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Thread: YA Fantasy-Not just for Kids
September 30th, 2003, 02:21 AM #16One of the things I enjoy in most YA oriented material is that they generally don't have as much of the pretense of books geared towards adults. Authors are also constrained to use simple but effective language because of the target audience, so over elaborate floweriness and unnecessary sophistication is stripped away leaving the essential. That may be why many YA stories seem to move much more briskly.
September 30th, 2003, 05:38 AM #17
I've read all of the Harry Potter books (own them too :P) and loved them
I have even read the entire Jedi Academy Series too
But what is the best series that I have read out of "YA" books is Garth Nix's Sabriel series - it is brilliant - I even passed them on to my mother who loved them too and his new series "Keys to the Kingdom" starting with Mister Monday is equally as good - so when ever you get the chance give them a try - you might be surprised and like them
September 30th, 2003, 09:13 AM #18
I don't differentiate between YA fantasy and fantasy. Like someone said earlier, a good book is a good book. (And yes, I do remember Victor Kelleher...) I read a lot of children's fiction, some of it is more sophisticated than what's called adult fiction. A current favourite is David Almond, who reminds me of Alan Garner - and Garner's books - fantasy? I always thought so - count as some of the more impressive novels about. I think too that books written for a YA audience have to readable, and maybe are less prone to hype. HP being the obvious exception - but even there, there would be no hype if children weren't riveted to the books in the first place, and that's something that can't be faked.
I kind of agree with the reservations about His Dark Materials, though I think Northern Lights is very good; the second two disappointed me, in retrospect, although I enjoyed them while reading them. And Artemis Fowl is a complete hoot. Another classy book I think is Across the Nightingale Floor, by Lian Hearne, which is marketed as YA, although all sorts of people seem to read these things.
September 30th, 2003, 09:22 AM #19
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Have you noticed how they are giving "Across the Nightingale Floor" away for free now when you buy the second one. Looks like they printed way to many. That and it wasn't very good.
September 30th, 2003, 07:18 PM #20
I thought Across the Nightingale Floor was a very decent book, and well written, which is hard to find sometimes in fantasy books. My son, who's a 15 year old Japanophile (he's in Japan at the moment) totally loved it. Haven't read The Grass on Her Pillow because he took it with him. The hype is something else: they printed so many. I remember seeing piles of 30 in the shops. But that's about the publisher, not the book.
October 17th, 2003, 06:42 PM #21
This is the genre of fantasy that I enjoy the most, although I like to call it "light" fantasy. The heros/heroines are usually teens/twenty-somethings, the books are often shorter, and the story is resolved within just a few books. I'm not a big fan of the epic style of most of the books in the "fantasy/sci-fi" section of the bookstore or library, so I usually hunt around in the YA or children's sections.
These are my reccomendations:
The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale
Just published last month, I think. I read it last weekend. Absolutely amazing. I stayed up all night reading it, which is something I haven't done in a long time.
Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
My favorite book ever. Lots of fun, humor, romance, adventure ... never fails to put me in a better mood. I've read it more times than I can count.
Summers at Castle Auburn by Sharon Shinn
About a girl, Corie, who spends every summer at Castle Auburn. She's the bastard daughter of the late king. Romance, intruige, a little magic.
Seaward and The Boggart by Susan Cooper
Cooper is most known for her "The Dark is Rising" series, but I like these books more than that series. Seaward is short, but has a lot going on, gave me that "chill" several times. The Boggart is very cute and very fun, about a Scottish demon thing that accidentially finds himself in modern Canada after living in a Scottish castle for who knows how long.
Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith
A girl fights for her kingdom in the first half, then in the second half has to fight for it again -- in a different, subtler way. Romance, adventure.
The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis
Amazing. I read the seven books at least once a year.
Fire-Bringer by David Clements-Davies
About a deer who's the subject of a prophecy to save the other deer from the rule of a bad deer. It was my stay-up-all-night book from last fall.
The Enchanted Forest Chronicles and The Book of Enchantments by Patricia C. Wrede
The Chronicles are really funny with lots of adventure and even some romantic spice. The Book of Enchantments is probably the best short-story collection I've ever read.
Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling
Very fun, very engaging, lots of surprises and intruige. Can't wait for the next (and final) two books.
Watership Down by Richard Adams
If this is indeed a fantasy, and I'm not sure that it is.
Enchantment by Orson Scott Card
A Russian sleeping Beauty, complete with Baba Yaga.
