Tuesday, June 12, 2012

free books and KBWT

Today, I got an offer from Flamingnet to download a free copy of Sprite by Leigh Michael.  It's a Kindle book, of course, and I don't own a Kindle.  I guess I could just download it to my computer.  And I might! Go ahead and take advantage of this offer.  It's FREE!

Do you know about Flamingnet?  It's a book review site for teens.  A lot of the reviewers are teens, themselves.  It's fun to know what teens really think about the books they read.  And what they really think is usually, "Give us more books!"  So Flamingnet is my KBW for this Tuesday.

But back to Sprite - The book that inspired this post.  She's human.  She's sprite. And she has to save the world for humans and sprites.  It is a very popular formula.  Pick a magical creature.  Create a character who has mixed parentage - one human, one magical creature.  Now, put that character in a life or world threatening situation.  Voila!  A best seller.

Here is a partial catalog of magical creatures who have - according to current YA fiction - coupled with humans: gods, goddesses, fairies, naiads, demons, angels, vampires, werewolves, merpeople, sprites, zombies - well maybe not zombies.  And here are some of the paranormal creatures with whom teens have fallen in love: vampires, ghosts - lots of ghosts of many different types - werewolves, fairies, demons, angels, zombies - yes, zombies, my personal un-favorite - merpeople, wereowls, were-anything, gods, goddesses, demigods and demigoddesses.

I have not read anything about the sidhe.  But I am sure that somewhere there is a book in which a teen falls in love with - or discovers that one of his or her parents is - a member of the sidhe.  And let's not forget fauns, centaurs and other chimera; dragons, gryphons, and other mythical beasts.

The late, great Diana Wynne-Jones went a little further in this mixture of species.  Her Dark Lord of Derkholm dabbled in magical gene modification.  His children included griffins, winged humans (angels?) and humans.  Each child was a combination of his genes, his wife's genes and magical genes.  The children are all splendid characters, as evidenced in the follow up novel, The Year of the Griffin.  Man, I miss Diann Wynne-Jones.  Sigh.

YA authors around the globe raise silent prayers of thanks for the centuries of folklore they can mine for ideas.  Now, which magical creature can I research?  Where's my Bulfinch's Mythology?

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