Wednesday, May 05, 2010

What Kidlit People Are Talking About

At least, what they were talking about last month.

Note the panelists discussed an upcoming Hunger Games movie. I've just finished reading another dystopian/post-apocalyptic novel, and I have to say that I find them extremely formulaic. Yes, the authors have to come up with a unique world--in Hunger Games it was one in which a population watches children kill children on TV for entertainment and in Mortal Engines it was one in which cities are capable of moving about and destroy and absorb other cities in a form of municpal Darwinism--oh, and in The Uglies series it was a world in which everyone is made beautiful as a method of control--but, otherwise, every one of those books I can think of involves something dreadful happening in the past, usually brought about because mankind has used science to create a dreadful weapon or some dreadful technology that ran amuck. Our heroes work to escape or make their fellow citizens see what is really happening.

I wonder if the sameness of the storylines will be even more obvious when it's right in front of us on a movie screen.


Colyngbourne said...

"Our heroes work to escape or make their fellow citizens see what is really happening."

I don't see this as happening in Mortal Engines. I hope you get a chance to read the other three books in the sequence (which I have been doing recently) because although the trigger for the post-apocalyptic-style world is some disastrous technology, the story is more about personal loyalties and how to find stability and safety in a world that actually moves, and the movements of the engine of the heart is a focus that comes out of the bigger debate about static settlement vs. Traction Cities.

Gail Gauthier said...

I don't know what will happen in the future books, of course, but in Mortal Engines two young main characters learn the truth about what the evil engineers are doing with a weapon from the past and try to stop them. (A third young character already knew most of what was going on and was not surprised.) So that's not trying to escape or inform their fellow citizens, but I think the book still follows a formula of a bad science-related thing happening in the past, leading to an oppressive present, and young people learning the truth about what's going on and acting upon it.

That's not to say that other things aren't going on, too, especially if we're talking about future books.