Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

Artemis Fowl (Artemis Fowl, #1)Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I first read this book in 2007, and liked it enough to read the rest of the Artemis Fowl series, as it was constituted at the time. I wanted my kids to try out this series, so on our spring break road trip we listened to this book together. I still think it is a worthwhile read, but the family had a lot of criticisms for the book, mostly from mismatched expectations in my estimation.

Artemis Fowl is great for the 10-13 yr old reader. There is action, [crude] humor, and just enough emotion to keep the characters from being totally fake. If you pick it up with expectations beyond that you might be a little disappointed. I will also say that Colfer took a risk by involving time shifting as part of this plot. It is a little complicated for his target audience. I had to explain it twice to my 11 yr old and 13 yr old.

At a solid 3 stars, Artemis Fowl is a respectable start to this series and a good choice if your expectations are in the right place. If I remember correctly, I enjoyed the rest of the series more than this opener the last time through, although I don't know if I will read the whole series again right now to verify that.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson

The Alloy of Law (Mistborn, #4)The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Alloy of Law is another fantastic book by Brandon Sanderson. I think my biggest disappointment came when I realized that I once again started a series that wasn't completed (or at least nearing completion)--something I promised to never do again. This is a great extension of the Mistborn series, capitalizing on a fully developed setting and culture without letting the past overshadow the opportunity for a fresh set of characters and new conflict. While I love the throwbacks to the previous series (names of streets, cities, conversations with Harmony), the new characters are intriguing and entertaining. If I were to assemble an all-star cast of book characters from all of the books I have read, I think Wayne would be in the top 10.

Of course, the biggest question for me is whether or not this series is going to build up somehow to another confrontation between Ruin and Preservation. It is possible, but it can be difficult to continually build a bigger conflict out of an older one (I'm reminded of Raymond Feist's series that had similar challenges.) In any case, this was a great read, and I hope that he cranks these out ASAP:)