Six Impossible Things

A Blog About Fiction and Reading

Artemis Fowl: The Lost Colony

ColonyArtemis Fowl: The Lost Colony by Eoin Colfer

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I’m such an Artemis Fowl fanboy.  I get eager and excited whenever I hear there’s going to be a new book in the series, so much so that I’ll even read Half-Moon Investigations, a sad substitute by the same author.  This one snuck up on me, though; I didn’t even realize it was out until I saw it in a bookstore.

I like the way that the author has developed Artemis over the years.  He started out as a precocious and unlikeable criminal mastermind; now, he’s much more focused on doing good, and he’s no longer motivated by money and fame.  It’s a clever ploy, and one that could have proved disasterous, since most people knew Artemis as one kind of character from the beginning.  Luckily, Colfer pulled it off.

In The Lost Colony, Artemis is studying the appearances of demons around the world, and trying to figure out why they pop up and disappear so quickly.  During his studies, he discovers that someone else is going to the same places, studying the same phenomenon.  This is a 12-year old girl, with a bodyguard or two, and she proves herself to be as much of a young genius as Artemis himself.  Is she his competition, or confidante?

Colfer has scaled back a bit on the lunacy and puns of the original few books (a good thing, too; Piers Anthony proved that too much of that sort of thing could overpower the series), but he hasn’t let up on the pacing and suspense that he’s known for.  His skills in both areas are comparable to Dan Brown and Preston/Child.

If you’re not familiar with Artemis, go back and start at the first book.  They’re just fun to read.

February 24, 2007 Posted by | Juvenile Fiction, Reviews | 1 Comment

The Stone Light

LightThe Stone Light by Kai Meyer

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Ever since reading The Water Mirror, I’ve been eager to read the rest of the Dark Reflections series.  Luckily, a copy of the second book in the series trickled through the library a few weeks back, because this one was released without a whole lot of fanfare.

It’s really a shame that the likes of Harry Potter will overshadow a lot of the other fantasy books for children, because there are a lot of other great writers of children’s fiction, Kai Meyer being one of them.  His imagery and style are outstanding, and though it may be a bit dark in places, it’s vivid and compelling throughout the story.

The Stone Light picks up literally right where The Water Mirror left off, with the three main characters being split up to follow their own adventures (much like the fellowship of the ring, I should add).  Serafin is left to fight the Egyptians back in Venice; Merle has left with Vermithrax the stone lion to search for the ruler of Hell; and Junipa has disappeared from Arcimbolo’s lab.  The story focuses more on Merle this time around, and honestly, if you haven’t read The Water Mirror, you’re not going to find much to like here.  This is a transitory volume in the series, and sets up a lot of the exposition for the last book, so some parts of the story feel like they drag, while others don’t make much sense all by themselves.  But it sets up the rest of the story quite well, and anyone who’s already familiar with the characters will want to know what happens next.

The wait for the final volume shouldn’t be as long as the wait for The Stone Light; the back of the book says the last volume should be published by Fall, 2007.  Here’s to the wait!

February 24, 2007 Posted by | Juvenile Fiction, Reviews | Leave a comment

Deep Storm

StormDeep Storm by Lincoln Child

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I really dig the stories that Lincoln Child and Douglas Preston come up with.  I think the first book of theirs I read was The Relic, but it was Riptide that really won me over.  It probably didn’t hurt that I really dug the legends of Oak Island when I was younger, nor that I read Riptide at the beach.

Their solo efforts are less than interesting, though.  Utopia and Death Match were just as compelling and readable as any of the books they wrote together, but the premises and the conclusions were just a little bit stupid.  The same could be said of Deep Storm, unfortunately.

The story centers around a deep-sea station with a crew trying to dig up the remains of Atlantis.  Only it’s not really Atlantis, it’s some uber-super-ultra secret project with military crews and scientists being forced to rub shoulders together.  And while I kept on reading, trying to figure out what the underlying mystery was, I was insulted with how stupid it was.  I mean, this was a “Bobby never died and the last season was all just a dream” sort of stupid.

I probably won’t stop anyone from reading this one, if you’re like me, and are a fan of the writing team.  Trust me, though; if you can avoid reading this one, you’ll be better off for it.  Go back and re-read The Relic, or whichever other one is your favorite.  This one is a poor substitute for their other works.

February 24, 2007 Posted by | Adult Fiction, Reviews | Leave a comment

Fables

SoldiersFables by Bill Willingham

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Well, I’ve caught up on the Fables saga, thanks to all of the trade paperbacks still unread: March of the Wooden Soldiers, The Mean Seasons, Homelands and Arabian Nights (and Days).  I found that March and Homelands were my favorites of the bunch, since the idea of a civil war taking place under the noses of a bunch of New Yorkers appealed to me, as did the idea of one Fable going back through the fairylands to confront the Nemesis face-to-face.  Seasons seemed to jump all over the place, and Arabian Nights was more about fairytale-diplomacy, which wasn’t all that interesting to me.  They were still OK, but not quite up to par with the rest of the series.

If you’re read the first few collections of the series, nothing I can say will convince you to read (or not read) these collections; if you haven’t heard of the series, be aware that all of the fairy tales you read growing up have been modernized with real-life problems, as well as those that crop up for fairy-tale folks.  This is imaginative stuff, and I think it’s worth reading.

February 24, 2007 Posted by | Graphic Novels, Reviews | Leave a comment