From Modern Mythcraft to Magical Surrealism

Tag Archive for ‘young adult’ rss

young adult

Thief Eyes by Janni Lee Simner

Choosing a setting rarely seen in English-language YA fiction, Simner brings the remote, quake-racked island vividly to life. She inhabits her Iceland with complex, sympathetic characters who pay steep costs for the actions of others and themselves. She skillfully blends ancient Icelandic legend (specifically, Njal’s Saga) and Scandinavian myth with the modern world. In sum, Thief Eyes is a timeless fantasy

young adult

Bones of Faerie by Janni Lee Simner

Janni Lee Simner makes an impressive debut with her first novel for young adults, Bones of Faerie. With graceful prose, primal tragedy, and a rigorous avoidance of the teen angst that makes so many recent YA protagonists so insufferably self-absorbed, Simner brings her complex characters quietly, yet vividly, to life.

young adult

Voices of Dragons by Carrie Vaughn

Carrie Vaughn is known for her series of novels about Kitty Norville, werewolf and radio talk show host. She has two more Kitty novels appearing in 2010 but, happily, she is expanding her range, with a couple non-Kitty novels also scheduled. Her first Young Adult novel is Voices of Dragons, which opens what looks to be another enjoyable series.

young adult

Double Review: Foiled by Jane Yolen & Mike Cavallaro / Zeus: King of the Gods by George O’Connor

Two graphic books from the First Second (:01): Foiled, written by Jane Yolen and illustrated by Mike Cavallaro parries with plenty of well-known themes, including role-playing games, but for younger readers they are fresh and the execution is clever enough to capture the more jaded as well: a real winner. Zeus: King of the Gods by George O’Connor supplements classics such as D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths well.

young adult

Fire: Tales of Elemental Spirits by Robin McKinley and Peter Dickinson

Husband and wife Peter Dickinson and Robin McKinley have each had remarkable writing careers as individuals. This is the second book (after Water, Putnam 2002) they have written together, collaborating on the book but not the individual stories. The two longer stories in Fire are by McKinley, the three shorter ones by Dickinson. All are Young Adult fantasies, about “fire spirits” of various types, such as a salamander, a phoenix, and a dragon. Fire is a wonderful blending of talents of two writers who have already given us some of the best YA fantasy of the past few decades.

young adult

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan is a thoroughly delightful Young Adult novel, the first in a series based on an alternate history World War I. In this history Charles Darwin discovered the genetic basis for evolution, and how to manipulate it. As a result the United Kingdom and its allies have a society based on biotechnology, an example of which is the airship Leviathan, a huge beast (or colony of organisms) based on whale DNA and much more. By contrast the Germans, Austrians, and their allies, called Clankers, use steampunk-flavored machinery: airplanes and zeppelins, but also great walking land war machines.

young adult

The Yggysey by Daniel Pinkwater

One of the best YA novel’s of 2009, Daniel Pinkwater’s sequel to The Neddiad (inspired by The Illiadis The Yggyssey (similarly inspired by The Odyssey) is charming, interesting, and often quite funny.