One interesting outcome of my semester-long survey of young adult literature has been the curious repetition of quirky names and themes. I already pointed out the peculiar similarities of The White Darkness and Feed – they both have main characters named Titus – and I also discovered three books that use the term ‘half-men’ to indicate a semi-human sub-race: Incarceron and Sapphique by Catherine Fisher and Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi. Although the name half-men is the most obvious connection for such different books, they are also alike in that they are all excellent ways to slowly wade into the deeper end of science fiction.
Ship Breaker makes an exceptional introduction for younger readers because its clean, simple story and fast-paced plotline can pull anyone in and perhaps make them less afraid of books with the label ‘sci-fi’. It also fills the interesting roll of being a sort of transition between children’s and young adult literature. Although most book reviews put the age between 14 and 18 because of its common categorization as ‘young adult’, I think that the clear writing would make this book a good match for 12 to 14 year olds trying to decide between younger works and more mature ones. With multiple perspectives and a layered plotline, however, Incarceron and its sequel make for much more difficult reading, but also serve well as introductions because they start out as pure fantasy; the science elements only sneak up once the books have already taken hold.
In order to get through my grueling back log of over 20 books, I’ve decided to combine them all into sort-of-related themes – similar to the Nancy Pearl style of recommending books. Feel free to inquire more about any book in the comment sections, and, as always, get a personalized list of book recommendations from the ‘what could you read next’ feature.