I've never been one to turn my nose up at a teen book, but I don't read as many as I like. Considering they are so quick, though, I have begun slipping more in between my other reads. I also know that plenty of paranormal readers of my age and older are dipping into the teen section for books like the Rachel Caine's Morganville Vampires series, the upcoming YA series by Shifters author Rachel Vincent, Kelley Armstrong's YA books, and even the upcoming Kim Harrison teen series.
Last night I read Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston (one of the specific titles mentioned in the article). I ran out and bought it for the Junior Junkies, but decided to hang onto it so that I could read it first (that and Bliss by Lauren Myracle). Strange is such a fast read that I found I had read 1/3 at the gym alone. I finished it last night and now I want more!
It's a fairy story. Not a fairy tale, but a story about the fey and their realm bleeding out into ours. In Central Park lies the Samhain Gate, a thin connection between the worlds that King Auberon had tried to seal and failed. Each year on Halloween, the gate opens and Auberon's Janus guards -- changelings chosen specifically to guard the gate -- are set to work. Every nine years, though, something called the Nine-Night occurs. For not one, but nine nights total, beings can cross between the two worlds and it is the job of the Janus to make sure that this doesn't happen. This year is the year of the Nine-Night. Sonny Flannery, one of the Janus, discovers a girl wandering in Central Park on the first night of the Nine. This girl seems to be something more than a mere mortal, but Sonny leaves her for his duty. Then he finds that while all of the guards were busy on this night, something managed to pass through the gate, and all of the evidence points to a connection to this girl. Who or what she is, Sonny does not know, but his first clue is a script to Midsummer Night's Dream.
This is a fun book that incorporates all kinds of mythology and fey tales. Midsummer plays a big part, but there are Norse myths and Celtic myths and there's probably more than I can't even pinpoint at this time.
If you like mythology and fey tales, and if you have a reading teen in your life, give Wondrous Strange a try. My sister, the one in love with all things fanged, has recently become enthralled with fairies -- not cutesy fairy tales, but dark fairy tricksters and evil fey realms -- she's going to love this one! And I certainly hope to see more of this world and these characters from Livingston.