Ready to Become a Fan of... focuses on those authors new and old whose works I have every intention of eventually reading, but haven't been able to devote the time to just yet. By discussing authors and their works that I'm sure I'll love, given the chance, hopefully I can be more easily compelled to take the next step in not simply acquiring one of their books, but actually take the time to read it.
This month I'm putting on record that I am ready to become a fan of Victoria Schwab.
About the author:
Victoria Schwab, also writing as V.E. Schwab, is currently the author of three novels and two short stories, and she has two more novels scheduled for release in 2014 (New Beginnings, the first in a new MG series called Everyday Angel, and The Unbound, sequel to last year’s The Archived). Readers should take into consideration that Schwab’s debut, The Near Witch, was only published in 2011. Although all of her books can be considered speculative fiction, they can be categorized across a variety of subgenres and audience levels.
The Near Witch
The Near Witch is only an old story told to frighten children.
If the wind calls at night, you must not listen. The wind is lonely, and always looking for company.
And there are no strangers in the town of Near.
These are the truths that Lexi has heard all her life.
But when an actual stranger-a boy who seems to fade like smoke-appears outside her home on the moor at night, she knows that at least one of these sayings is no longer true.
The next night, the children of Near start disappearing from their beds, and the mysterious boy falls under suspicion. Still, he insists on helping Lexi search for them. Something tells her she can trust him.
As the hunt for the children intensifies, so does Lexi's need to know-about the witch that just might be more than a bedtime story, about the wind that seems to speak through the walls at night, and about the history of this nameless boy.
Part fairy tale, part love story, Victoria Schwab's debut novel is entirely original yet achingly familiar: a song you heard long ago, a whisper carried by the wind, and a dream you won't soon forget. (Goodreads)
Why this author & this work:
I’ve been fascinated by The Near Witch ever since I first read the premise. I’m all about fairy-tale retellings and fairy-tale inspired fiction. This story sounds dark and mysterious and so intriguing. Of course I’m interested in the story the premise promises, but I’m also kind of looking forward to really analyzing the various fairy-tale elements at play and just how Schwab was able to derive inspiration from these older stories.
I’m also always seeking new speculative fiction authors to read. Even more than being a solid speculative fiction writer, I enjoy reading works by authors who are willing to play around with a variety of stories. I just love the fact that with only a few published works, Schwab has already resisted being pigeonholed into writing one specific type of story or for one specific type of audience (well, besides the fact that all her stories do center around the fantastical). I’m sure I’ll find that I prefer certain stories of hers over others, but I respect the fact that she’s willing to experiment — and that publishers are willing to allow her to experiment.
2013 appears to have been a good year for Victoria Schwab. Both her YA fantasy The Archived and her adult fantasy Vicious were published to positive praise overall. Schwab is still near the beginning of her career (I hope), so I think it will be fascinating to witness her rise in popularity and skills as a writer.
For those of you who've already read some of Schwab’s works, I'd appreciate hearing what you think about them. For those who also haven't read her works yet, let me know what's been holding you back!
Ready to Become a Fan of... is an original feature of Late Nights with Good Books.