I’m three-quarters of the way through Thomas Wharton’s The Shadow of Malabron and I’m just not feeling it–not the characters, not the world, not the story. Passages go by where I realize my inattentiveness several pages later, reading but not registering, and then having to flip back to figure out why Will is doing this thing or why the wolf is over there. Not a good sign, and one that chafes because Wharton’s glacially-paced Icefields kept me far more engaged. Much more happens in Shadow, yet the impact is much less. (more…)
I’ve been trying to get into Avatar: The Last Airbender on the urgings of Alasdair Czyrnyj, with the eventual goal of being able to talk intelligibly about The Legend of Korra. Avatar has all the hallmarks of a great show custom-made to appeal to my interests: dynamic animation, strong characters, solid storytelling and a “land of adventure” setting with distinct, inter-meshing cultures. Yet I find myself continually pulled away from the show, and despite watching the first episode back in December I haven’t managed to get beyond episode six. Meanwhile, I’ve been obsessively watching Last Exile even though I can’t say the two shows are qualitatively that much different (and the plot of Avatar is certainly less confusing). (more…)
Young Adult literature is a Thing now, but it wasn’t when Marie and I grew up! Join as as we talk about the books we read as teenagers and realize with dawning horror that we had terrible, terrible taste.
Redwall series, Brian Jacques Animorphs series, K.A, Applegate The Sword of Shannarah, Terry Brooks The Wheel of Time, Robert Jordan The Sword of Truth, Terry Goodkind
Everything by Mercedes Lackey The Belgeriad, David Eddings Forgotten Realms series, various authors Dragonlance Chronicles, Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman Harry Potter series, JK Rowling
If you hadn’t realized already, Young Adult fiction (YA) is kind of a Thing, with several well-known authors dipping in to write books for younger readers. We can blame Harry Potter for the uptick, I suppose. Twilight and The Hunger Games have also cemented that new section’s place in the bookstore.
We’ve had novels aimed specifically at younger readers since the nineteenth century, with boys’ adventure stories and the like. This is where we got Treasure Island, Howard Pyle’s Book of Pirates, Around the World in Eighty Days (although Jules Verne’s scientific romances weren’t specifically meant for young boys, it was a natural fit). Then there was the era when the Newbery Award reigned supreme—the 50s to the 70s, when Lloyd Alexander, Rosemary Sutcliff and Ursula K. Le Guin wrote classic works for younger readers. To tell the truth, my interest in YA lies mostly with works from before YA was a Thing, with those boys’ adventure novels and the “Newbery Era.” Yet those both had younger readers in mind than YA supposedly aims for.