The Compulsive Reader: Supernatural July

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Supernatural July

Hey everyone,

I have to admit: I am a sucker for a good supernatural read. There's just something about being sucked into a world that's not your own occasionally that really appeals to me. So I decided to share with you some of my favorite supernatural reads, much in the same fashion as last year's Books That Suck Feature. Every day, I'll share a book or two, and occaisonally throw in an author interview or contest. It'll be loads of fun!

So, getting us off to a great start is Sarah Rees Brennan and her debut novel, The Demon's Lexicon.

Nick Ryves is used to running. Ever since he was young, his family has been on the run, trying to stay one step ahead of the deadly Magician's Circle that is bent on retrieving the talisman Nick's mother stole from them. Nick has always relied on his older brother Alan to make the right choices and protect them, but when it becomes evident that Alan may be keeping secrets from him, Nick is set on a path that will lead him to the startling truth about his family and himself.

Quite imaginative and unique, The Demon's Lexicon is a nice departure from the norm of YA supernatural fiction. Brennan tells the story in Nick's point of view, highlighting his struggle to trust others and control his emotions, which is an interesting complication. The book moves rapidly, and some readers may find Brennan's brisk style a little hard to make sense of in the very beginning, but it doesn't take long before the story evens out and clicks into place. The paranormal world and the way magic works in The Demon's Lexicon is unique in the sense that any and all magicians are corrupt, and Alan, Nick, and their friends can only protect themselves using magical objects and their own wits, creating a stirring and intriguing mystery with a startling twist that will ensure Brennan's status as a talented new voice in YA lit.

Cover Comments: Agh, I really don't care for this cover! I think the guy is fine (as in, he's appropriate for the cover!), and I like the font of the title, but the yellow-ish/orange-ish/red-ish glow just makes it adapt a very unprofessional feel, and I don't care for the lightening and the bats in the background. To me, it comes across as a cheap Halloween poster. I apologize if I've offended anyone who disagrees, that's just my opinion! I hope it doesn't deter anyone from picking it up!

And...and interview with Sarah Rees Brennan!

What three words would you use to describe The Demon's Lexicon?

Mystery, magic and danger.
What makes The Demon's Lexicon unique?

Eeek, difficult for an author to answer that! Sounds so braggy. But okay, I'll give it a shot: there's that guy in so many books, tall, dark, silent, in the know and usually in the middle of trouble, and he's always so mysterious. I wanted to get in his head and see what he was thinking.

Besides 'God other people, why so chatty?' that is. ;)

What supernatural book or work has influenced you and your writing the most?

I really love Diana Wynne Jones's books and her effortless blending of magic with reality: the wizard Howl in a fantasy land turning out to be an ordinary Welshman called Howell Jenkins in Howl's Moving Castle, or sowing the ground with dragon's teeth making warriors rise from the ground - and by modern warriors I mean bikers. She's endlessly inventive, funny and believable: someday I want to be half as good!

If you could have any supernatural power, what would it be and why?

I'm not sure I'd want a supernatural power. There's that whole Spiderman schtick of 'with great power comes great responsibility' ... and I can't be responsible, I already killed all my sea monkeys. What I'd like is a robot suit that I could stay in, safe in my titanium suit from my enemies, blasting them with my laser eyes and fighting crime with the brilliant computer installed inside the robot head with me. I'd call my computer Sherlock.

I'd also like the robot to help keep the next batch of sea monkeys alive.

What supernatural read are you itching to read next?

Leviathan, by Scott Westerfeld, an alternate history madcap adventures Georgette Heyer with fantasy romp with beautiful illustrations. I answer that so promptly because an advance copy is waiting for me on my hall table, but I can't read it until I finish the edits for my second book! Wish me luck...

Thanks, Sarah! Good luck with those edits, and let us know what you think of Leviathan!

Also, be sure to check out Sarah's short story, which is set in the world of The Demon's Lexicon, but it won't give anything away! It's pretty awesome, so check it out!


Kristen said...

I'm reading this book right now and loving it! :)

Vanessa said...

I love supernatural stories. At their best, they really are an escape without being fluffy.

Bookgeek said...

nice review - have been put off by the cover but will push it higher in my pile! thanks

yaReads said...

Demon's Lexicon arrived in the mail three days ago. I can't wait to get started on this one!

Unknown said...

So many people have loved this one--it is definitely on my tbr list.

The Library Lurker said...

I'm reading it on PulseIT right now, and it's really good! I just started though, so I'll have to see how it turns out.

Beth F said...

I'll have to add this one to my list.

yareads.com said...

I'm sooooooooo excited about reading this book. I love the cover. The boy on the front reminds me of the guy that plays Clark/Superman in Smallville. I think his name is Tom Welling.