Tag Archives: YA

Book Review: Children of the Different by S.C. Flynn

12 May

Stories dealing with those often-painful transitions of adolescence dominate mainstream young adult fiction. On the genre side of the fiction divide, post-apocalyptic settings contain characters constantly beset by external dangers, characters that simultaneously must struggle to adapt themselves to their civilization’s collapse. In both cases these tales combine peripheral threats with internal struggles, shaping varying degrees of character growth and/or plot development.

Thus, it’s fitting that S.C. Flynn combined aspects from both sides of young adult fiction’s spectrum in his debut novel Children of the Different. Though comprised of many familiar elements, the novel is aptly named. Flynn’s story feels fresh and intriguingly different. With inspirations from analytical philosophy and biological metamorphosis, Children of the Different explores the transformation of his young characters into adulthood within post-apocalyptic settings that merge science fiction and mythical fantasy. Continue reading

Book Review: Poisoned Blade by Kate Elliott

18 Aug


Second in the Court of Fives series, following Court of Fives, Poisoned Blade by Kate Elliott continues the epic YA fantasy story of Jessamy, as she struggles to preserve herself and her family. Her expertise and skill at the Fives has put her into the intrigue and machinations of Garon Palace, as factions within the court struggle to influence, if not outright control, the throne. But what can the daughter of a General, struggling to keep herself and her family above water, do against that? She has a game to master, and in the mastery of that game, and protecting her family, young Jessamy is going to be catapulted out of the capital,  and into the countryside. There, away from all she has known, treachery, betrayal, loyalty and the struggle for the future of her country irrevocably change her own quest. Continue reading

Mining the Genre Asteroid: Rite of Passage by Alexei Panshin

6 Feb

A century and a half after Earth has been wrecked, humanity exists in two spheres. There are the hardscrabble colonies, where survival is the watchword, as man tries to live on alien, often unfriendly environments. The people are often poor, desperate and technologically backward. And then there are the Ships that travel the spaceways. Technologically advanced and relatively rich, the Ships have a strict regime for keeping themselves from being overpopulated. Every person who reaches their fourteenth birthday must train for an ordeal called the Trial. Continue reading

Book Review: Enchanted and Hero by Alethea Kontis

24 Jan

    Monday’s child is fair of face,
    Tuesday’s child is full of grace,
    Wednesday’s child is full of woe,
    Thursday’s child has far to go,
    Friday’s child is loving and giving,
    Saturday’s child works hard for a living,
    But the child who is born on the Sabbath Day
    Is bonny and blithe and good and gay.

This rhyme opens Enchanted, the first in a series of the tales of the Woodcutter sisters. When we first meet them, Sunday, the seventh daughter of a seventh daughter, is out in the Wood, writing stories in a journal. She meets an enchanted frog named Grumble, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Alethea Kontis hooked me in quickly with the easy conversational tone of Sunday’s encounter with Grumble. The Princess and the Frog is a fine story, Continue reading

Giveaway: James Dashner’s The Kill Order AND The Eye of Minds + Dashnerian Swag!

18 Jan

That’s right.  We’ve got two books to give away this week as part of James Dashner’s blog tour for the paperback edition of The Kill Order.  Entry is going to be super simple.  All you need to do is answer this question in the comments OR via Twitter (@skiffyandfanty — use the hashtag #dashnerarmy) OR via email (skiffyandfanty[at]gmail[dot]com — use the subject line Dashner Giveaway):

What is your favorite young adult fantasy or science fiction novel?

So get your entries in right away.  The giveaway will close on January 24th, 2014 (Friday).  Winners will be announced on the following Monday.

On top of that, Dashner’s Army is going to give away some swag (t-shirts, etc.) if they reach 1,000 members.  Joining is pretty darn easy.  You just need to go here and sign up!

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