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The Adventures of Balthazar and the Black Spider by Anita Brooks ( ) tension Ventureslundentechcrunch, violence, and . . . oh my! This is one of those books where you almost don’t think about it being a YA action novel until it’s too late. It’s packed with conspiracy theories and political snark, but boy does it have some heart-warming tales to tell. The Adventures of Balthazar and the Black Spider follows a middle-aged couple who find themselves entangled in the supernatural adventures of a black spider. Their obsession with this mythical creature unearths secrets about themselves and their friends — along with some unthinkable punishment for those who defy them. The book has an adult undercurrent that will leave you feeling both gratitude and terrified.

What is YA literature like?

YA books are books that don’t quite have the same appeal as adult books, but they still have their place in the history of popular literature. They tend to follow a very muddled path through primary, secondary, and tertiary school reading, and can often be difficult for younger readers to get through. The majority of YA books are strictly fantasy or science fiction, though some contemporary books can also be considered fiction. It’s not something you’ll find in a high school paper, anyway, so that’s a plus.

The Appalling Saga of a Yook-a-Mole

By this point in the book, you’re probably out of the Woodlark and into the Click, and you’re probably wondering how this famous species got their name. The answer is that the first settlers of America were actually carrying out a small bit of genetic engineering. As has been mentioned, the human race is actually a result of this engineering — and Yeezus has been keeping us company since then. The first settlers of North America were actually out to engineer a species of mule deer. It’s not clear whether they actually intended them to “eat Yeezus,” but they succeeded in the end.

Dangerous Games of the Mind: Theories and Practices of Mass Culture

We’ve all heard some version of the “We are the subjects of social research, and the meaning of subjectivity must be determined by the meaning of poverty” argument, but this is one of the more clichéd claims in the book, so let’s break it down paragraph by paragraph. The theory behind the book is that the richest people in the world are parasites — parasites who use their wealth to expand their own power and influence through the use of Matrix-like technology. The most important resource a society has is its media — everything else is lost in the information age, which means the only way to keep your society secure is to have a strong and independent media. The rest of the theory is based on the idea that the more powerful you are, the more advanced your tech, and the less advanced your media, and the more advanced your economy is. This is pretty common sense, and it makes total sense when you think about it.

Balthazar and the Black Spider: A YA Thriller in Every Way

The “YA” in YA refers to the Young Adult (YA) format of publishing, which means these books tend to be very young, veryumsy, and very fantasy — which is a pretty bizarre combination. Here’s a sample YA novel for kids, courtesy of Library of America: The Adventures of Balthazar and the Black Spider; Young Adult, 2018, by Anita Brooks

A Darker Side toYA Literature

YA literature has always been in transition, at best and generally in reaction to adult literature, which means there’s a lot of room for tongue-in-cheek humor, black humor, and fantasy. White fantasy and science fiction, by comparison, tend to be very serious and serious-minded. Black fantasy and science fiction, on the other hand, tend to be very playful and silly — which can make these books seem like they’re trying to tell a serious story, when in fact they’re far more lighthearted than that.

Summing Up

YA books aren’t for everyone, but if you’re looking for a fun, light, and creative introduction to modern FF, this could be for you. Be prepared to be amazed and go funny, and definitely not be prepared for the standard of science and fantasy representation you’ll face as a reader. You’re also likely to come away from this book with a better understanding of the history of modern fantasy, from modern authors like George R.R. Martin to contemporary ones like E.C. Ewing. If you like YA books, you may also like these non-YA books to satisfy your young readers’ needs.