Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Summer Reading: Eoin Colfer

My books are stacked sky high, waiting for me to pull them out and read all summer! Actually, I do have a few hard copy books waiting, but I have been doing the digital and audiobook thing since school ended. I noticed that the last two books I read had something in common: Eoin Colfer.

If you are up on the world of Juvenile Fiction, you have likely heard the name. This brilliant Irishman is the brain behind the Artemis Fowl Series, among other accomplishments. Here is a rundown of my favourite Eoin Colfer books.

The series is coming to its conclusion in book eight, to be released in July. Since my copy is already on order, I decided to read book seven again. As a general synopsis, the series is about a teenage genius who has put his brains to use in the criminal underworld. He discovers that many of the creatures we thought were legend are in fact real and in the first book he sets out to catch one in order to ransom it back to "The People" for lots of gold. The fairies, goblins, trolls, demons are nothing like the traditional creatures of literature. It is also refreshing to see how Artemis changes through the series, helping the People and the world at large instead of himself only. Only two weeks until the next book! Oh, and the audiobooks for these are FANTASTIC! Great voice acting on the part of Nathaniel Parker! So many accents, one voice!

Perhaps my favourite stand alone book by Colfer is "Airman". Set in the 1800's, this is the story of Conor Brockhart, a young inventor and scientist who is falsely accused of murder and thrown in jail, forced to mine diamonds in extreme conditions. His plans for escape and revenge keep him alive and create a way for his mind to stay sharp. The book is filled with flying machines and explosions, yet it never gets too dark for young readers. There is always hope in the background and the ending is not what expected, but still satisfying. Amazing adventure and, as always, a great sense of humour.

If you like humour, you have to try "Half Moon Investigations". I don't know how many times I literally laughed out loud as I read this as a read-aloud to my grade five and six class. Fletcher Moon is not like other twelve year olds. It is not just his plastic detective badge, but his training at the Bernstein Academy to get that badge. He usually solves small mysteries, like stolen lunch boxes, but when an investigation lands him first in the hospital, and then in a file on the police detective's desk, he knows this is the most important case he has yet to solve. He teams up with an unlikely ally, the notorious criminal Red Sharkey, and they both try to clear their names. Filled with huge personalities and quick wit, this book is sure to please. Another great audiobook, by the way.

Lastly, I just finished reading "Plugged", Colfer's first and only novel for adults. The humour was the same. The plot twists kept me on my toes. The unlikely scenarios that worked their way out were very clever. BUT I wonder if he threw in "adult" humour and language just for the shock and awe factor, dropping F-bombs and sexual jokes on every second page. I think it is because I have been reading youth fiction for so long, but it just rubbed me the wrong way. If that doesn't bother you, then try this book. It was very funny. 

Daniel McEvoy is a bouncer at a seedy casino in a small town in New Jersey. His army past helps him read people and keep everyone at the establishment safe. Suddenly his best friend goes missing, his girlfriend is murdered and his apartment is ransacked. He has no idea what he has gotten himself in the middle of, but he knows he has to find out who wants him dead before they succeed.

 I hope that leads you to some entertaining summer reading. I am off on my next adventure, Rick Riordan!

See you soon!


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