As a huge fan of fantasy, when I read young adult author Victoria Aveyard’s debut novel Red Queen, I had to know what happened next. In Aveyard’s novel Glass Sword, a young woman is accidentally thrown into a world of glittering jewels and magical powers in a futuristic take on the future of the United States.
I was perusing the Barnes and Noble app on my phone when I came across a book with a shiny white cover of a flower and a girl in the center. It caught my attention and I looked at the overview of the novel. I discovered it was part of a series and purchased immediately the debut novel and its companion: The Jewel and The White Rose.
I love the Lord of the Rings. I’m so much of a nerd that last month at a bar in Des Moines a guy said to me, “One does not simply enter Mordor,” and I responded, “Obviously, one simply does.” He told me he was going to marry me and then I never saw him again.
The Fellowship of the Ring is the first installment of the Lord of the Rings series by J.R.R. Tolkien, a British author who died in 1973. It follows the story of Frodo, a hobbit from the Shire, who inherits a ring of immense power and must destroy it so Sauron does not take over Middle Earth.
Chris Beckett came out of left field. The British author, who does social work as well as writing novels, wrote a novel called Dark Eden, which takes a biblical approach to a group of astronauts stranded on a distant planet they named Eden.
Mother of Eden takes place two hundred years later. In those two hundred years, the inhabitants of Eden have made technological advances in mining and creating weapons and armor, but seem to have taken steps backwards in the ideas of society and equality.
I saw the cover of Atlantia by Ally Condie one day while I perused Barnes and Noble’s website, and immediately I was hooked.
Recently, I’ve been breaking into the young adult genre for unknown reasons, even to me. I think I enjoy them because they’re easy to read and don’t require very much individual thought.
Condie’s novel Atlantia is just that: easy to read and doesn’t require much individual thought.
As many already know, J.R.R. Tolkien was a master of the written word. He was a master of prose, fantasy, poetry and creating a picture within the mind of the reader. This was all evident in the prequel to the Lord of the Rings series, The Hobbit.
The Hobbit (1937) began with Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit that lived in the Shire. He was a normal hobbit, with many family members and friends. And then one day that all changed.
Title: The Blessing Stone
Author: Barbara Wood
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffith
From: Barnes and Noble
The first time I read Barbara Wood’s epic novel The Blessing Stone, I had kidnapped it from my aunt Kathy Vonnahme one holiday weekend, and finished it before we left Sunday. Needless to say, I loved that book.
So, because I had been in the mood to reread the brilliance that is Wood’s epic fantasy fiction, I had to buy it for myself.
After finishing The Blessing Stone, I remembered exactly why I loved it in the first place. It’s fiction, but takes on history through an almost fantastical lens, illuminating facets of time that people have forgotten, or want to know more about or just want to enjoy.
Title: Artemis Fowl: The Eternity Code
Author: Eoin Colfer
Publisher: Viking Press
From: Barnes and Noble
Eoin Colfer is the author of many kid’s stories, including the eight-novel Artemis Fowl series. This series is well-known to the New York Times bestseller list, and the third novel of the eight-book adventure is as good, if not better, than its predecessor.
Artemis Fowl: The Eternity Code brings science to the mix when Artemis Fowl, a boy genius from Ireland, creates a super computer using fairy technology he kept after incidents in the previous novels. I thoroughly enjoyed Colfer’s third book of the series, with more back story for the characters and action for the reader.
There’s always something wonderful about reading books meant for children. I enjoy seeing the world through the eyes of a young person, learning new ways to write simply, gaining new perspectives and expanding the imagination. Artemis Fowl embodies all of that, and more.
The first novel in Eoin Colfer’s fantasy series, Artemis Fowl focuses on the main character Artemis Fowl, a 12-year-old Irish criminal genius, attempting to save his family from financial, and personal, ruin.
Author: Rhys A. Jones
Famous for: The Obsidian Pebble, etc.
After having the opportunity to review British author Rhys A. Jones’ young adult novel The Obsidian Pebble, I was also given the opportunity to interview the man behind the book, thanks to Robert Wood of Standoutbooks. Enjoy the interview!
OR: You are from the UK. How do you think your upbringing and surroundings influenced your writing, and the urge to be published?
RAJ: I grew up in a mining village with a long industrial heritage. My parents were keen for my brothers and I to avoid the heavy industries and we all went on to further education. But when I was growing up as a young teenager, and it’s difficult to believe it now in this time of instant messaging, we had no phone and no car and I still remember how exciting the 3 channels on TV were. But we did have a library and that, and the hills all around us to which we escaped whenever we had the chance, fed my imagination. Just when the urge to feed that imagination turned into a desire to share it with the world is a great question. I did put it on the back burner while I pursued a career in medicine, but it wouldn’t go away. And so, at last, I have had to let it out of its cage.