Guest Post by Matthew Kadish
I like my heroes in Young Adult fiction like I like my coffee – strong, sweet, and full of caffeine. (Okay, maybe not full of caffeine, but you get my drift.) And when it comes to science fiction and fantasy, the literary world has no shortage of great teenage heroes. Who are the best, you should ask? Well, you’re in luck, because I’m going to share with you the top 9 heroes of sci-fi and fantasy Young Adult fiction.
Harry Potter (Harry Potter) – Who wouldn’t like a version of Star Wars if it was written by Roald Dahl? Only instead of The Force, this young hero uses magic and thinly veiled Latin! No other young adult character exemplifies the classic Hero’s Journey better than everyone’s favorite lightening-scarred Gary Stu. And though Harry is a reluctant hero, he always does what it takes to do the right thing in the end, which is probably what makes him so endearing and gosh-darn likable.
Percy Jackson (Percy Jackson & The Olympians) – Percy is a bit of a “bad boy” when it comes to the pantheon of YA heroes, but that doesn’t make him any less awesome. Daddy issues aside, this Demi-God had it all – he can control water, has enhanced strength/energy/healing, can communicate with horses, and has a totally sweet sword that collapses into a pen! Oh, and he fights epic monsters and Gods, and always wins. Of all the YA heroes out there, Percy is definitely the most powerful, yet also remains the most relatable.
Edward Cullen (Twilight) – Even though he’s not the main character of the Twilight novels, it could be argued that Edward Cullen is the hero of the books. Why? Because he’s always the one who swoops in and saves Bella’s sorry butt every time she gets into trouble (and she gets into trouble a lot)! And what else would you call a guy who constantly resists his animalistic urge to eat his delicious smelling girlfriend, other than heroic?
Artemis Fowl (Artemis Fowl) – Though technically he’s an “anti-hero,” good ol’ Artemis still deserves some recognition. Styled as a “12 year old James Bond villain,” Artemis is a child prodigy and is known to have the highest IQ on the planet. He is a plotter and a schemer with the ability to visualize any hypothetical situation and calculate the likely outcomes, which makes him a formidable opponent to antagonists of any age. Oh, he’s also fluent in Gnomish, is ambidextrous, and uses magic to travel through space and time. Need I say more?
Eragon (Inheritance) – Okay, so he’s kinda whiny and not all that bright. He’s also a thinly veiled fantasy version of Luke Skywalker. But so what? He rides a DRAGON! Who cares if his family tree is more confusing than a New York Times crossword puzzle? Eragon is a master swordfighter, uses magic with ease, and kills people by the hundreds then feels bad about it (he has a heart, y’all!). Did I mention he rides a freakin’ dragon?
Katniss Everdeen (Hunger Games) – You know there’s something special about a heroine when she can single-handedly inspire an entire generation to take up learning how to shoot a bow and arrow. The only thing Katniss has more of than courage is heart, and she inspires readers almost as much as she inspires the oppressed people of Panem. She also has a keen fashion sense and two hunky men pining after her. What more does a YA heroine need?
Thomas (The Maze Runner) – Though Thomas can’t remember who he is, that doesn’t stop him from being the most awesome dude in the world’s most overblown science fair project. Surrounded by a huge maze? No sweat, Thomas will find a way out. Attacked by giant robotic spiders? Pah! Thomas will kill them! Stuck in a post-apocalyptic world? Thomas will fix that nonsense! Just how awesome is Thomas? Well, turns out the ONLY GIRL left alive, who doesn’t remember anything, knows who he is. That’s right, ladies. The mojo is strong with this one.
Beatrice “Tris” Prior (Divergent) – She was born into a society that likes to stick people into categories. So what does Tris do? She becomes uncategorizable! That’s right, this chick doesn’t let ANYTHING define her other than herself. And what does she want to be? A chick who kicks butt and takes names, that’s who! She knows how to fight with guns, knives, and her bare hands. She jumps from speeding trains for fun. She starts revolutions like most people start Facebook posts – without even thinking. I bet she eats uncooked meat whenever she has the opportunity too! Don’t get in this girl’s way, because she will mess you up – guaranteed.
Earthman Jack (The Earthman Jack Space Saga) – Rounding out this gang of kick-butt young adult heroes is everyone’s favorite wise-cracking teenage slacker turned intergalactic hero. Jack not only has his very own magical spaceship, but he also has the ability to use quantum physics to create anything with his mind and kick major alien butt all the way! (Just don’t ask him to do math. He hates that stuff.) Funny, endearing, and packing more courage than Dirty Harry packs heat, Earthman Jack is quickly becoming a favorite among YA readers everywhere.
Aren’t familiar with Earthman Jack? Well, now you can pick up his debut novel, Earthman Jack vs. The Ghost Planet, for free over at www.EarthmanJack.com. Then you can rank him for yourself against all your other favorite YA heroes.
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About The Author: Matthew Kadish is a Renaissance man, certified evil genius, and novelist. Much like Scottish cuisine, the bulk of his creations are based on dares. He is the most talented writer ever. His mother tells him so every day. Get a free copy of his book Earthman Jack vs. The Ghost Planet at www.EarthmanJack.com. His latest novel, Earthman Jack vs. The Secret Army, is available now.
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