Tuesday, June 19, 2012

YA Sub Genre Rec Tag! 13-15

So I'm back for more recommendations, and this time it's all about pirates, sci-fi,and steampunk. Let's get started!
13. Pirates: This first pick is sort of pushing it, since it's considered a middle grade book (not YA), but I say, who cares? A good pirates book is Vampirates: Demons of the Ocean by Justin Somper.

(I love this cover art for the book by Jon Foster. It reminds me a lot of the Peter and the Starcatchers series' cover art...also great books.)

Description (book 1): "Well, if pirates are bad, And vampires are worse, Then I pray that as long as I be That though I sing of Vampirates I never one shall see. Twins, Connor and Grace, never dreamed that there was any truth to the Vampirate shanty their father sang to them before he died, but that was before the two were shipwrecked and separated from each other. For Connor, who is taken aboard a pirate ship, there's the chance to learn to swordfight, but for Grace, aboard a mysterious ship of vampire pirates, the danger is great. The twins want more than anything to find each other, but their time is limited and they're an ocean apart."

Recommendation: This book is a fun adventure for "kids" of all ages. It's not only geared for boys; girls will enjoy it too.
Before reading this book, I had never heard of a vampirate. It's such a unique combination, that the title alone held my interest (actually it was the cover first). Then there's the main protagonists. The twins are easily likeable, and it's compelling to see them try to find their way back to one another. There's a bit of mystery, lots of action, a hint of romance, and treasure galore. I'm interested to see what happens next, so long as I get the books with the amazing cover art.

Sidenote: I've already recommended Lisa Mantchev's Théâtre Illuminata: Act 1, 2, & 3, but this series also has pirates in it, so I'll recommend it again.
(here's the cover art for the first book, Eyes Like Stars)

Want to read: I have The Dust of 100 Dogs by A.S. King on my TBR list. 

14. Sci-fi: For this genre I have to pick The Host by Stephanie Meyer.
So I've already recommended this book under the apocalyptic genre, but I'm starting think it fits just as well in the sci-fi genre. Go check out what I had to say about it there. It's number two in this crazy long list of sub genres.

Since I've already recommended The Host, I must fill in this gap with another choice, and the only thing coming to mind is a book my uncle lent to me a couple of years back. It's The Rowan by Anne McCaffrey. Granted, Barnes & Noble puts this book in the age range of 18 years old, so this is more of an adult book than it is YA.
(This is the jacket cover for the edition I read. I get an 80's vibe anytime I look at it.)

(Here's the cover for the most recent edition. Much more "now", Don't you think?)

Description (book 1): "The Rowan was destined to become the greatest Prime Talent in human history, facing a lonely existence of servitude. Until she receives a telepathic plea from across the stars from a Prime named Jeff Raven-and falls in love with him."

Recommendation: When I first picked up this book, albeit through my uncle's assurances that it was a great series, I thought I'd give it a go; if not to expand my book horizons, then to appease my uncle (just kidding! almost). I had a bit of a hard time getting into this book, mostly because it was an entirely different genre, something I was not used to. So I just sucked it up and kept reading, getting more and more intrigued with each page I read. Then came the science. Quite honestly, a good majority of the book involved technology that made absolutely no sense to me (nothing beyond my capability of understanding, just information I had no prior knowledge of, and therefore...new). So here and there I tried my best to let my imagination soar and guess at what purpose these futuristic machines were meant for and how they opperated.
It's been a while since I read the book, but I do remember McCaffrey having a good ability to plunge deep within her characters emotions, then pouring them out on the page so that they became realistic (less fictionalized and more historical). There is romance here and there, which gives a nice balance to the narrative, but it doesn't overwhelm. It's definitely not the main focus, though it is there. I will say, I enjoyed reading The Rowan despite the difficulties I had with understanding the world. The language in it is fuller (not sure if that makes sense), but I guess that is because it's geared for an adult audience.
Want to read: Across the Universe by Beth Revis has been staring at me from my TBR pile. I'm gonna get to it!  I also have the next three books in The Tower and Hive series by Anne McCaffrey that my uncle lent me. They are also staring at me from my TBR pile. *it's yelling at me!* 

15. Steampunk: First of all: Yay! I love some good steampunk, especially Cassandra Clare's The Infernal Devices series. 
 (I love these covers. So much.)

Description (book 1): "Magic is dangerous—but love is more dangerous still.
When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London's Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.
Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What’s more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa's power for his own.
Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by—and torn between—two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm's length . . . everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world. . . . and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all."

Recommendation: Yes. I only wish that were enough, but here's some good highlights. This series is gripping. If you liked The Mortal Instruments series by Clare, then you'll really enjoy this side series, about the Shadowhunters who came before Jace, Clary, Alec, and Isabelle. Tessa, James (also known as Jem), and Will are all loveable. They share some similar qualities with Jace, Clary and Alec, so it helps to tie the two series together, but not too heavily. They all have their own personalities that clearly define them as unique characters. The mystery surrounding Tessa's ability to transform or shapeshift into other people is still leaving me with questions, which is a good thing. I love stories that keep me guessing. When I don't know what will happen next, I'm all the more intrigued. And this series really does that for me. There is some romance, action, interesting plot twists, and good character development arching throughout the two books I've read so far. I want to know more and more about each character's inner thoughts and reasons for the things they do, and Clare knows just how to pull on each string at the right moment. A fun, thrilling read.

Want to read: I really want to read Clockwork Princess, the third book in this series. I also have Leviathan by Scott Westerfield in my TBR pile.     

Yay! I made it to the end of this recommendation pile. Next on the list is Tigers, Time-travel, and Vampires. That will surely be a fun post. Until then...

-Hope your day is bright
Olive Juice

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