The Bone Season Kicks Off Today Show Book Club: What Is It?

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NBC's Today Show kicked off its new book club this morning with The Bone Season, a debut novel by 21-year-old author Samantha Shannon.

  • Samantha Shannon Photo
  • The Bone Season Cover

The first in a projected seven-part dystopian series, it seems impossible to talk about the book without calling her "the next J.K. Rowling."

Or the next anything and everything. The expectations are that high.

Buzz for the series has been circulating since last fall when the film rights were sold, with Shannon retaining "consultation rights and veto power.

With the announcement that The Bone Season was the first pick of Today's first-ever book club, retailers have doubled their orders of the novel.

So what is the book, which is on sale as of today, and is it any good?

A fast-paced tale of dystopian fantasy set in the year 2059, Shannon wrote it in between classes while she was an undergraduate at Oxford University.

Entertainment Weekly gave the much-hyped novel a "B" grade, writing that "even if Shannon's inexperience is evident, her potential is too."

The Telegraph says that "like so much recent young adult fiction, I suspect this series will appeal to the fearless teenager dwelling within many adults."

Vanity Fair suggested that The Bone Season will stir up "a Hunger Games-like frenzy and franchise," making Shannon the new Suzanne Collins.

The Independent called her the next E.L. James (Fifty Shades of Grey), while others have likened it Divergent by Veronica Roth, also a sci-fi novel.

The book industry is thrilled about the media coverage devoted to books, particularly on Today, No. 2 in morning programming with 4.4 million viewers.

Can The Bone Season deliver on high expectations?

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