Scott Westerfeld is one of the kings of Young Adult books. He’s written four different series; “Midnighters”, “Peeps”, “Leviathan”, and the hugely popular 4-book saga “Uglies”. And I’ve read exactly…none of them. Yes, I know that’s a big oversight, especially since Westerfeld spent about four years at the top of my list of favorite authors. The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction published an excerpt from one of his novels in their April 2000 issue; that was all it took for me to go on a tear and read everything he’d published so far, and then his next two books as fast as he could publish them. In 2004 he started writing young adult novels, and I somehow never got around to reading them. His works up to that point had been so strange, so full-on hard-sci-fi, and most of all so adult (quite a lot of sex), that I wasn’t sure I’d enjoy the YA books as much.
Afterworlds, Westerfeld’s latest book, is set to be released in September 2014. A story-within-a-story, the novel follows a a teen writer living in New York, writing a Young Adult novel featuring a teen adventurer trying to survive in the in-between refuge of the “Afterworld”. It looks like a good place to jump in and start reading Westerfeld’s books again, and what better way to pass the time until it comes out than to review the first one of his books I ever read, Evolution’s Darling.