Posts Tagged ‘Fantasy’

Seventh Son

December 5, 2012

Seventh Son

Author: Orson Scott Card

Title: Seventh Son

Genre: Fantasy

Publication Date: July 1987

Number of Pages: 241 pgs.

Geographical Setting: Northwestern American Territory

Time Period: Late 18th to early 19th century

Series (If applicable): Tales of Alvin Maker Series; Book One

Plot Summary: Alvin Junior is the seventh son of a seventh son. Such a birth brings to one great powers, even those of a Maker. Evil forces however, are set on killing the child before he can reach adulthood and realize his true potential as a seventh son of a seventh son. This evil force, known as the Unmaker, uses those around Alvin in attempts to kill the child, including his father and Reverend Thrower. There is hope for young Alvin though, a young girl has been acting as a guardian angel, watching over him. She is known as a torch and can see the heartfires in everyone around her. This young girl, along with the help of Taleswapper and Alvin’s family, will help Alvin learn how to best use his powers and relinquish the forces of evil.

Subject Headings: Magic; Healing; Good and evil; Frontier and pioneer life; Maker, Alvin; Guardian angels; Nineteenth century

Appeal: Brothers and Sisters, Historical Figures, Good Vs. Evil, Alternative American Frontier, Religion, Builds in Intensity, Folklore, Fantasy, Hexes, Magic, Guardian Angels, Late 18th to early 19th century

Three appeal terms that best describe this book: Magic, Good vs. Evil, Alternate American Frontier

Three Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:

1. Storytelling : An Encyclopedia Of Mythology And Folklore edited by Josepha Sherman  (2008)

If you liked reading about different types of myths and Folklore found in Seventh Son, then you may want to check out his book. It’s a compilation of different Myths and Folklore stories told throughout the world. In these stories you will hear about both good and evil creatures that live among us (so to speak).

2. Children of the West: family life on the frontier by Cathy Luchetti (Apr 2001)

Like in Seventh Son, this book shows you what life was like, for families, back in the early 19th century. Alvin and his siblings worked hard each day to put food on the table even with the help of their special knacks. Read about the daily life and activities of real people who grew up during this time.

3. The arrow and the cross: a history of the American Indian and the missionaries by John Upton Terrell. (1979)

This book recounts how missionaries form the Protestant and Catholic church set out to convert the Native Americans to their own religion and the resistance they received from them. In Seven Sons, Alvin is visited by a Native American Indian who wishes to show him the ways of good. Reverend Thrower wants to fulfill his duty and see to it that a church is build and those in down renounce their beliefs in magic. This book will also give you a good insight on what can be expected in the second book of the Alvin Maker series, Red Prophet.

Three Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

1. Armageddon’s Children by Terry Brooks (Aug 2006)
If you liked reading a story about a young boy who possess powers to save the world from evil you may want to check out this book. Set in a futurist United States, where evil forces enslave survivors of the ruined country, one man sets out to find a child that could save them all.

2. The Briar King by Gregory J. Keyes (Dec 2002)
An evil force of death is reawakening. A monk realizes that the text he is translating contains ancient curses meant to awaken this evil. Only a special lineage can prevent the evil’s take over. Those who have the power to stop this evil fight for their lives. If you like reading a story about good vs evil, a small few banding together to save the world, and folklore, than this book is for you.

3. New Spring by Robert Jordan (Jan 2004)
If you liked reading about the fate of the world resting in the hands of newborn boy, then this book is sure to please. After hearing that a boy born of prophecy, and destined to lead the world against the dark Shadow forces, two men set out to find and protect the infant known as the Dragon Reborn.

Name: Madison Gailus

Something From the Nightside

May 19, 2010

Author: Simon R. Green

Title: Something From the Nightside

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Publication Date: 2003

Number of Pages: 230

Geographical Setting: Nightside (Alternate London)

Time Period: Modern Era

Series: Nightside Series

Plot Summary:

Business is slow for detective John Taylor until a beautiful, wealthy woman comes into his office late one evening.  Joanna is desperately seeking help to find her lost daughter Cathy, and was told that Mr. Taylor was the only man for the job.  Taylor has a special gift that allows him to track the lost; however, when he realizes this job will take him back to his former home of Nightside, he has to think twice before venturing into the vile and dangerous place.  Making matters worse, Joanna demands to come with, in case Cathy’s body cannot be brought back to her in London.  The two venture into the disturbing world of Nightside, where the wild run the streets, the full moon shines 24 hours a day, and the clock always reads 3:00 A.M.  John is somewhat of a celebrity in these parts, and news travels fast that he has returned.  Taylor begins asking around to find information about the missing girl, and even though one never really has any friends in Nightside, they are given a clue which leads them to the heart of the city.  All the while, Taylor senses something is very different about Nightside this time.  Filled with haunting scenes, this fantasy thriller will engage readers who enjoy twists in plot and action.

