Friday, January 05, 2007

Book-A-Day #173 (1/5): Valiant by Holly Black

A very loose sequel to Tithe, the Holly Black book I read a couple of days ago. A third one, Ironside, is coming -- if all goes well, I'll read that tomorrow.

This won the very first Andre Norton Award (which is to the Nebulas what the John W. Campbell Memorial Award is to the Hugos -- given at the same time, and administered the same way, but Not The Same Thing At All) for YA Fantasy fiction, and I have to say that I liked it much better than Tithe (which was a bit too YA for my tastes -- filled with utterly self-absorbed teens who I wanted to batter heavily with a clue stick).

Anyway, these books are sort of the fantasy version of the YA problem novel, with runaways, teen sex, and drug abuse -- which, of course, has led to much public clucking about them from the kind of Southern librarians/teachers who had wooden poles inserted anally at the beginning of their careers. (I was reading the Amazon reviews a minute ago, and, if they think this book has bad language, those people are ridiculously sheltered.)

I probably wouldn't have gotten to these books if not for work -- the kind of problem novels I read as a teen tended to be the "I'm rich and my parents are divorced and my life is full of Stuff but still sucks until I learn that what's important in life is Good People" type -- but this one is really good. I am so much not the audience for it, though. So take anything I said above that looks negative with about three metric tons of salt.

The Fabulous Book-A-Day Index!

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