Thursday, October 25, 2012

Will Appeal to Fans of "The Hunger Games"

The Forsaken (The Forsaken Trilogy #1) by Lisa M. Stasse (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2012, 384pp.)

This latest offering in the YA dystopia genre covers the adventures of Alenna Shawcross, a shy, quiet teen citizen of the oppressive United Northern Alliance. Her story begins after she fails the national Government Personality Profile Test and is banished to Island Alpha, a dumping ground for social undesirables and political dissidents. Every child in the UNA grows up hearing horror stories about Island Alpha, that it’s a prison colony populated by violent sociopaths—and that the average life expectancy is 18. Imagine her surprise, then, when she discovers that the other island inhabitants are, for the most part, just normal kids like her. But Island Alpha has a reputation for a reason. There are bad kids, too. The Drones, a chaotic horde of teens who really are violent and anti-social, are constantly on the prowl. What’s more frightening than the Drones themselves is their almost rabid devotion to a mysterious figure known as the Monk. Containing elements of intrigue, suspense, and romance, The Forsaken reads like a kind of futuristic version of Lord of the Flies—except it’s much more accessible, entertaining, and appealing than LOTF will ever be. Recommended for Ages 16-18, and fans of The Hunger Games.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Unique Ideas, Narrow Target Audience

Ephemerine Tree (Cosmic Library #1) by Mirti Venyon Reiyas (Self-Published, 2012, 166pp.)

Eda, a young woman from planet Artea, is enlisted by Rainyun, a light-being from the Ephemerine Realm, to help steer her world away from environmental disaster. Reiyas produces a very creative piece of work to provide a unique, cautionary tale. Artea—and the rest of the galaxy, for that matter—is suffering from the use of the destructive tachyonic particle inverse dematerializer, a device built to extract electricity-producing potrillion juice from ocean caves at the expense of the environment. While the dematerializer seems to be a stand-in for fracking, the author is able to make it part of a very believable universe. While this short novel is great to read for its ideas, its focus on spiritualism and New Age principles may not appeal to mainstream readers looking for a face-paced action tale. Recommended for Ages 16-18.

Click on cover for image source.