Subject Headings:

Alternate Reality; Detectives; Fantasy; Missing Children; Monsters; Mystery; Paranormal; Supernatural


Relentless; Haunting; Dark; Dangerous; Series; Action Oriented; Mystical; Urban; Direct

3 terms that best describe this book: Dark; Haunting; Solitary

Similar author and works (why are they similar?):


1)       For a Few Demons More by Kim Harrison

Her portrayal of witch bounty hunter Rachel Morgan blends elements seen in Nightside such as justice, supernatural, action and alternate cities.

2)      The Spirit by Will Eisner

Components of this comic book favorite will appeal to readers of the Nightside because of the setting, storytelling, crime and supernatural detectives.

3)      Sin City by Frank Miller

A city in ill-repair and characters that have the city coursing through their veins will draw many comparisons.


1)       The London Monster: A Sanguinary Tale by Jan Bondeson

The mystery surrounding this London slasher case will resonate with those who connected with the suspense and edginess of the Nightside.

2)      Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found by Suketu Mehta

A look into the stranger side of Bombay (now Mumbai), Maximum City is intriguing in its parallels to the “anything goes” lifestyle of the Nightside.

3)      Comeback: A Mother and Daughter’s Journey Through Hell and Back by Claire and Mia Fontaine

This will appeal to those who enjoyed the plot of a runaway girl and a mother’s love trying to bring her back.  Expanding on this facet, similarities are tied between the young girls being immersed in a dangerous existence.

Castle Waiting

April 1, 2009

Author: Linda Medley
Title: Castle Waiting

Genre: Graphic Novel
Publication Date: 2006
Number of pages: 457
Geographical Setting: Made up town of
Time period: Medieval
Series: n/a

Plot summary: The story begins with an adaptation of the classic Sleeping Beauty fairytale.  At the end of this prelude however, the price and princess leave their town and castle, and also the people that have lived their forever.  They leave the castle waiting for a new king that someday will arrive.  The story then turns to a girl named Jain.  She is forced to leave her home due to an abusive husband and is on her own to find a new place to live.  Jain is also pregnant!  Along the way she meets some familiar fairytale characters like the three little pigs, and also some new ones.  She arrives at the castle and meets many of the inhabitants, many are strange folk, but they all have many stories.  After her baby is born she starts to make herself at home.  She befriends a nun, Sister Peace, who lives at the castle, and she has a beard!  She shares her story of the Solicitine Nuns and all their hairy adventures.  Sister Peace tells of her friends and their times together.  In the mean time, all the inhabitants still are just waiting for something new to come along.

The artwork is in black-and-white.  The characters facial expressions are very detailed and speak more than the words.  It moves along quickly and is a great read for a first time graphic novel reader.

Subject headings: Graphic Novels, Fairytales, Fantasy

Appeal: adventurous, fantastical, romance, woman strength, girl power, exciting, fast-paced, magical, emotional, traditional, truthful, relatable, fun, light-hearted.

Similar works (fiction):

Romeo and Juliet by Richard Appignanesi-It is an adaptation of a familiar story; it also is in color, so a next step up for reading a graphic novel.

Age of Bronze: betrayal part one by Eric Shanower-Also draws from stories that many are familiar with, this one more with myths and medieval romances.

Runaways, vol. 1: pride & joy by Brian K. Vaughan-Story about friends that runaway and the strength of their friendship.  Similar to Sister Peace’s story in Castle Waiting.

Similar works (non-fiction):

American Widow by Alissa Torres; illustrated by Choi- depicts the struggles of a single woman after losing her husband in 9/11.  Relates to the strength of women.

Side Show: my life with geeks, freaks, and vagabonds in the carny trade by Howard Bone with Daniel Waladron-although not a graphic novel, it might interest the readers that were interested in Nessie’s story as the bearded lady in the circus.

Comics and graphic novels by Richard Spilsbury-accounts the principles of comics and graphic novels, how the artwork affects story and introduces mood.  Might be interesting for first time readers.

Name: Emily