Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Vampires, faeries, and zombies

I realized that I had read so many books that I haven't posted reviews on. In an effort to catch up, allow me to post short reviews of young adult novels that I've read recently. Incidentally, these 3 YA novels all had mythical characters in them -- vampires, faeries, and zombies.

First is Melissa De La Cruz's Masquerade, which is book 2 of her series Blue Bloods. Think Gossip Girl meets Meyer's Twilight (or The Vampire Diaries or The Thirst or any other teen novel with vampires in it). Yes, it's that forgettable. De La Cruz's vampires are incarnations of fallen angels who now move among the elite. It's an interesting premise, but I feel that the glamorous theme that De La Cruz lends to her vampiric characters falls flat.

Second is Maggie Stiefvater's Ballad, a YA novel that touches on the Celtic myth of faeries. I haven't read many novels that have faeries (except for Peter Pan). Steifvater's novel is dark, lush and atmospheric. I loved it! In Ballad, we get to read about faeries who use humans as tools for their own intentions. There's none of the cute, magical, and winged faeries in Ballad. Some of Stiefvater's faeries, in fact, kill humans. In Ballad, you get to read about faeries who feed off the musical talents of mortals. Thus, the high school for the arts in the novel naturally becomes a convergence point for these faeries.

And the last is Carrie Ryan's wonderful debut novel about the zombie apocalypse, The Forest of Hands and Teeth. Most people have turned into the living dead, which humans call the unconsecrated. And a few surviving humans have established small colonies fortified with gates that keep the unconsecrated out. The novel is very suspenseful. It's a welcome addition to the cluttered zombie genre out there in bookstores. Ryan's writing is so detailed. You feel the claustrophobia all throughout the novel.

There you go, dear reader. I hope you do take some time to pick up some of these novels, especially the ones by Steifvater and Ryan. Even though they're categorized as YA, they can be enjoyed by adults who can't get enough of these mythical creatures.


Anonymous said...

The Forest of Hands and Teeth - oh, so this is a zombie book! very interesting.

Peter S. said...

Yes, and it's very satisfying!

Anonymous said...

The Forest of Hands and Teeth was recommended to me after I posted about the HG discussion. I think I'll get one at the next FB sale.

martine said...

thanks for this, am always seeking new books to drag my daughters off the computer, we just did the Hunger Games thing and are awaiting the third book. will try a couple of these

Peter S. said...

@sumthinblue: I'm sure you'll like that. It's a very different zombie novel. Quite sexy too.

@martine: I bet your daughter will enjoy some of the books I mentioned. But they're not as fast paced as The Hunger Games though.

Alexia561 said...

So glad to hear that you liked The Forest of Hands and Teeth, as I've been debating if I should get that one or not. Enjoyed your mini-reviews!

lilly said...

I'm not even going to bother to read another book picturing vampires as those wonderful, misunderstood creatures:) I want my vampires to be evil, bloodthirsty and dangerous :)

I have to disagree however on The Forest of Hands and Teeth. I know I am in the minority here but I didn't like the book at all, especially Mary who seemed to be very selfish, very self-centered and the author didn't really give much opportunity for other characters to develop too well. But that's obviously my very separated, subjective and unpopular opinion,lol!

Peter S. said...

Hi, Lilly! You're entitled to your own point of course! That's what's so wonderful about the blogosphere!