I love working for Biff Bam Pop because not only do I get to interview some really cool people, I also get to review films and television series. This time, our fearless leader, Andy Burns, asked me to review Zhen Lyu’s science fiction book, Intruders. It was an interesting read, but would the book make a great gift idea? Pull up that easy chair and meet me after the jump.
Intruders is fast moving; we are introduced to a world of mythical beasts when five friends go on a leisure hiking trip that takes them face to face with giants. As the five university graduates try to document and study these strange creatures, they discover that not all the giants are friendly. After escaping back into their world from the underground caves, they are shocked to learn that they were followed.
It isn’t long before the military steps in and wants to destroy all the giants leaving our five friends to decide on whose side they will fight. There is a bombshell of a surprise plot twist towards the middle of the story and we are left to wonder who the intruder really is: men or giants.
After reading the book, I gave it to my 14-year-old grandson to read and he really enjoyed it. English might not be the author’s first language, as I learned through e-mail conversations with her publicist, and you will notice this in the text, but please don’t let this deter you from buying the book as a gift for your young teens, especially if they are concerned about our environment and what is happening to it.
Interview with Zhen Lyu
Hi Zhen Lyu, I just finished reading your book and I really enjoyed it. Is this your first book and what genre do you prefer writing?
Zhen Lyu: Yes. This is my first book. I really enjoy reading imaginary stories, including magical novels as well as science fiction, so I also like to write these kinds of novels.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what got you interested in writing?
Zhen Lyu: Well, actually I am not majoring in literature or any other relevant courses, but I am really interested in reading and writing. When I was a child, I began to read different stories every day since I have no brothers or sisters and my parents were busy working.
In fact, some of the stories were tragedies, but I really loved the characters, so I began to develop different endings for these novels, and I found the new story-lines I created did attract my classmates. So I said to myself: “Why don’t I write a whole story myself?”
Then I began practice writing and shared my work with my friends.
What inspired you to write The Intruders?
Zhen Lyu: At first it was a documentary about different mysteries on the earth, one of which is about a kind of giant living in a mountain area. In the film, some scientists assumed that these giants might be the original masters of the land until they were driven away by strangers, possibly aliens from other planets. I found this view interesting and then used it as a foundation of my novel. Another inspiration came from a Japanese anime, Hunter X Hunter. I was totally absorbed by the part about the battles between human beings and a newly developed species, which intended to replace human and master the earth. This part of the anime made me feel that we can’t take it for granted that we are bound to master the earth, as all the living creatures are equal. On the other hand, as we are both selfish, we also need to grab as much resources as we can from the nature. This paradoxical thought is also represented in The Intruders.
Of the five friends, who was your favorite character and why?
Zhen Lyu: Wendy is my favorite character because I can’t help rendering some of my own personalities on her. However, as a female, I would like to have a boyfriend like Gordon because he is straightforward, kindhearted and serious-minded.
What books are you working on now?
Zhen Lyu: Currently I have no idea about any other stories, but I am thinking of writing some other novels using some of the same five main characters, as well as Milo, an important character in The Intruders, since I have hinted that there are reasons making Milo become cold-bloodiness. And I hope to reflect my views on some serious issues, like environmental protection, in my novels.