Literary agent and blogger extrodinare Nathan Bransford recently ran a pole on his blog asking the genre of his many writing followers works in progress. Out of the 2476 voters, 40% were either fantasy, paranormal, or science fiction. I know that J.K. Rowling and Stephanie Meyer are two of the wealthist writers in the world, but obviously more than 60% of the books sold take place in reality. So this pole made me very glad I’ve never attempted to write fanticy. Still, I like to read the stuff.
Since Quitage captivated the worlds attention before Vampires playing baseball, I’ll talk about Harry first. There is a reason millions of businessmen sat on trains reading a kids book, and it has very little to do with the natural draw of a lightning shaped scar. J.K. Rowling is an extreamly talented writer. It’s so easy to fall into the world of Hogwarts on the very first page, and very difficult to put the story down – even when reaching the end of a 700+ page volume. I know that hundreds of years from now, Rowling’s words will be just as imortal as Tolken’s and Lewis’s. Because with writing that good, it’s impossible not to believe in house elves and hippogriffs.
Even if Harry is the best childhood mythical savior of our time, he isn’t the only one. I expect the next searies to leap out of the children’s section and into the hands of middle aged commuters will be Percy Jackson and the Olympians. I read all five books in the series last winter and loved them. Percy isn’t a wizard, he’s a demi-god – the half blooded son of Posidon and a mortal mother. I like the fact that Rick Riordan’s mythical world is based in mythology, and educates at the same time as it entertains. And when I saw a preview for “The Lightning Theif” at the latest Harry Potter movie, I was thrilled to know Percy would soon be posed to reach a wider audience. But even if Riodan’s books are very good, some of the best books I’ve read this year, he will never be the next Tolken. He may sell tens of millions of copies of his books and entertain the masses, but centuries from now Harry is the hero that people will remember, not Percy.
Then there is Bella Swan. Stephanie Meyer is defiantely a gifted writer and the ever growing world wide vampire obsession is based more on the quality of her writing than the human need to fantasize about blood suckers. But here is the think about Twilight. I have never met anyone who has read the books and hasn’t admitted to getting sucked into them. Everyone I know that has read them, read them all without taking a breath and then longed for more when the reached the last page, often going back and starting again at the beginning even though they knew how the story would end. But more than half of the people I know who have read the Twilight series have later admitted that they didn’t really like them. I know, this is a complete oxymoron, but it’s the truth. Rationally, Twilight isn’t a very good book. Bella Swan is seriously annoying, and stories so overtold it almost seems comical on later inspection. But somehow, it still captivates in an almost hypnotic way. I have no idea how Stephanie Meyer does it, but I’m sure their isn’t an author alive that doesn’t wish they could grab readers the way she can.
There are a lot of YA paranormal series on the market right now, and it is impossible to know which one will make the next big splash. But my current vote is for Evermore by Alyson Noel. Because while Percy Jackson can never truly become Harry Potter, I think Ever can kick Bella’s behind. The Cullen’s are the interesting part of the Twilight series, not Bella Swan, and I honestly think if Edward could hear Bella’s thoughs he would have lost interest imediately, ‘cause she is seriously shallow.
Evermore is a series told from the point of view of a 16 year old clarvoiant psycic who sees dead people and hears people’s thoughts. Naturally, this freeks her out and she has enough anxgth and self loathing to keep her believable even if she is supernatural. But Damen is the one guy who’s thoughts she can’t hear. He’s also super hot and lusted after by every girl in Ever’s school. But unlike Edward reaction to Bella, Ever doesn’t stalk Deman and fall head over heals in love. She is seriously freeked out by him, knowing that while she is by no means normal, her inability to hear him makes him even more abnormal, and mildly tarifying. So this new series is Twilight esque, but also has an interesting protagonist – as opposed to a cliche damsel in destress just waiting for a Vampire to come in and rescue her. And the fact that I stayed up until 2:00 am last night reading the first book in the Evermore series is enough for me to comfidantly claim, the story is very gripping.
So if you like yourself a good teenage paranormal adventure, I recomend checking out Evermore.