With finals starting soon now is an inopportune time for pleasure reading. But after finals during winter break, when your brain feels fried, might I suggest you refresh yourself through the power of modern fantasy novels?
First, Neil Gaiman’s Newbury Award winning The Graveyard Book. The book tells the story Nobody Owens, a child growing up in a graveyard raised the ghosts. The book is a superb fantasy tale that involves ghosts, ghouls, witches, President Harry Truman, and an international group of evil men. While the book remains largely episodic in nature, readers will feel right at home in the abnormal, yet familiar world.
Next, journey to an England ruled by magicians that harness the power of spirits to maintain their rule over the common folk in Jonathan Stroud’s The Amulet of Samarkand. The story begins with the magician’s apprentice Nathaniel summoning the snarky djinni Bartimaeus. Nathaniel wants to use Bartimaeus to get revenge on the high ranking Simon Lovelace for embarrassing him. The novel splits the narrative duties between Nathaniel and Bartimaeus as they realize the depth of political corruption these magicians are involved in. The novel is exciting and accessible with load of moral ambiguity, political power grabs, and off-beat sarcastic humor.
Brian Sullivan, Online Learning Librarian