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Bloom: The Overthrow: Book 1 by Kenneth Oppel Knopf Books for Young Readers Publication Date: February 4, 2020 ISBN: 978-1524773007
First came the rains, then the vines grew and grew until they took over. The vines pose a triple threat to the inhabitants of a small island. They crowd out plant life and encase roads and buildings, they cause bizarre allergic reactions, and they can trap and eat people. Three teens discover that they are immune to the allergens and then discover each other. Will they band together and will they be able to defeat the plant invasion?
I know some of you are patiently waiting for the conclusion of my Firefly post in September. Unfortunately you will have to wait a little bit more as I am interrupting my own series of posts to bring you this Halloween Monster Edition of “What Would They Read.” I promise I will finish Firefly next month. As I see it, we Firefly fans are used to things we love and look forward to being abruptly ended. It’s sad, but true.
OK, back to monsters…
There were two ways I considered approaching this blog post. I could go the easy way and match various monsters with books that include characters from the same species. For example, Dracula would just love to read The Twilight Saga because of all the vampires. Sure, I’ll throw in a few of those. The real challenge lies in finding books for these monster archetypes that more reflect their personality types. It’s a bit more difficult, but I’m up for the challenge. Go big or go home, right?
Dracula – Before vampires became a standard villainous character is several movies, shows, and books, Bram Stoker brought us the original vampire story. Some may say that there’s a historical connection to the evil ruler, Vlad the Impaler. I’m not going to debate for or against that idea, but I will say that guy was fairly creepy.
Those who have read the original novel, Dracula, know that while the vampire was super spooky, he was also very lonely. He used his vampire ways to try to get friends and girlfriend. True, he didn’t go about this search in the conventional way by simply introducing himself to new people. Instead, he charmed the mentally unstable Renfield and made him his somewhat friend, although I think the term is closer to minion than friend. Once he decided he wanted a woman in his life, he did not go about courting her in a traditional manner. After a few midnight visits full of blood drinking, Dracula had Lucy right where he wanted her; in a coffin. Continue reading What Would They Read?: Monster Edition!
Steampunk, believe it or not, is a term that has been round since the late 1980s. It is usually defined as a sub-genre of science fiction and features a late 19th century or early 20th century setting, but with steam-powered and clockwork inventions and machines. Steampunk can also be identified as a sub-genre of speculative fiction and is often described as alternate history. Most steampunk novels are set in Victorian England or America, but are also known to be set in the Wild West of America.
Steampunk is often characterized by the setting of the story and inventions that are fantastical and magical. Steampunk uses a lot of visual descriptions, especially when it comes to the machinery and fashion. Oftentimes, a lot of description will go into how a machine works. Supernatural elements are typically included in a steampunk story. Steampunk plots are adventure-driven stories, where machines play the part of moving the adventure along. Since there is so much action packed into most steampunk novels, the pacing is usually fast.
The characters of steampunk novels are quirky and include inventors, mad scientists, or the like. Characters in steampunk novels also take on the punk mentality. Usually the main character or characters is individualistic often goes against the mainstream, and he or she may be fighting for a cause or movement. Many times the plot of a steampunk novel involves good vs. evil, where the good guys and bad guys are clearly defined. Continue reading Genre Guide: Steampunk for Teens