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The Importance of Fantasy and Dystopian Novels

MeDhat SaaDoun By MeDhat SaaDoun Published on November 25, 2015

You must be cut off from the rest of the world if you haven’t realized that fantasy and dystopian novels have taken the book business by storm. The phenomenon isn’t limited to the huge success of the Harry Potter series – which made author J. K. Rowling a billionaire – although the series certainly had a huge impact on many readers all over the world, children and adults alike. These readers went on to demand more and more, leading to countless fantasy novels on shelves everywhere books are sold, most notably The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins, the Divergent series by Veronica Roth and Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson books.

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You might not be fully aware of these books’ importance, but millions of children and young adults – and even adults – have become lifetime readers thanks to these novels. Moreover, the revolutionary symbol of the three­finger salute in Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games was used in a real protest in Thailand as an act of defiance against the 2014 military coup. It’s quite extraordinary to see this symbol appear in real life, but also quite sad that the protesters were arrested for using it against their government.

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Many people will tell you that J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books were the stuff of their childhood. Years after the seventh book was published, we still hear news about Harry and the surrounding cast of characters. You might say that Rowling created a world of unforgettable characters who still live and grow in each of us every day. Many celebrated authors have remarked on the importance of her books: Stephen King, for example, praised them, saying they are “all about confronting your fears, finding inner strength and doing what is right in the face of adversity.”

The power of these books extends beyond their popularity among readers. What’s amazing about them and many other fantasy and young­adult dystopian novels is that they’re inspiring a new generation of young people to write, empowering them and giving them a voice. In this way, these works are not only shaping minds but also shaping futures. Many newly discovered authors have acknowledged that the success of their books can be attributed to the growing space given to fantasy and dystopian novels in the book business. Writers whose work was once considered unsuitable for publication are now reaching the market and rapidly passing from “unknown” to “well- known.” With so many of these books being published, you have to believe that imagination is a flooding river that’s never emptied of ideas or of the belief in creativity, magic and the battle against evil.

Finally, I must say that one compelling and unforgettable lesson we learn from books in these genres is simply this: “love conquers all.”