Rowlings’ Harry Potter comes in an excruciatingly close second, in the must read Sci-fi/Fantasy list, because he doesn’t yet have the longevity of Ender’s Game. Harry does have moments that connect you to the characters and the ability to punch your heart out, leaving you crying in your book or slack-jawed in theaters. I’m not forgiving JK for murdering Sirius. Yet, as a writer, I admire her resolve. JK didn’t create a new plot. She told the story with a knife so dexterous and with such allegiance to the rollercoaster that is life , she crafted original presentation.
Influenced by the Holocaust, a writer who admittedly struggles with her faith, told the Messiah story. Before Harry was born things were in play that led to his life being unfair, how common is that? For 7 long books we, fell in love with him; watching him make friends, cope with neglect and abuse, grow from a wide-eyed little boy excited and anxious for ‘what-comes-next,’ to young man with the heaviness of the world in his hands. All this turmoil to learn he would have to die anyway, to save those like Ginny whom he loved and those like Malfoy who he despised and later pitied.
Hunger Games , a teenage girl takes a bullet for her sister and survives only to lose her sister anyway; in the process she restores to society the option to thrive or fail and she finds life goes on. Katniss learns not to trust, you learn not to trust. Katniss doesn’t know who to love, you don’t know who to love. At some point it’s all just seems like a best guess, and how often are we forced to decide like that? Katniss grows from being an angry, arguably selfish, teenager to grown-up able to see through the double-talk and even strong enough to seek justice, not vengeance. Not an original idea, but just enough reality and restraint to for Hunger Games to stand on its own.
Twilight , I liked the first book. I thought there was so much in store; I was sorely disappointed. Besides, Bella remaining the same character-low self-esteem/ugly unless she has Edward, unable to live/doesn’t try to fight unless she has Edward, spoiled/disrespectful all for Edward-you could’ve read any of the books Stephenie Meyers borrowed from and had a better time.
From Bronte’s Wuthering Heights to Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet , Meyers doesn’t add progressive writing to present these novels in a new manner deserving to stand on its’ own. Bella doesn’t, honestly, struggle over sacrificing her soul or human life in order to have a man who admits she’s only drawn to him because his vampirism allows him to enchant his prey. There is no hardship in becoming a teenage mother, no penalty for disrespecting parents/father, no consequence for anything. No one wins all the time. Also, Jacob, the Native American, plays the ‘The Savage.’ The hot-blooded, ‘Red Man’ and werewolf lusts after the helpless, pale woman but is no match for the proper Englishman. Jacob must settle for their half-bred offspring in quite a pedophilic way.
Sci-Fi/Fantasy is more than the supernatural; it’s supernatural in order to comment/critique the natural-the norm. It isn’t new-glittering vampires-for new’s sake. If religion wouldn’t let her fully portray traditional vampires, than she could’ve used her religion to craft her new vampires. Twilight is a nice junior-romance novel but ranking it among the Y.A. influential, as many try to do, is awarding someone for just showing up. Y.A. literature needs the realizations, costs and growth young-adulthood actually encompasses.
But you should judge for yourselves, read the Harry Potter, Twilight & Hunger Games series, see what conclusion you come to…
PS- Hunger Games comes to theaters March 23, 2012