September 22, 2012
Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
Artemis Fowl, a millionaire and a child prodigy, has been mostly left on his own since the dissappearance of his father, and by his depressed and bedridden mother. He uses this freedom to develop a diabolical plan to manipulate fairies for their gold by kidnapping Captain Holly Short of the LEPrecon Unit. (Lower Elements Police) Little does he know, that he’s not exactly dealing with Tinkerbell. This fairies are well-armed with both ancient magic and advanced technology and they do not take kindly to human meddling.
Describing the inner thoughts of the characters gave them a lot of depth, as well as explaining details of the fairy underworld without overloading the reader. My favorite characters were the gruff, cigar-chomping Commander Root, Foaly the techie centaur and Artemis Fowl himself. As he reacts to events, adjusting his plans, he sometimes has moral doubts and wonders at what point he is going too far. We can see that for all his precociousness and power, he is still a vulnerable and lonely boy.
This was a fun, page-turning adventure, kind of a parody of James Bond-type novels that take themselves too seriously. While there is a lot of comical zaniness in here, Colfer has created a sophisticated and well-thought out plot. This is a good “cross-over” book that would appeal to adventure, science fiction and fantasy readers alike.
Read in September 2012
November 19, 2006
The Deer’s Cry by Patricia Kennealy-Morrison
Celts colonizing space? I’ll admit I was rather skeptical when I heard of the premise for Patricia Kennealy-Morrison’s Keltiad series. But she actually managed to pull it off pretty well. Now, you have to set aside your own knowledge of history, and think of this book as an alternate timeline. The story starts out in early medieval Ireland with the friendship, and later growing enmity between Brendan, the son of a chieftain, and Padraig a Christian missionary. The plot takes a while to get to the point, as the tensions between the two faiths build up. Finally after a confrontation, Brendan and his buddies decide that in order to preserve their polytheistic ways, they will have to emigrate. Conveniently they know an old Atlantean fellow (Atlantis has to figure into this somehow, right?) who remembers the technical know-how for space travel. So, after much preparation, and political drama, they leave and eventually find a lovely solar system to colonize.
This is a prequel for the rest of the Keltiad series- earlier books were written about the “Kelts in Space” civilization, and so this one explains how and why they went there in the first place. The book was basically ok- I thought it took way too long to set up the story and get the plot moving. Also, the Evil Oppressive Christians theme is much too heavy-handed, offensive in fact and an over-simplification of the conversion of Ireland. Still, it was a fun read, but not at the level of caliber of the Sevenwaters Trilogy or the Mists of Avalon. I have heard from other reviews of this book that other Keltiad books are much better than this one. So I will be checking those out later on.