Saturday, August 9, 2008

Vampires, werewolves, and zombies, oh my!

Here at Curious George, we're getting Harry Potter deja-vu. The question we've been asked since the release of Deathly Hallows last summer -- "What do I read now?" is starting to come up again. This time it's being asked by Twilight fans desperate for post-Breaking Dawn reading. (You've already read The Host, right?) To tide you over until Midnight Sun gets published, try one of these supernaturally good novels:

- A Great and Terrible Beauty; sequels Rebel Angels and A Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray
Raised in India and plagued by violent premonitions, Gemma feels isolated in her new London boarding school -- until she finds herself surrounded by a clique of girls obsessed with the supernatural.

- City of Bones and sequel City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
Clary is astonished to discover an entire world of fallen angels, demons, and demon-hunters. When this world intrudes upon her own, she is forced to join Shadowhunters Isabelle, Alex, and handsome Jace to protect those she loves.

- Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
For Jonathan Strange, the practice of magic is both an academic discipline and his patriotic duty as an Englishman. After fighting in the Napoleonic wars, Jonathan just wants to enjoy his new marriage, but magic and the realm of Faerie intrude upon his peace.

- Stardust by Neil Gaiman
Teenaged Tristran Thorn vows to bring his love a fallen star from beyond the Wall separating his village from the realm of Faerie. He quickly realizes Faerie is full of surprises -- not the least of which is the star herself!

- Dreamrider by Barry Jonsberg
High school outcast Michael is a lucid dreamer; he can consciously control what happens in his dreams. Michael discovers that the line between reality and imagination is fluid when his dreams begin to influence his real life.

- Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause
Vivian, a werewolf, falls for a human named Aiden. Can she keep her true identity from Aiden and her relationship with a "meat boy" from her pack?

- Savvy by Ingrid Law
In the Beaumont family, everyone discovers a special talent at the age of thirteen. Mibs is impatiently awaiting the onset of her "savvy," but when a family emergency strikes she becomes desperate to discover her power.

- Sabriel; sequels Lirael: Daughter of the Clayr and Abhorsen by Garth Nix
Sabriel is next in a long line of Abhorsens, a family of necromancers dedicated to binding the dead. When her father, the current Abhorsen, disappears on a mission in the magical Old Kingdom, Sabriel sets out to save him.

- Eragon; sequels Eldest and Brisingr (out next month) by Christopher Paolini
Eragon discovers a strange blue stone, which forever alters the course of his life when it hatches a baby dragon. As Eragon and Saphira become inseparable, forces both good and evil seek to dominate this new dragon and Dragonrider.

- Mason by Thomas Pendleton
Other kids call Mason "slow," but he has an amazing extrasensory ability. His sadistic older brother Gene uses his own talent to harm others. Can Mason summon the power and courage to stop Gene?

- The Darkangel; sequels A Gathering of Gargoyles and The Pearl of the Soul of the World by Meredith Ann Pierce
Angel Aeriel must decide whether to destroy the vampire Irrylath or attempt to save him by restoring him to his human form.

- Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (Know your roots, horror fans!)
Victor Frankenstein uses grave-robbed body parts to create an undead man, but can't control him.

- Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich Smith
A vampire is stalking through Quincie's Texas hometown. Quincie and her half-wolf friend Kieren must track down the vampire before the killings shut down her family's vampire-themed restaurant.

- Generation Dead by Daniel Waters
Hundreds of dead teens are coming back to life, and must be reintegrated into society -- starting with high school.

-Peeps and sequel The Last Days by Scott Westerfeld
Vampirism is less mystical than biological in a parallel NYC; Cal contracts the "vampire" parasite after an encounter with a mysterious woman on his first night in the city. He joins an underground organization working to contain the spread of the disease.

For some more analytical reading, check out author Gail Gauthier's response to Breaking Dawn (which has elicited conflicting, but equally strong, reaction from fans) and NY Times contributor Regina Marler's review of two new zombie novels. And if you're still thirsty for post-Twilight reading, come into the George for personalized recommendations from our staff!

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