Well, review of a genre of books, really. Young Adult Fantasy.
There are some cracking stories out there. And yes, many of them involve vampires and werewolves and other supernatural beings, and yes the viewpoint is from a teenage/young adult point of view. But that doesn’t matter!!
You do not have to be in that age group to appreciate a good story told well.
A good writer can bring a story to life no matter what age group is involved.
One of the things I love about this genre is the way the writers expand on the old stereotypes of supernatural beings. They create new variables in terms of characteristics and dynamics. They challenge the old limitations placed on these traditional themes. And why not??
As our world and technology is expanding, why-ever not expand on fictional mythology?
(Fictional as in entirely created from someone’s imagination/mythology as in something that has passed into the collective awareness as an established fiction)
I read a lot. Before I became ill, my leisure reading was limited to bedtime, but I still averaged a book a week. Now, especially if I am stuck in bed, I can read 3 or 4 a week.
I have always loved reading a series of books, going back to Enid Blyton’s Famous Five and Malory Towers then on to Tolkien and Stephen Donaldson’s Belgariad etc.
I stuck with the Science Fantasy genre for a very long time, watching it evolve as new writers appeared and did their own versions of the classical themes.
Terry Pratchett changed that for me. Discovering his brilliant piss take of the ‘adult’ SF genre was timely for me, I feel; as that was…..and still is, I think…..a genre that had become a bit turgid. A touch too far up its own exhaust pipe!! He breathed a refreshing blast of “this should be and can be fun” into the world of Science Fantasy writing and reading.
All Hail our Beloved Mr Pratchett. (I esthpeshthally love his Igor characterth).
The realm of YA fantasy writing is a similar breath of fresh air, in my opinion. It seemed to begin, in the general public’s awareness, with the Twilight Saga. They were great books. Bella needed a good slap at times, but these were vampires with lives!!!
If I had a quid for every ‘adult’ who wrote the series off because it had “sparkly” vampires, I wouldn’t need to ask for book tokens on my birthday!!
Or maybe I am just unusual in that I haven’t lost my sense of imagination and delight at twists in an old tale, of boundaries being pushed and new ways of looking at old subjects.
But I would be interested to know how many ‘adults’ there are out there, especially in the 40+ age group who also read this ‘genre’ or category of books.
One that I read recently, and really enjoyed, was The Finisher by David Baldacci, who is well known for an entirely different genre. So it’s not just new writers who are embracing the YA Fantasy category, which is wonderful to see.
Maybe as more of these books get made into films, the older audience will grow.
So….authors to look out for in the YA Fantasy category with a good story to tell (in no particular order):
~ Michael Grant
~ Ilsa J Bick
~ Veronica Roth
~ Becca Fitzpatrick
~ Charlie Higson
~ Cassandra Clare
~ Gena Showalter (she also does steamy fantasy stuff, so make sure you pick the right ones lol)
Not all include supernatural beings btw, but all take the viewpoint of a ‘young adult’ or older child.