Thursday, October 4, 2012

Young Adult reading

Since I have a couple of young adult readers in the house (okay, they're not really close to adults yet but they're good readers and they love good stories), I thought I'd post about some of the things that I and they have been reading.  They've been reading more YA than I have; they've both read most of The Mysterious Benedict Society series, and most of the Nicholas Flamel series, and I have not tried any of those.

But I have found some very good YA stuff for the Kindle, and I thought I'd make a post telling a little about some of them.

The first is titled The Elemental Odyssey by Derek J. Canyon.  This is a YA science fiction/fantasy with an intriguing cover.  Errol Flynn as a raccoon?  How can you not try this one?  I did, and so did my older son, and he really liked it.  (He wants to build Zura, the fictional world of the "alien" animals from the book, in Minecraft.)  In this book, four children who are vacationing with their families in the Black Hills of South Dakota are kidnapped by these aliens and pressed into service.  Where Earth is based on science, Zura is sort of a magical analog, where intelligent animals rule the roost.  They are taken on a journey around the world, visiting various landmarks in search of "elementals" which are the powerful stuff of Zuran magic.  Does it sound sort of fun?  It was.

The sequel to this book is titled Where Magic Reigns, and is also a fun book.  In this follow-up, the children find themselves somehow transported to Zura, where they are hunted by similar alien/animals.  Also a fun read.

Another I read recently is Mark Terry's The Battle For Atlantis, a "Peter Namaka Adventure".  It reminded me of Rick Riordan's two series featuring mythological gods.  In this one, Terry combines Atlantean legends, Arthurian legends and Hawaiian mythology as Peter Namaka finds himself underwater, drowning, but then rescued by a young girl and brought to Atlantis.  There he finds himself in the midst of a coming war with Mordred, who is martialing forces against Atlantis.  Peter has a job to do, and it involves the Hawaiian gods.  I found it to be a very quick, engrossing read.  I've read one of Terry's adult novels (a Derrick Stillwater spy novel), and I find his style to be easy to read and get into.

The last one I want to touch on in this post is Steven M. Moore's The Secret Lab, a YA SF novel set on a space station orbiting Earth.  There's hard science here, but there's also a neat mystery involving a renegade scientist, a bit of political intrigue, genetic engineering, and a super smart cat (who narrates the story).  I liked this one as much as any of them, but I'm a sucker for real science fiction, and this one fits the bill. 

I've read a bunch of other stuff, but not all of it is YA, and I won't burden you with my thoughts on writers like Barry Eisler, Marcus Sakey, Steve Umstead, and Douglas Preston.  At least not now...


No comments: