The first book in The Saga of Darren Shan is called A Living Nightmare. Again, this is one of those books that I knew about because kids always wanted to read it, but hadn’t read myself. It’s not very good.
I think what bothered me the most about it was all the exclamations of how scary things were. It was very “Golly gee! That boy was a snake and those people got trampled and the wolfman bit off that woman’s hand!” I also found the actual Cirque bits disappointing because they all seemed so easily faked. I realize that Darren Shan (who decides to become a vampire to save his friend’s life, but the friend is mad because he wanted to be a vampire so now he’ll become a vampire hunter and dedicate his life to killing Darren) is just a kid, but I don’t know. It all felt stupid.
The good thing about the shitty writing in this book meant I could read about Madame Octa (a really huge tarantula who could be controlled telepathically for some non-scary reason) without getting freaked out.
So yeah. Not a fan.
My reading list for this Fantasy & Science Fiction course (I’ll update it with links to the reviews of the books as I read them):
- Anderson, M.T. (2002). Feed. Somerville, MA: Candlewick.
- Babbitt, Natalie (1987). Fantasy and the Classic Hero. School Library Journal 25-29.
- Balay, Anne (2010). Zilpha keatley Snyder’s The Truth About Stone Hollow and the Genre of Time-Slip Fantasy. Children’s Literature Association Quarterly, (35) 2, 131-143.
- Black, Holly (2002). Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale. New York: Simon Pulse.
- Card, Orson Scott (1985). Ender’s Game. New York: Tor.
- Collins, Suzanne (2008). The Hunger Games. New York: Scholastic Press.
- Cooper, Susan (1973). The Dark is Rising. New York: Atheneum.
- Farmer, Nancy (2002). The House of the Scorpion. New York: Atheneum.
- Farmer, Nancy (2004). The Sea of Trolls. New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers.
- Gaiman, Neil (2008). The Graveyard Book. New York: HarperCollins.
- Goodman, Alison (2003). Singing the Dogstar Blues. New York: Viking.
- Heinlein, Robert (1977). Have Spacesuit Will Travel. New York: Ballantine. (originally published 1958).
- Jacques, Brian (1986). Redwall. New York: Philomel Books.
- Laetz, Brian & Joshua J. Johnston (2008). What is Fantasy? Philosophy and Literature, 32(1), 161-172.
- LeGuin, Ursula K. (1968). A Wizard of Earthsea. New York: Bantam Books.
- L’Engle, Madeleine (1962). A Wrinkle in Time. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
- Lowry, Lois (1993). Giver. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
- Lewis, C.S. (1994). The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. New York: HarperTrophy. (originally published 1950).
- McKinley, Robin (1984). The Hero and the Crown. New York: Greenwillow Books.
- Nodleman, Perry & Mavis Reimer. (2003). The Repertoire of Theory, The Pleasures of Children’s Literature (3rd ed.) (pp.218-250). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
- O’Brien, Robert C. (1975). Z for Zachariah. New York: Atheneum.
- Paolini, Christopher (2003). Eragon. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.
- Pearson, Mary (2008). The Adoration of Jenna Fox. New York: Henry Holt.
- Pullman, Philip (1996). The Golden Compass. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.
- Riordan, Rick (2005). The Lightning Thief. New York: Hyperion Books for Children.
- Rowling, J.K. (1998). Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. New York: Arthur A. Levine Books.
- Shan, Darren (2001). A Living Nightmare. Boston: Little Brown.
- Slade, Arthur (2009). The Hunchback Assignments. New York: Wendy Lamb Books.
- Sleator, William (1984). Interstellar Pig. New York: Dutton.
- Thompson, Deborah L. (2001). Deconstructing Harry: Casting a Critical Eye on the Witches and Wizards of Hogwarts. In S. Lehr (Ed.), Beauty Brains and Brawn: The Construction of Gender in Children’s Literature (pp.42-50). Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
- Vande Velde, Vivian (1999). Never Trust a Dead Man. San Diego: Harcourt.
- Westerfeld, Scott (2009). Leviathan. New York: Simon Pulse.
There’s some stuff on there I’ve read before, but not for ages and ages. I remember Interstellar Pig so fondly, and the Graveyard Book is awesome. This is going to be a fun term.