Friday, May 24, 2013

Fantasy Fare for Summer: Invisibility, The Fifth Wave, and Midwinterblood

School's out and it's time to dive into books that transport us to another world.  David Levithan, author of Every Day, is back with Invisibility, a romance between a boy cursed with invisibility and the one girl who can see him. Rick Yancy, author of the Monstrumologist series, introduces The Fifth Wave, the first book in a new trilogy about invading aliens.  Finally, British author Marcus Sedgwick offers Midwinterblood, seven intertwining stories that revolve around the cycle of midwinter blood on the mysterious island of Blessed.

In Invisibility David Levithan and Andrea Creamer, author of the Nightshade series, have paired up to tell in alternating voices the story of Stephen, who has been invisible since birth, and Elizabeth, a girl who only wishes she were invisible.  After her gay brother survives a vicious attack by homophobic classmates in Minnesota, Elizabeth's mother moves the family to New York City where she hopes they can make a new life for themselves.They move down the hall from Stephen, who has been alone since his mother died a few months back.  He is shocked when Elizabeth is able to see him and begins to hope that the invisibility curse, placed on him by his cursecaster grandfather, is beginning to weaken.  However, they find out the reason Elizabeth can see him is that she is a spellseeker. Together they set out to find a way to reverse the curse.

After four waves of alien invasions, including loss of electricity, then coastal destruction, plague and brutal murders, Cassie, the heroine of The Fifth Wave, finds herself alone and on the run. Then she meets Evan Walker who may be her only hope for saving herself and possibly finding her younger brother.  But Cassie can't decide whether to join forces with him or kill him.  He may be an alien in disguise.  Told by a variety of narrators, this first installment  in a new trilogy focuses on what it means to be human in a world where aliens in human form make it impossible to know who to trust.

Midwinterblood is a journey back through the centuries, chronicling the stories of a journalist, an archaeologist, an airman, a painter, a ghost, a vampire and a Viking.  These stories take place on the Scandinavian island of the Blessed, where two characters, Eric and Merle, are bound together throughout time, but their relationship is never the same.  In this unconventional mystery/horror/love story the island is the backdrop for  each reincarnation, as the characters struggle to find a way for the cycle of midwinter blood to be broken. Comparisons  to Cloud Atlas promise a dark, brooding mystery filled with mystical elements that keep the reader turning pages, and Midwinterblood does not disappoint!

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