Over the past few years, Y/A fantasy fiction has exploded. The massive and unprecedented success of authors such as J. K. Rowling, Stephanie Meyer and Suzanne Collins has meant that the genre has become increasingly mainstream, appealing to both adults and teenagers alike.
Walk into any bookshop and you’ll find shelf upon shelf of books filled with vampires, werewolves, witches and the like, usually with a plucky human heroine thrown in there for good measure. But this begs the question, how far can you capitalise on the success of a genre before it becomes saturated?
For me, this is an issue that’s becoming more and more frustrating. Recently, I’ve been looking for a new series to read, but on several occasions I’ve picked up novels only to find them poorly written and full of stilted dialogue, underdeveloped, implausible characters and unconvincing love stories. I’ve been thinking about why this might be the case, and maybe it’s being caused precisely because of the success of books like the Twilight series. Massively popular even before they were adapted for our cinema screens, the films catapulted its actors into stardom and inspired a whole generation of devoted fans (myself included I might add!).
But now, people continue to search relentlessly for the new Twilight, or the new Harry Potter. And where there’s a demand, there will always be a supply. And although there are some really great books out there, there are equally a whole plethora of books that just don’t make the grade. In my opinion, the Y/A fantasy genre as a whole needs a refresh. I don’t know what the next big thing will be, but I do think that we need to see some new ideas that haven’t been done before. And most importantly, the readers need to want this too.
In the meantime, if anyone can recommend a really great series, please let me know!