posted by Josee
It's been a while since I've been engulfed in what many would consider to be "children's literature" or "young adult," but I've been living in the world of fantasy for the past year fairly consistently, with a few breaks of course. It began with the terribly addictive Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer; if you haven't read it yourself you probably know of it by now due to the current Beatlesque teenage obsession with the characters in the new film series. Then I moved into watching the saga of Sookie Stackhouse in the True Blood series, a somewhat gruesome HBO series based on Charlaine Harris' novels. Deliciously vampire again. Then it was on to Alison Croggon's Books of Pellinor (I'm still waiting for The Singing to come out in paperback. Yes, it is terribly painful to wait). Then Graceling by Kristin Cashore and adventures with the characters Katsa and Prince Po. Most recently I've been engulfed in the Earthsea series by Ursula LeGuin - A Wizard of Earthsea, The Tombs of Atuan, The Farthest Shore, and Tehanu. This series is truly wonderful and beguiling.
What has made the journey through all this fantasy literature and film so interesting is the wonder of seeing the influences of older writers and creators of fantasy, influences such as J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. It is easy to see the roots of some of the newer wizardy-type books out today, like the Harry Potter series and Alison Croggon's delightful Books of Pellinor. The link to the vampire series is not so clear, however the themes of light and dark are ever present.
Recently I was listening to Gian Gomeshi on CBC interview a lit critic about the growth of what she called "Amish fiction". The term does not indicate who is writing or reading this literature, but rather is used to denote genre to books like Stephanie Meyer's. They are often romantic, moral tales that emphasize sex after marriage, among other things. It made me think more about these fascinating vampire tales. Hmmmmn...
My point is: this stuff is fun. Fun to read, think about and critique. Definitely come into Jennie's and peer beyond the veil into our fantasy/fiction section. It's not just for young adults and children, it's adult fiction too!