Eoin Colfer – Eternity Code (Artemis Fowl book 3)

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The Eternity Code by Eion Colfer is book 3 in The Artemis Fowl fantasy series about a genius criminal who is now 13 years old.  Artemis used faerie technology to invent a cube well beyond any human technology.

Jon Spiro is an American Businessman who rivals Artemis in shady and definitely illegal business adventures.  He  outsmarted Artemis and stole the cube.  Artemis and his team of faerie folk must go to Chicago and try to retrieve this cube.

The Eternity Code is probably my favourite of the Artemis Fowl books I’ve read so far.  I found it much more suspenseful and page turning than the others.  One problem I found reading this book as an adult is that this book now sets a precedent that all problems can now be solved with faeries and faerie magic.  I think it’s only a problem as an adult reading it because I think the target audience will absolutely love how cool having magic is.

Good book but not one I would read without having read the other two because one theme of this book is how Artemis is maturing as a person.  So you need to know how he started off (book 1 especially) to know where he is ending up.

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Anne Rice – Interview with the Vampire

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Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire is first and foremost a love story.  Yes, a love story among vampires but nothing like Twilight.  No, nothing like Twilight at all.  In fact a more comparable love story would be Wuthering Heights.

Louis is a vampire hundreds of years old who seeks out an interviewer, wanting to tell his story.  It becomes clear by the end of the interview and his story that Louis wants his tale to be a cautionary tale for those who believe the price of immortality is an agreeable price to pay.  Louis hates Lestat for turning him into a vampire but he also believes he needs Lestat.

So I am not exactly well versed on Vampire Lore so I can’t really say what Anne Rice contributed to the lore with Interview with a Vampire.  What I can say though is that Anne Rice’s vampires do not fall under the extremes – blood thirsty creatures that are just out to get human blood or happy go lucky vampires out to find human teenagers to go out on dates with.  Louis keeps Lestat around long enough to try and find out whether vampires are sons of Satan or not; he never does find out.

Anne Rice explores the lonely life that immortal beings such as vampires must face and how they long for any type of companionship.  It’s clear what the authors feelings are on the subject but she also recognizes the lure of immortality will always be there.  I really liked Anne Rice’s story telling ability.  This is the first book I’ve read of hers and hopefully not last.

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Patrick Rothfuss – The Name of the Wind (Kingkiller Chronicles book 1)

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Well well, I was trying to avoid reading Patrick Rothfuss’s The Name of the Wind because I was waiting for the author to finish the 3rd book in the series.  Well, that never happened.  I did read The Name of the Wind, book 1 in The Kingkiller Chronicles trilogy.  I definitely was not disappointed.

Kvothe is an innkeeper.  At least, he is now.  In his childhood years he was truly a genius.  He was able to learn things quickly and efficiently.  His constant thirst for knowledge drew him to the University, a school for magicians.  The University did not train the magicians who use slight of hand but real magicians who know the names of things and can command things such as the wind.

One day a Chronicler, a collector of stories, finds his way into Kvothe’s inn.  The Chronicler had been looking for Kvothe, the source of so many legendary feats.  Kvothe had been hiding out using the innkeeper’s name Kote, content on living a quiet innkeeper’s life.

It didn’t take long for the Chronicler to make Kote admit he is indeed the legendary Kvothe.  Moreover, Kvothe agrees to allow the Chronicler to record Kvothe’s life story.  His true life story, not the ones floating around in hearsay.

Why does Kvothe, who is in hiding, suddenly reveal his true identity and agrees to have his story recorded?  I don’t know.  My best guess is he likes the attention.  When the Chronicler found Kvothe he was only mid twenties after all and already a lifetime worth of stories if he can be believed.

So, what makes The Name of the Wind so good?  The premise of the book doesn’t sound all that exciting anyway: a poor, orphaned boy defies the odds and gets accepted into a prestigious university and through some heroic deeds he becomes a legend.  Sounds like the premise of a fantasy  story  we’ve heard many times before.  Kvothe’s life story isn’t even all that exciting.

I think what makes this book so good is author Patrick Rothfuss’s writing style.  It’s just so smooth.  I heard this first book of the trilogy took the author 7 years to finish.  I can believe it.  Each sentence seems as if it was expertly crafted after being mulled over and edited several times over.  This may also explain why almost a decade after The Name of the Wind was first published we still don’t have the 3rd book in the series……

Anyway, nothing ground breaking.  No awesome new world created.  No new and cool magic system.  Just a really nicely written book that should be read.  I will definitely read book 2, hoping against hope that book 3 will come out just as I finish book 2.  Right, this isn’t a faery story.

 

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Eoin Colfer – Arctic Incident (Artemis Fowl book 2)

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The Arctic Incident is book 2 in Eion Colfer’s Artemis Fowl series about a now thirteen year old genius and criminal.  In my opinion it’s even better than book 1 which is rare for a fantasy series.  I just quickly checked the Goodreads.com reviews for the Artemis Fowl series and it seems in general the reviewers agreed with me, giving book 2 a higher rating than book 1.

Artemis got a mysterious e-mail from the Mafiyat, the Russian Mafia, claiming to have found Artemis Fowl Sr. and is holding him for a $5 million ransom.  Artemis and his bodyguard Butler decide to go after them alone to rescue Artemis the 2nd’s father.  Foolish, perhaps, but Artemis is a genius and he loves his father.

Before Artemis and Butler can board a boat to Russia they are, ironically of course, kidnapped by Captain Holly Short of the Elven race.  It seems Mud People have been trading with the Goblins and Artemis Fowl is the #1 suspect.  Artemis firmly denies it but offers to help find out who is responsible in exchange for help getting his father back.  A tentative alliance is forged between The People and The People’s #1 enemy , Artemis.

Like I said, I felt this book was better than book 1.  The pacing seemed to be better as the characters were not stuck in Fowl Manor for an extensive amount of time.  There was just more going on as perspectives from major and minor characters were taken into account.

As I said in my review of book 1, obviously Artemis Fowl would turn out to be a good guy and he was in this book, even if it could be said that all his actions were moving towards rescuing his father which in itself is a noble act.

Read on my friends.

 

 

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Rick Riordan – The Titans Curse (Percy Jackson book 3)

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That Titan’s Curse is book 3 in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians fantasy series by author Rick Riordan.  One of the Titans has escaped from his eternal imprisonment and has captured the goddess Artemis and the half-blood Annabeth.  The deadline for Percy to rescue them is the winter solstice.

The council of the gods takes place on winter solstice where they will meet to discuss what they will do with the Titans and the children of prophecy.  Thalia is just days away from her sixteenth birthday and Percy is two years away.  More of the prophecy is revealed in this book when a monster that was killed 3000 years ago returns.  Artemis was hunting this monster when the Titan known as the General kidnaps her, sending Percy and company on another quest, this time to save the goddess of the hunt.

It’s getting harder to rate each book individually since they all kind of blend together, which is a good thing.  I’d rather each book in a series be read as if it is part of a series and not individual books sharing the same title.  Though I still don’t like how the author at the very end of each book basically says, “hey look at this awesome thing that is going to happen in the next book.  You better read the next one to find out”.  Readers should decide to read the next book based on the strength of the current book they just finished reading, not on how well the author hypes up his next book.

Still though, keep reading.

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