Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Spotlight On... Young Adult Trilogies

--by Hanje Richards

Lots of Young Adult fiction these days crosses over into Adult fiction, especially fantasy and science fiction. Another trend in Young Adult fiction is to write series, which is an idea I love, because when I find myself in a literary world that I am intrigued by, I can stay there a little longer. Often the series appear in threes. So, this week, we are featuring some trilogies by very popular authors of Young Adult fiction. We think that Young Adult titles might be interesting to lots of other readers as well. Enjoy!

Cassandra Clare was born to American parents in Tehran. As a child, Clare traveled frequently, spending time in Switzerland, England, and France. She returned to Los Angeles for high school, and from then on split her time between California and New York, where she worked at various entertainment magazines and tabloids.

Mortal Instruments Trilogy

..City of Bones - When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder — much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It’s hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing — not even a smear of blood — to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the Earth of demons. It’s also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours, Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary Mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know...

Exotic and gritty, exhilarating and utterly gripping, Cassandra Clare’s ferociously entertaining fantasy takes readers on a wild ride that they will never want to end.

..City of Ashes - Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what's normal when you're a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who's becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn't ready to let her go — especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace. And Clary's only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil — and also her father.

To complicate matters, someone in New York City is murdering Downworlder children. Is Valentine behind the killings — and if he is, what is he trying to do? When the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor arrives to investigate and zooms right in on Jace. How can Clary stop Valentine if Jace is willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father?

In this breathtaking sequel to City of Bones, Cassandra Clare lures her readers back into the dark grip of New York City's Downworld, where love is never safe and power becomes the deadliest temptation.

..City of Glass - To save her mother’s life, Clary must travel to the City of Glass, the ancestral home of the Shadowhunters — never mind that entering the city without permission is against the Law, and breaking the Law could mean death. To make things worse, she learns that Jace does not want her there, and Simon has been thrown in prison by the Shadowhunters, who are deeply suspicious of a vampire who can withstand sunlight.

As Clary uncovers more about her family’s past, she finds an ally in mysterious Shadowhunter Sebastian. With Valentine mustering the full force of his power to destroy all Shadowhunters forever, their only chance to defeat him is to fight alongside their eternal enemies. But can Downworlders and Shadowhunters put aside their hatred to work together? While Jace realizes exactly how much he’s willing to risk for Clary, can she harness her newfound powers to help save the Glass City — whatever the cost?

Love is a mortal sin and the secrets of the past prove deadly as Clary and Jace face down Valentine in the third installment of the bestselling Mortal Instruments series.
Suzanne Collins began her career in 1991 as a writer for children's television shows, including several for Nickelodeon. In September 2008, Scholastic Press released the The Hunger Games, the first book of a new trilogy by Collins. The Hunger Games was partly inspired by the Greek myth of Theseus and the Minotaur. Another inspiration was her father's career in the Air Force, which allowed her to better understand poverty, starvation, and the effects of war.
The Hunger Games Trilogy

..The Hunger Games - In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one girl and one boy between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she decides to take her sister's place as representative of their district in the Games. But Katniss has also resolved to outwit the creators of the games. To do that, she will have to be the last person standing at the end of the deadly ordeal, and that will take every ounce of strength and cunning she has...

..Catching Fire - Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games with fellow District 12 tribute Peeta Mellark. But it was a victory won by defiance of the Capitol and their harsh rules. Katniss and Peeta should be happy. After all, they have just won for themselves and their families a life of safety and plenty. But, there are rumors of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of that rebellion. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge..
. .

..Mockingjay - Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she's made it out of the bloody arena alive, she's still not safe. The Capitol is angry. Who do they think should pay for the unrest? Katniss. And what's worse, President Snow has made it clear that no one else is safe either. Not Katniss' family, not her friends, not the people of District 12. Powerful and haunting, this thrilling final installment of Suzanne Collins' groundbreaking The Hunger Games trilogy promises to be one of the most talked about books of the year.

Scott Westerfeld is an American author of science fiction. He was born in Texas and now divides his time between Sydney, Australia and New York City.

The Midnighters Trilogy

..The Secret Hour - A few nights after Jessica Day arrives in Bixby, Oklahoma, she wakes up at midnight to find the entire world frozen, except for her and a few others who call themselves "Midnighters." Dark things haunt this midnight hour — dark things with a mysterious interest in Jessica. The question is why? This novel is a compelling tale of dark secrets, midnight romance, eerie creatures, courage, destiny, and unexpected peril.

..Touching Darkness - Bixby, Oklahoma, is full of secrets. Some come out at midnight; some should stay hidden. As the Midnighters search for the truth about the secret hour, they uncover terrifying mysteries woven into the very fabric of Bixby’s history and a conspiracy that touches the world of daylight. This time, Jessica Day is not the only Midnighter in mortal danger, and if the group can’t find a way to come together, they could lose one of their own... forever.

..Blue Noon - The five teenage Midnighters of Bixby, Oklahoma, thought they understood the secret midnight hour — until one morning when time freezes in the middle of the day. The noise of school stops. Cheerleaders are frozen in midair. Everything is the haunted blue color of the midnight hour. As the Midnighters scramble for answers, they discover that the walls between the secret hour and real time are crumbling. Soon the dark creatures will break through to feed at last... unless these five teenagers can find a way to stop them.