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Tag: Anthea Sharp

Discovering Your “Brand” of Fantasy

fantasyHave you ever picked up a fantasy book and loved it, then tried to follow-up with another, only to find that it’s just not working for you? Have your friends ever complained that they just couldn’t get into fantasy, but when you ask, they’ve only tried one or two books before giving up on the whole genre? If you answered yes to either question, you or someone you know may need to discover their “brand” of fantasy!

Fantasy is a huge genre, divided into many distinct and varied sub-genres. While some readers may love to delve into any type of fantasy, others may find themselves loving one book, then being utterly bored or bewildered by the next. Some readers may even be amazed to discover that they are reading a fantasy because the fantastic elements might be so subtle within the novel.

For example, one reader could love Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones but be unable to finish Christopher Paolini’s Eragon. Another could love Eragon but immediately dislike Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere. Yet another could love Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere, but be put off by Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus.

So how would a reader discover what fantasies they do like?

Living in a Virtual World: Some Reading Material for Your Cyber Monday

For years, the United States has obsessively participated in a shopping ritual known as Black Friday. The day after Thanksgiving has become synonymous with bargain basement deals and bleary eyed families standing together in line at obscenely early hours. It has only been in the last few years that this “holiday” has gained an online counterpart, Cyber Monday, another day of ridiculously low prices — but only for online shoppers. 

The emergence of a “holiday” devoted entirely to online shopping reflects just how technology-based our society has now become. And on this Cyber Monday (now that I’ve completed my own online bargain hunting), I thought it would be fun to take a peek at some books that have gone even one step further into the technological void. These are books that have taken their characters deep into cyberspace. Books set in worlds where virtual reality is the only reality…

Epic by Conor Kostick
In Erik’s world, your real life status is fully dependent upon your success in the government run-game Epic. Winners gain money, status, prestige. Losers may lose the farm, literally. So when Erik decides to buck the system and break the rules, he finds himself up against the very Committee that decides his family’s livelihood. 

Erebos by Ursula Poznanski and Judith Pattinson
When Nick receives a secret video game, he quickly becomes addicted — until the day that Erebos asks him to complete a deadly assignment and he refuses. Nick, now kicked out of the game, begins to investigate its origins and soon finds that the lines between the game and reality are beginning to blur.