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  1. #1
    \m/ BEER \m/ Moderator Rob B's Avatar
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    Cool YA Fantasy-Not just for Kids

    There have been topics about many of these authors but no real dedicated topic to what can be considered Young Adult Fantasy.

    I'm talking about Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy (The Golden Compass[US]/Northern Lights/[UK], The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass); Neil Gaiman's wonderful Coraline, Michael Chabon's fun and fantastic Summerland, the Lemony Snicket Books (though more dark in tone than actual fantasy, but it feels right lumping them here), the Narnia books, Garth Nix's work (Sabriel, Lirael and Abhorsen) to name a few.

    I've found myself being drawn to these books lately and I am really enjoying these books and admiring the skill the authors have to utilize in getting their voice in the right frame for the intended teen-ish audience. What is great about the books I've metioned above (Aside from Garth Nix, who I haven't read yet though the SFBC ominbus of the three books is on the way, thanks to my friend for joining the club so I could get some free books! ), is how well they work for adults. Again, for the books I mentioned above, should not be pooh-poohed simply because they are marketed as YA books.

    Of course there are the Potter books as well. And please don't tell me about Shannara and WOT. Yes teens read them, but they are only now being re-marketed for the Young Adult market.

    Anyway, I really would like to get people's thoughts on this growing part of the genre as well as thoughts on either the authors above or those I haven't mentioned.

    Here are some of the topics I found for the specific authors/books:
    Garth Nix
    Dark Materials (Philip Pullman)
    Tamora Pierce
    Harry Potter
    The Dark is Rising - Susan Cooper

  2. #2
    Cranky old broad AuntiePam's Avatar
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    A big me too

    Is it a second childhood thing? Or just a craving for "story"?

    I'm about halfway through Summerland. I've read and enjoyed the Pullman books, and the Snickets, the Potters and Coraline.

    Didn't care much for the first book in Cooper's series so shelved that one. Nix is in the TBR. Recently re-read The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe and have bought a nice new edition of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Cornelia Funke's The Thief Lord is on the nightstand, and I'm thinking about continuing the Artemis Fowl series but haven't decided yet.

    I think for me it's wanting to get more story. Seems like other stuff I've read lately has been mostly character interaction but not much happens. Lots of epiphanies but not much buildup.

    When someone asks me what one of these books is about, I can tell them. It's not so easy to do that with the more literary stuff. "It's about a father's estrangement from his family" or "it's about a woman searching for herself" or "it's about a dysfunctional family." Gets old.

    Summerland is about baseball and about saving the world. How cool is that?

  3. #3
    Abstainer from Foolosophy
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    ****************************
    Last edited by JohnH; June 10th, 2004 at 02:10 PM.

  4. #4
    Reed-Sternberg Cell DrBloodmoney1's Avatar
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    I agree. I recently finished Sabriel and I thought it was great. I have Summerland on the TBR pile and Coraline as well.

    I can really identify with these books, especially the newer ones. I think that it relates to how I was introduced to the genre. Narnia, L'Engle, The Wind in the Willows- those are all of my favorites from growing up.

    I was wondering what everybody thought about Abarat by Clive Barker. I recently picked it up because of the artwork. It really caught my eye. I think that he has another 3 books in the series.

    DrB

  5. #5
    Cranky old broad AuntiePam's Avatar
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    I haven't read Abarat and haven't heard anything about it, except that it's selling well.

    What's it about?

  6. #6
    I eat fish. Bear's Avatar
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    I'm a big fan of young adult books. In fact, most of my favorite fantasy authors are either lumped in this category or in the urban fantasy genre. A lot of high fantasy, unless it's really exceptional or original, feels pretty stale to me. And IMO, YA fiction is where the creativity is. The plots are (usually) very original, and as Auntie Pam stated, there's a lot more movement. Instead of page after page of introspection and interaction, we see things happen. It really keeps things fresh. And sure, I'm a bit older than the target audience, but who cares? A good story is a good story. If done right, a book can easily transcend age, as JohnH was saying.

    And FF, I really watch the YA genre too. The skill and creativity some these YA author's possess is astounding. And isn't a little sad that a lot of the YA books are better written and more thought-provoking than the so called "adult books?"

    That being said...

    Glad to see some others enjoyed Coraline. I thought the book was great, and to top it off, Dave Mckean, one of my favorite artists, did the illustrations. Excellent stuff.

    Pullman and Rowling are wonderful authors. Once I crack open any of their novels, the book will be done with by the next day, without fail. Both of them write total page-turners (Order of the pheonix is at the very top of my "can't wait to read" list).

    The books I've read from Nix I enjoyed, especially Shade's children. It was a grim story, but quite good. Recommended. Sabriel's another one to pick up.

    The Theif Lord was decent, but not a favorite. It was well-written but not as likable as some of the authors mentioned above.

