Friday, July 23, 2010

Fantasy Book Team

You've all heard of fantasy baseball, right? That's where you pick your favorite players for positions across all the teams, group them together, watch their stats during the Season and see if your fantasy team would have beat out other people's fantasy teams.

Well, baseball stats involve numbers, and we all know I can barely add. So I'm out for fantasy baseball. But after seeing Alan Gratz's new cover for his book Fantasy Baseball, (<--click for the fun blurb!) I started thinking: what would be the very best group of characters, situations, and setting to make for the best book in the world? If I could pull any character from any book and put them in any world with any situation, which characters/worlds/situations would I pick?

And my Fantasy Book Team was born.

Beth's Fantasy Book Team

Simple. When I think about my favorite characters, I think of characters who were both strong in character and wits, not necessarily strong in brute force or power. So I don't want the character who's the best because it's his chosen destiny, or the one who won the battle by force. I want the characters who had to learn and struggle and outsmart. So my heroine and hero were simple choices: Aerin, who had to learn on her own how to fight dragons, then find the strength within herself to actually do it; and Gen who is one of the smartest characters, well, ever.

But these two characters are pretty serious, grave characters--I want a sidekick who can lighten the mood. Therefore, prankster Fred Weasley (obviously the better twin) gets the role. Can you imagine the three of them on a quest? Aerin would be trying to learn everything she could, Gen would be mulling in his mind how he'd out-clever them all, and Fred would light something on fire. Awesome.

With this team, I need a really good villain. Now, I personally want a villain who has motive. I don't want an anonymous baddie who's just bad to be bad. Darth Vader and Voldemort are, therefore, out. I want a villain who believes absolutely that he is doing the right thing--and who better for that than The Operative in the movie Serenity? He is willing to brutally kill, track down Mal and his crew, and slaughter innocents in the name of the Government--because he believes absolutely and entirely that the Government is right. Also--he's way smart, so Gen and Aerin will have a time with him.

Now for setting. I came very close to picking the world of Patricia Wrede's Enchanted Forest Chronicles, but that was a little too slap-stick for this crew. I wanted a world that had a little bit of fun, but also a little bit of serious--so I ended up with the islands featured in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. This gives the characters a chance to sail around and explore new worlds, face dangers in the environment as well as their villain, and have brief moments of comedy. Can you image Fred Weasley meeting the Dufflepuds?

Finally, plot. Conflict. I definitely didn't want a romance-centered plot, so works like Twilight were out. And this is way to fantastic to be restrained by a contemporary conflict, so that was out. I didn't want to go as harsh as The Hunger Games--I wanted a quest. And the ultimate quest? As much as it pains me to admit: Lord of the Rings. Now, I'm not a Tolkien fan--but for me, Tolkien failed in characters and setting (as in: too much of both), not plot. So if I take the classic quest story in Lord of the Rings and add these characters--I think I just hit gold.

This is based on fantasy baseball, right? So here's the wind-up pitch:

The Operative believes absolutely that the dragon Maur needs to own the One Ring and gain absolute power in his rule of the Narnia Islands. Unfortunately for him, Aerin and Gen disagree--and they've got the Ring. They're tired of the dragon's complete control, and know that if he owns the Ring, he'll become a even greater tyrant. They enlist the aid of Narnian pirate Fred Weasley to sail them through the Narnian Islands, fighting both the dangers of the world and The Operative along the way, until the final battle to see if Aerin and Gen can destroy the Ring...or fall to it.

AWESOME, right?! I think so. I wish someone would write this book! Talk about the ultimate fan fic...

Now I want you to share your Fantasy Book Team.  
What characters would you use, in what world, against what villain, with what main conflict?  
Add you team to the comments--or write up your own Fantasy Book Team on your blog and give me a link. I'll feature the best ones on the blog!
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