Everybody in the entertainment business wants non-stop hits. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every movie was a Star Wars, or every book a Harry Potter? In the latter case, now that the Harry Potter series is done, there’s still a need to fill the void, but a phenomenon like that doesn’t grow on trees.
Not that that’s going to stop anyone from trying. Forbes.com has reported that like the movie business in changing digital times, the book business is also relying on “tentpoles” to stay afloat, and they’re currently looking for the next big young adult novel to potentially turn into another Hunger Games or Harry Potter. (The Harry Potter series has sold over 450 million books world-wide.)
In fact, TGD reported some time back on a recent contender to the throne, Samantha Shannon, whose debut novel, The Bone Season, got a big money deal for what will be a seven book series (!). Shannon is all of 21 years old, and an Oxford student. The Bone Season is now out in the world, and an early review on Daily Beast makes it sound intriguing.
In the Bone Season, there are young adults fighting for their future in a dystopian world, but these young adults also have the extra gift of clairvoyance. Like A Clockwork Orange, there’s a glossary in the back for the futuristic language. Ultimately, as the Beast tells us, “It’s far less romance-focused than Twilight, more mature than Harry Potter, and messier and more sprawling than The Hunger Games.” Not to mention the story’s unpredictable plot “makes this stand out from the pack of paranormal and dystopian teen novels.”
We at TGD have written about Shannon before, when her big deal was first announced, and with the next Hunger Games movie coming on November 22, dystopian novels with a female bent should still be in the zeitgeist for a little while. While Harry Potter was an enormous phenomenon that probably will never be repeated, it would be fun to see another book series come close to equaling it one day.