    Colfer's Artemis Fowl books are enjoyable. I didn't exactly love them, but they were interesting, if a little too "techy" at times. But the twisting of familiar legend, as in "LEPrecon," was great.

    The Snicket books sure don't last long, and some of the installments are pretty weak, but I consider myself a fan. And I love the artwork.

  7. #7
    Reed-Sternberg Cell DrBloodmoney1's Avatar
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    I am a big Charles de Lint fan. He recently put out a book of short stories that were marketed for a YA crowd called Waifs and Strays. I was very impressed as always with his top-notch storytelling.

    DrB

  8. #8
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    I was just going through some old posts of mine. I was pretty amazed to see how my tastes and attitudes have changed over the past 3 years.
    Anyway, one of these posts reminded me of an author I read quite a lot of when I was younger - Victor Kelleher.
    He's an Australian based author who mostly writes (or used to write at least) young adult novels, many of which are fantasy.
    I fondly remember reading some of his fantasy such as The Forbidden Paths of Thual, The Hunting of Shadroth, Master of the Grove, The Red King, The Makers, etc. I have quite a large collection of his books hanging around somewhere...

    Has anyone else read them? I suggest them as worth a look if you're interested in reading some YA fiction. They're not quite at the level of Nix or Pullman, but they're still a good read.

  9. #9
    The Druid allanon's Avatar
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    I like YA fantasy vety much; for me "Harry Potter" is as enjoyable as my favourite Epic Fantasy authors, if not more, and I also like "Artemis Fowl" very much.

  10. #10
    Registered User rune's Avatar
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    Re: YA Fantasy-Not just for Kids

    Originally posted by Fitz
    There have been topics about many of these authors but no real dedicated topic to what can be considered Young Adult Fantasy.

    Here are some of the topics I found for the specific authors/books:
    Garth Nix
    Dark Materials (Philip Pullman)
    Tamora Pierce
    Harry Potter
    The Dark is Rising - Susan Cooper
    I've read all the books in the Harry Potter series and thoroughly enjoyed them. However, when I tried His Dark Material by Pullman and Coraline, I was a little disappointed as their style wasn't quite as mature for me as Rowlings was and this can spoil a story for me a little.

    Still that's just my thoughts, and I am sure a lot of adults would enjoy reading these other YA authors as there is plenty going on in the books and they dont tend to be overloaded on detail

    rune

  11. #11
    Cranky old broad AuntiePam's Avatar
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    Re: Re: YA Fantasy-Not just for Kids

    Originally posted by rune


    However, when I tried His Dark Material by Pullman and Coraline, I was a little disappointed as their style wasn't quite as mature for me as Rowlings was and this can spoil a story for me a little.
    No kidding? Wow. I'm just the opposite, Pullman's style seems more mature to me than Rowling's. I don't get much from Rowling's books, although I enjoy reading about her various creations and I usually get a chuckle from the wordplay.

    I haven't finished Phoenix. Nothing annoys me more than overuse of adverbs in describing speech, and Rowling tosses them around like bird seed at a wedding.

    It's always interesting to see how books affect people so differently.

  12. #12
    Registered User EMMAXIS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AuntiePam View Post
    No kidding? Wow. I'm just the opposite, Pullman's style seems more mature to me than Rowling's. I don't get much from Rowling's books, although I enjoy reading about her various creations and I usually get a chuckle from the wordplay.

    I haven't finished Phoenix. Nothing annoys me more than overuse of adverbs in describing speech, and Rowling tosses them around like bird seed at a wedding.

    It's always interesting to see how books affect people so differently.

    Agreed. I felt Pullman to be much more sophisticated with the ideas he presents, especially toward the later books.

  13. #13
    Goblin Princess Teresa Edgerton's Avatar
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    I have a lot of the same favorites mentioned when this thread was young, but I've discovered some new favorites: The Mortal Instruments series, by Cassandra Clare. Incarceron and Sapphique by Catherine Fisher, also her series The Oracle Prophecies. The Seeker Chronicles, by Betsy James, especially the third book, Listening at the Gate.

  14. #14
    Locked in the Golden Cage HellsGuardian's Avatar
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    Some YA novels / sets I've grown up with...
    The Mortal Engines series by Phillip Reeve is one of my favourites, along with a free book by Nix; Shade's Children. Also Phillip Pullman's Old Kingdom trilogy as well as William Nicholson's Wind and Fire trilogy. I own the complete Keys to the Kingdom series as well by Garth Nix as well as the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials is also there somewhere.
    Last edited by HellsGuardian; July 27th, 2011 at 09:33 PM.

  15. #15
    Vanaeph Westsiyeed's Avatar
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    Some favourites of mine are:

    Un Lun Dun - China Mieville
    The Thief of Always - Clive Barker
    Abarat series - Clive Barker

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