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Thursday, January 3, 2013

The New Twilight

Written by Kyle Slagley

Now that the New Year has dawned, we can all take a deep breath and mentally regroup. Often times as we move into January, the water cooler talk has to do with the normal slew of resolutions: diets, workout routines, quitting a bad habit, or the time spent cutting coupons in an effort to save more money.

Now don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great that Bob from accounting cut 750 calories out of his diet just by giving up his nightly pint of Cherry Garcia ice cream, really I do! I’m sure you’re thrilled to hear that I’ve made it to day three of my decision to do the P90X Yoga routine every day. The fact remains that in two months, when Bob is once again making the yacht payment for the Ben & Jerry’s CEO and my Yoga X disc has been buried underneath the first four seasons of That 70’s Show, we will all be wondering one thing: Now that Twilight is finished, what will be the next Twilight?

It’s a legitimate question! At some point we’re going to have to have another fictional hunk for America to love, so we’d all best be on the lookout. I’ll need something to do with that hour-I’m-not-using-for-yoga anyway. Here’s my shortlist of contenders.

Warm Bodies – I mentioned this title a few days ago in my 2013: Year of the Zombie blog. The basic premise is that a zombie falls in love with a human girl and finds that love may actually be the cure to the disease that turned him into a zombie in the first place. The book really is its own Cinderella story; author Isaac Marion initially self-published the novel and it was later picked up by Atria Books. Marion has now announced a sequel that is currently in the works, and the movie starring Nicholas Hoult is due out February 1.

Beautiful Creatures – Written by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, this series first appeared in 2009 and has been on the “Next Twilight” shortlist ever since. In the first (of four) novels, the two lead characters Lena and Ethan become inexplicably linked. Lena is a Caster (of magic) and Ethan is a normal high school sophomore. Swirling with mystery, romance, and the supernatural, this series has already been received well by critics and readers alike and, with the movie due out on February 13, it is a leading candidate to fill the void in the hearts of Twilighters. The three other books in the series are Beautiful Darkness, Beautiful Chaos, and Beautiful Redemption.

The Mortal Instruments – There are currently five novels in this series by Cassandra Clare, with the sixth due out in 2014. The first novel, City of Bones, was published in 2007 and is a YA urban-fantasy tale about a secret society of tattooed-teenage demon hunters. This series is a hit already with those that like their urban-fantasy fierce, rugged, and not-overly-sappy—it reminds me a lot of the Borderlands short-story series that originated in the ‘80s. The movie is due out on August 23, but with romance taking a backseat in the series kickoff, the crowd may differ somewhat from that of Twilight.

Divergent – This trilogy by Veronica Roth, already loved by many, will continue to grow this year and probably subsequent years. It’s not quite a fantasy-romance like Twilight, but will attract many of the same readers and moviegoers as The Hunger Games because of its dystopian future-Chicago setting. The first installment was published in 2011, the second – Insurgent – just last year, and the unnamed conclusion is scheduled for release this fall. The movie adaptation of Divergent is currently in pre-production with director Neil Burger; it’s listed for tentative release in March 2014 and will be distributed by Summit Entertainment and Lionsgate (who also distributed The Hunger Games).

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