Two new novel series
I have just finished four very good young adult fiction novels. The first two are part of the Infernal Devices trilogy, Clockwork Angel (2010) and Clockwork Prince(2011), by Cassandra Clare, author of the extremely popular City of Bones series. They are set in a fantastical 19th century England where shape-changers, vampires, warlocks, and shadowhunters provide competing goals of good and evil. Mundanes, or “normal” human beings, are to be protected or used in the production of a new and virtually indestructible foe. A young girl, fresh off the boat from NYC discovers she is not who she thought she was, and neither is the brother who beckoned her to join him. Of appeal to grades 7-10.
The next book is a multi-award-winning first novel by Caragh M. O’Brien called Birthmarked (2010). Sixteen year-old Gaia Stone follows in her mother’s footsteps as midwife for Western Sector 3, one of several poor communities outside The Enclave, wherein the rich and privileged live receiving a monthly quote of babies from the Outside. Life begins to change when Gaia decides to go inside The Wall to find her parents who have been arrested for no apparent reason, and meets the enigmatic Leon. Excellent read. First in a trilogy of dystopic novels. Appealing to grades 7-10.
Just finished the second book in The Birthmarked Trilogy, Prized (2011). It follows Gaia, distraught at losing both her parents and Leon, across the Wasteland into a new civilization, referred to by her former community as The Dead Forest, but contrary to what’s she’s heard, she finds it quite beautiful. This society, Sylum, is ruled by fertile women, which considering that females are becoming scarce, presents several problems. Independent Gaia soon clashes with their strict rules.