In order to appeal to both male and female readers, authors of young adult novels attempt to come up with a male/female duo as the main characters for their novels. This month I am going to recommend three new action packed books with very inventive pairings for their protagonists. Frostblood by Elly Blake imagines a world filled with Frostbloods whose powers are ice born and Firebloods with fire born powers. Ruby and Arcus, despite their opposing powers, are drawn together in a plot to overthrow the Frost King. Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray finds a teen soldier teaming up with an enemy android to end an interplanetary war. The Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak is a comedy set in the 1980s that pairs a geeky boy who dreams of being a computer game designer with a female computer programming whiz.
The first book in the new Frostblood Saga introduces Ruby Otera who lives in a world where the ruling class of Frostbloods have abilities that are ice born. She is a Fireblood who hides her fire born powers, until the day her mother is killed trying to protect her in a Frostblood raid. Her powers exposed, Ruby is taken prisoner, but is rescued by a band of rebels who hope to use her powers to overthrow the Frost King, a maniacal ruler, who is controlled by the evil Minax. Ruby is trained by a band of monks, including the mysterious Arcus, whom she comes to love. When she is once again captured and forced to compete in the king's competitions between Firebloods and Frostblood warriors, Ruby hopes to find a way to destroy the throne and create a new world where Firebloods and Frostbloods can live together in peace. This thrilling page turner is filled with exciting battles, magic and romance, and sets up an intriguing world for the books to come.The sequel, Fireblood, is available now.
In the new Sci/Fi thriller, Defy the Stars, Earth has used up all its resources and is attempting to take over planets that are connected to it by Gates between the worlds. Noemi is a teen soldier from the pristine planet of Genesis She is on a practice run before a suicide mission to destroy the Gate and stave off an attack by Earth, when she discovers an Earth ship abandoned during the last war. Abel, an intelligent robot who seems human, has been waiting there alone for 30 years, hoping to find a way to return to his creator on Earth. When Noemi rescues him, she finds he has been programmed to recognize any human as his new superior and he knows a way to destroy the Gate. Enlisting his help, they travel throughout the universe, hoping to recruit other worlds in their mission to destroy the Gate and end Earth's imperialistic wars. Although Abel thinks he must obey Ruby, his passive aggressive behavior toward her adds a great deal of humor to the story. As the book progresses Noemi finds herself more and more drawn to this android who ultimately overcomes his programming to help her put an end to the wars. This thought-provoking adventure is filled with philosophical explorations of religion, terrorism and what it means to be human.
The Impossible Fortress. a nostalgic comedy, opens with 14-year-old Billy and his buddies trying to get a hold of the latest copy of Playboy magazine, which features nudes of Wheel of Fortune's Vanna White. After several failed attempts to steal it from Zelinsky's Office Supply store, they cook up a scheme for Billy to befriend the owner's daughter Mary, who is a whiz at computer programming. Billy, who dreams of being a computer game designer, has been trying create a game on his Commodore 64 computer. He enlists Mary's help and they develop a game called The Impossible Fortress to enter into a contest for young programmers. As Billy is falling love with Mary, his buddies are cooking up a money-making scheme, selling copies of the pictures, before they have them. Filled with period details and pop-culture references, this is a delightful comedy-filled caper. These novels are all appropriate for middle level, as well as high school readers.