The Chronicles of Chrestomanci and Dogsbody by Diana Wynne Jones
Dogsbody is really cute, especially if you're an animal lover. The Chronicles are fun as well.
The Redwall series by Brian Jacques.
I haven't read any for three-four years, but I absolutely loved them.
Anything by Robin McKinley. The woman is amazing.
Reading the thread I saw that Coraline and the His Dark Materials trilogy were brought up often. I've read both. I enjoyed Coraline, but not enough to put it up on my list. I did like The Golden Compass but the second two, especially The Amber Spyglass, didn't do it for me. Not to mention that after reading several interviews and articles, I really do not like Phillip Pullman, or his views on certain things.
Last edited by Rachel; October 18th, 2003 at 01:24 AM.
October 18th, 2003, 04:04 PM #22
As I recently finished a really good "YA" novel I couldn't pass up the opportunity to praise it here.
Nobody's Son by Sean Stewart has apparently won The Aurora Award for Canada's Best Fantasy Novel of the Year and Canadian Library Association's award for Best Young Adult Novel of the Year. Don't know which year though. It was first published in 1993 so I guess it's been a while. Anyway, great stuff!
October 18th, 2003, 06:12 PM #23
I've probably mentioned them, but if we're talking YA it's hard to go past Alan Garner and David Almond, two brilliant English writers. Garner's Red Shift is a seriously brilliant book by any measure, audacious in its writing (it's almost completely dialogue) and imagining. Though maybe it only comes loosely under the rubric of fantasy.
I've recently enjoyed William Nicholdon (The Wind Singer series) and Peter Dickinson's The Ropemaker. And Extravagaria, though I can't remember who wrote that, was a heap of fun, about a parallel Venice.
October 25th, 2003, 03:38 AM #24
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I've just read Across The Nightingale Floor - yet another YA fantasy by an Australian author.
Am I seeing more YA fantasy by Australian authors because they have an overly strong representation, or because I'm an Aussie?
I'm guessing the former at the moment simply because I didn't realise Garth Nix or Lian Hearn were Australian authors until I'd finished their books.
January 26th, 2004, 11:05 PM #25
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I just posted these YA comments on 2 other threads, but I thought I'd bring them in here as well. It looks like Richard Harland goes one step further in proving my theory on Australian authors leading the way in YA fantasy.
Ferren and the Angel - Richard Harland:
Set a thousand years in the future, this YA novel deals with the catastrophic remains of Earth after a tremendous ware between Heaven and Earth has pretty much destroyed the human race and life as we know it. It's an interesting concept, but I don't think a YA novel was quite the right vehicle to capture all of the possible moral, ethical and religous issue thats could have been handled. Or maybe the author was trying to steer away from that. I was also surprised to discover that Thomas Harland lives about 3 suburbs away from me.
Grim Tuesday, Garth Nix:
The first novel in this series, Mister Monday, was a lovingly crafted YA fantasy, the first in a series of seven. This novel is another quick read, but unfortunately does tend to follow the forumla of the first a little too closely (boy on adventure defeats bad guy with combination of wit, courage and plain old good luck). From the pre cursor at the end of the book though it seems Nix may be steering away from this format with the third book. It's reccomendable YA fantasy, although not up to the benchmark he set with Sabriel.
January 31st, 2004, 06:59 PM #26
Another person who has read Richard Harland!!! He was a lecturer at my uni (hence the reason I could borrow the books)! Anyway the new Garth Nix books are really good - I love the Keys to the Kingdom
Last edited by Khallandra; January 31st, 2004 at 07:02 PM.
March 1st, 2004, 09:41 AM #27
I've just finished reading Children of the Shaman by Jessica Rydill
I think it would be considered a YA's book, however the author dealt with relationships a bit more maturely and I found myself really enjoying the book.
Well worth a look
March 4th, 2004, 07:33 PM #28
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The first fantasy author I ever read was Tamora Pierce. I love her style and the stories she tells. So much, in fact, that I haven't really been able to read many other fantasy works (except for Rowling and Tolkien). However, as I age, my reading tastes grow with me and Tamora's books seem a bit too lightweight now. Does anyone have recommendations for a lover of Tamora Pierce who is growing up?
May 30th, 2004, 05:40 AM #29
I read Gath Nix' Old Kingdom" trilogy. It is great.
May 30th, 2004, 06:38 AM #30
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well, i agree -a good book is a good book no matter who written for -wasnt lord of the rings written for ya?
i think airborn by kenneth oppel looks great!written for ya s but i think i may try it