The Next Hunger Games? The Rephaim of The Bone Season

boneseasonThe Bone Season by 21-year-old Samantha Shannon is being widely touted as the next Hunger Games. It’s the first book in a proposed seven-book series:

It’s 2059, and Paige lives in Scion London, an authoritarian police state that seeks to root out clairvoyants — sub-citizens who connect with a spirit realm called the “aether.” As it happens, Paige is a rare and powerful kind of clairvoyant: a dreamwalker, able to enter others’ minds and roam their dreamscapes…. In the opening chapter, her path takes an unexpected turn. Kidnapped and drugged, she wakes to find herself in Oxford, a city that has been hidden for 200 years. Inside its walls lies Sheol I, a penal colony for clairvoyants governed by the Rephaim, an otherworldly and supposedly immortal race.
The Washington Post

These “Rephaim” come from another dimension, in which they are involved in an epic battle against the “Emim”.

Not only that, but the Rephaim are giantish:

The speaker was about six and a half feet tall.Her features were perfectly symmetrical: a long,straight nose, high cheekbones, deep-set eyes fixed in her face. The candlelight ran through her hair and across her burnished skin. She wore black, like the others, but her sleeves and sides were slashed with gold.

“I am Nashira Sargas.” Her voice was cool and low-pitched. “I am the blood-sovereign of the Race of Rephaim.”
The Bone Season

The “Rephaim” appear in a number of parts of the Bible, where they are identified either as the long-dead heroic kings of ancient times, or – in Deuteronomy 2-3 – as entire peoples who used to live in Palestine and surrounding territories before the arrival of the Israelites. The “Emim” also appear in Deut 2:10-11 as the autochthonous inhabitants of Moab, long ago defeated by the Moabites, and as a subset of the Rephaim. In Genesis 14:5, both the Rephaim and Emim are listed as peoples who were defeated in an ancient battle fought against Chedorlaomer and his allied kings. So throughout the Bible, the Rephaim and Emim are currently members of the netherworld.

And in The Bone Season, the Rephaim are also inhabitants of the Netherworld, occasionally visiting a place they call Sheol I (“Sheol” being the Hebrew term for the realm of the dead).

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