I recently attended my first ever bookish event! (If you don’t count World Book Day at school, like, a hundred years ago).
It was at the Sheffield Waterstones in Orchard Square, I was actually pleasantly surprised to see so many people there when I arrived. I wasn’t sure how many to expect, but apparently the Sheffield bookish community is strong.
First off, Samantha read an excerpt from the book – nothing too spoilery, just enough to whet our appetites! Then, one of the booksellers ran a Q&A session, starting with a few questions of her own before opening it up to the floor.
If you’ve read The Bone Season and The Mime Order you’ll know they’re mainly set in London, but The Song Rising ventures into Manchester and Edinburgh, revealing how Scion has impacted on other regions. We even see and hear more about how the movement has affected Ireland, Sweden and Bulgaria, and of course we know that Paris is already lined up to become Sheol II if the Sargas have their way, and will be the main setting for book four of the seven book series.
Samantha explained that in most of the dystopian book series she had read, such as The Hunger Games and Divergent, the focus was solely on one place, whether that be the whole of America or just one city (Chicago in Divergent). She was reading The Handmaid’s Tale and in one scene Japanese tourists appeared, taking photos of the dystopian society in the story, like it was a curiosity to the outside world, a tourist attraction, and she realised that this was rare. She decided that she wanted to show how the rest of the world reacted to the events in Scion London and the regime’s expansion across Europe, so we will see more of the world in the remaining four books.
She also spoke about the film of The Bone Season, as the rights have been optioned and a script is already in the works. Samantha has seen concept artwork for the film and she sounded so excited by it, saying it was exactly how she pictured her characters, so I think we’re in for a very faithful movie! Samantha has consulting rights, meaning she has some involvement in the production of the film, but ultimately the director can ignore all of her suggestions.
After the Q&A, we were able to buy the book, as well as the new cover versions of the two previous books in the series (I was tempted as I own the old covers, but my budget wouldn’t stretch sadly!). Then, it was time to get them signed!
Samantha was so friendly, but with so many people to speak to and books to sign we had to keep it short. She has a really cool stamp of the Anchor that says ‘Scion, No Safer Place’. I noticed she was writing different things in people’s books, quotes from The Song Rising. Mine – “Rise from the ashes. Believe you always will...” is from page 261.
I have just finished reading the book and really enjoyed it, so I’ll post a review very soon. It’s a heist novel – one of the things Samantha said was that the benefit of having a seven book series to play with is the opportunity to try so many different styles within her main genre of YA dystopian fantasy. She described The Bone Season as a prison break, The Mime Order as a murder mystery, and apparently book four will be more political.
Have you read The Song Rising? What are your thoughts, do you love Samantha Shannon as much as I do? Which authors have you met at events? Tell me all about it in the comments!