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Saturday, May 7, 2011


Fantasy is good. Give me double-epic fantasy, savage fantasy, almost fantasy, B-grade fantasy, super awesome frame story fantasy. I love it all.

But there's a sub-genre of fantasy that rests deep inside my heart. It doesn't even have a proper name, but the basic idea is you take a character, or maybe a few characters, which is better, out of our contemporary, modern world, and you drop them into a fantasy/sci-fi/unfamiliar world.

This sub-genre has its stinkers. It has its weirdos. It has its lepers that make you feel dirty after reading.

But some of this stuff is really fun.

Beyonders is cool just because of its name, and the author is a real talent.

Is it an entirely serious adventure? No.
Is there an evil wizard ruling a kingdom in a despotic fashion? Heroes that must stop him? A quest to recover the-only-thing-that-can-destroy-the-evil-wizard? Tropes, tropes, tropes? Sure, but Mull makes them work. He makes them fun.

I think anyone else who wrote a book that played out like a Visit-The-Four-Elemental-Temples RPG would fall really flat, but the nuances of the story and its style keep it moving nicely.

To be fair, this was the book I read right after Breathless, and as you know, if you read a shit book then the next book, even a mediocre one, will be a lot better just because of the contrast in quality.
Also, I might have mentioned this before but I'm a sucker for this specific sub-genre of fantasy.

Books31 - "It will engross both boys and girls between 3rd to 8th grade"

Patty - "I can see this book appealing to tons of betweener aged kids"

And over-sized man-boys. Don't forget me.

(There also might be a 13-year-old protagonist who cracks smart-ass jokes in the face of certain death like some grizzled war hero, and I think he almost kills a guy with a billiard ball, which is very "I drink your milkshake", but dude, you're 13 years old. I don't know any 30-year-olds who act as mature as you do.)

1 comment:

  1. I started to read about this but it made me BE YAWNED... er.