samantha, Author of The Bone Season (new) - added it

Samantha Shannon (samanthashannon) | 113 comments Mod
Charlotte wrote: "Loved the book and am looking forward to how the series unfolds.

However, I'm a bit unclear as to why Voyants are banned and why busking for profit exists. What does, for instance, and Oracle do ..."


Hi Charlotte,

I'm so glad you enjoyed the book!

Not all clairvoyants have powers you might consider 'dangerous', but Scion considers all clairvoyance unnatural and threatening, and claims that clairvoyants always use their gifts for evil purposes. They have created lies to instil a sense of terror into the general public. They are illegal because Scion has made them so.

An oracle's images can also be very frightening; if Nick were to imagine a vivid scene of bloodshed and gore, for example, and send it into your dreamscape, it would stick in your head for hours and you wouldn't be able to stop thinking about it.

You will find out a lot more about how the clairvoyant syndicate works, and the kind of work Jaxon gives his employees, in Book 2.

Busking for profit exists because the lower orders of clairvoyants, like soothsayers and augurs, often find it difficult to get legal jobs or find places in the syndicate, as their gifts are not as rare and valuable as those of the higher orders. They turn to busking as a means of survival.

I hope that at least partly answers your questions!


message 46: by Samantha, Author of The Bone Season (new) - added it

Samantha Shannon (samanthashannon) | 113 comments Mod
Theresa wrote: "Ms.Shannon, congrats on the book! I've read it twice (second time was with the audio book which really helped me slow down and absorb the details). It was one of those great reads that left me want..."


Hi Theresa,

I think I answered that question as part of my Google Hangout with the TODAY show – was it you that asked it?


message 47: by Samantha, Author of The Bone Season (new) - added it

Samantha Shannon (samanthashannon) | 113 comments Mod
Kaylie wrote: "I stayed up all night reading your book! I think your world building is fantastic and I love your characters. Paige is funny and sweet and so easily likable.
Just a weird question, but there are a..."


Hi Kaylie,

Thanks for your lovely comments about Paige!

Officially, The Bone Season is published by Bloomsbury's Adult division. I was relieved about this, as the Young Adult books are looked after by Bloomsbury Kids, and I wasn't comfortable with the series being classed as suitable for children. Paige is a little older than the typical YA protagonist, and many of the characters (e.g. Nick, Jaxon) are well out of their teenage years. Most of the Seven Seals are in their twenties. Of course, there are lots of aspects of it that fit into YA, and readers can decide for themselves how they think it should be shelved.

You'll find out in later books why the scarred ones were spared. Thanks for the questions!


message 48: by Samantha, Author of The Bone Season (new) - added it

Samantha Shannon (samanthashannon) | 113 comments Mod
Taking a quick break to do a Google Hangout with the Reading Room now. The link is here if anyone wants to tune in!

Back to answering questions soon.


message 49: by Priyanka (new)

Priyanka Roy Banerjee (chernozems) Hi Samantha,

I have just received 'The Bone Season' as a prize from Infibeam facebook contest (in India)along with a Bone Season T-shirt. Can't tell you how excited I am to read the book.

My question to you - Why did you choose supernatural as a genre? Why not Romance/Thrillers? I'm asking this as Romance is on a splurge in the Indian English Literature right now. I'd like to know what motivated you to choose this genre?

Good luck for future!

message 50: by Sudocream (last edited Sep 19, 2013 09:51AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sudocream | 1 comments Hi Samantha :)

I am a huge fan of your book! I read it in one night and then couldn't stop talking about it to anyone who would listen. It honestly has been a while since I have read anything that has kept me up into the early hours of the morning (and I do like to read a lot, anything really). I loved your book so much I got friends in London and Dublin to try and get me a signed copy (since I was, at that moment, out of the country). I managed to get one!! (I think I drove everyone insane!)

Anyway's I have some question's: I really loved the relationship between Warden and Paige, can you tell us a little bit more about them? Anything at all? Warden is so mysterious!

Any advice to budding writer's? Especially those suffering from writer's block?

Also just wanted to ask a random question: Do you read Sherlock fanfiction (seeing as you are a fan of Benedict Cumberbatch....I am assuming you watch Sherlock??) Just curious! If you do any particular favourites?

Keep dreaming Samantha and dream big! Really loved the book!

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