Review of “The Atlantis Complex” by Eoin Colfer

Title: The Atlantis Complex
Author: Eoin Colfer
Series: Artemis Fowl #7
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 357
Published: 2010, Puffin Books
My Grade: 3 out of 5

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

Young Artemis has frequently used high-tech fairy magic to mastermind the most devious criminal activity of the new century. Now, at a conference in Iceland, Artemis has gathered the fairies to present his latest idea to save the world from global warming.

But Artemis is behaving strangely – he seems different. Something terrible has happened to him . . . Artemis Fowl has become nice.

The fairies diagnose Atlantis Complex (that’s obsessive compulsive disorder to you and I) – it seems dabbling in magic has damaged Artemis’ main weapon: his mind. Fairy ally Captain Holly Short doesn’t know what to do. The subterranean volcanoes are under attack from vicious robots and Artemis cannot fight them. Can Holly get the real Artemis back before the robot probes destroy every human and life form?

MY REVIEW

It’s been a while since I read The Time Paradox and I don’t think I misremember when I think back on the five previous books as really good ones. But while reading this, pretty early on, I felt that this was not in the same class as the rest of the series.

I love everything that has to do with underwater environments so The Atlantis Complex has always been a book in this series that I looked forward to. But, small spoiler alert, it doesn’t have much to do with Atlantis. And it didn’t really feel like the typical Artemis Fowl book where Artemis had a goal, a heist to complete, but rather circle around events that doesn’t really impact the rest of the story (the last book in this series).

In other words, it kind of felt a little bit uneccessary for the whole Artemis Fowl story. But what do I know? It might be of importance that Artemis developed an OCD-like complex in this installation.

Still entertaining, but I have higher hopes for The Last Guardian. It gets 3 out of 5.

Review of “Only Human” by Sylvain Neuvel

Title: Only Human
Author: Sylvain Neuvel
Series: Themis Files #3
Genre: Science Fiction
Pages: 336
Published: 2018, Del Ray
My Grade: 3 out of 5

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

In her childhood, Rose Franklin accidentally discovered a giant metal hand buried beneath the ground outside Deadwood, South Dakota. As an adult, Dr. Rose Franklin led the team that uncovered the rest of the body parts which together form Themis: a powerful robot of mysterious alien origin. She, along with linguist Vincent, pilot Kara, and the unnamed Interviewer, protected the Earth from geopolitical conflict and alien invasion alike. Now, after nearly ten years on another world, Rose returns to find her old alliances forfeit and the planet in shambles. And she must pick up the pieces of the Earth Defense Corps as her own friends turn against each other.

MY REVIEW

5, 4, 3. That’s my judgement of how these books unfortunately went. Don’t get me wrong, I loved all three books, but the first was by far the best, the second was slightly less sharp and the third was promising until the end that made the whole book kind of feel a bit unneccessary and very flat. Let me explain why.

If you haven’t read the first two, then here comes spoilers, but I can’t really write this review without it since all the books are connected. The second book ended with the main characters ending up on the planet whose inhabitants created Themis, the Ekts. Super cool. I love other people’s fantasies on how different planets might look. It is somehow different than fantasy where it kind of feels like it is Earth, just another version of it. I loved Esat Ekt and how Neuvel managed to describe the world and the people in depth through files, mostly conversation logs between the characters.

The book starts with the characters coming back to Earth and every chapters now and then was to look back at what had happened there. Sure, it was smart and kept it interesting, but I also think that it would have been better to have put the focus on Esat Ekt and only written a small part of what happened back on Earth after, in normal and logical chronologial order. And the ending should also be completely different. No, wait, I changed my mind. It should be as it is, it is clever. But the ending should have been different! More interesting and not so flat. It was almost anti-climactic. Siri Pettersen had a gigantic cliffhanger at the end of her Raven Rings trilogy, that exact ending would have worked perfectly here too. Just saying.

Even though I mostly wrote about the flaws now, it is a good book and I really enjoyed reading it as well. But when compared to the two prequels, it just doesn’t feel right to give it a higher grade than 3.

Review of “Night of the Living Dummy” by R. L. Stine

Title: Night of the Living Dummy
Author: R. L. Stine
Series: Goosebumps #7
Genre: Horror
Pages: 134
Published: 1993, Scholastic
My Grade: 3 out of 5 ventriloquists

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

When twins Lindy and Kris find a ventriloquist’s dummy in a Dumpster, Lindy decides to “rescue” it, and she names it Slappy. But Kris is green with envy. It’s not fair. Why does Lindy get to have all the fun and all the attention? Kris decides to get a dummy of her own. She’ll show Lindy. Then weird things begin to happen. Nasty things. Evil things. It can’t be the dummy causing all the trouble, Can it?

MY REVIEW

When reading a hard cover book that I don’t have as an epub book, Goosebumps are the perfect side read when commuting. An easy read and the characters felt realistic and not “too much” as some of the previous main characters did.

And what was best about it was that I couldn’t forsee the ending at all. Maybe that was the same with the other ones? Can’t really remember. But it was unexpected and I didn’t know how it would end until the very last page which supposedly left me with goosebumps. Fun reads! 3 out of 5.

Review of “Legend” by Marie Lu

Title: Legend
Author: Marie Lu
Series: Legend #1
Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopia
Pages: 305
Published: 2011, Penguin Books
My Grade: 3 out of 5 plague victims

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths—until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

MY REVIEW

First, before anything else, I have to say that the grade might have been affected by the fact that this was not read, but listened to. I almost feel like I have cheated. For the first time in my life, I have listened to an audiobook. I took a trip up to my cousins in Nynäshamn and it is 5 hours each way. I was alone and felt that I would get bored if I only listened to music, so I tried an audiobook for the very first time. During those 10 hours it took me to drive back and forth, I managed to finish Legend and 25% of Prodigy (#2).

I usually don’t have big expectations on books. But I was a little disappointed by this. Don’t mistake me, it was a good book and definitely enjoyable listening too. Perhaps I went through too much of it in too short time, but it felt like not much was happening. I also got the feeling that this was a very long introduction to the story, that most of the exciting things are happening in #2 and forward.

I really liked the characters, they felt real. Although it is pretty cliché-y that the main characters are from opposite sides of the social hierarchy and that they fall in love and all of that. But it does not overtake the main story of the new Republic of America.

One thing I really liked when listening to it was that they had two people reading, one man for the boy and one woman for the girl. It made it feel more alive, even if perhaps I wouldn’t have given them those voices in my head.

Review of “Carve the Mark” by Veronica Roth

Title: Carve the Mark
Author: Veronica Roth
Series: Carve the Mark #1
Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy
Pages: 468
Published: 2017, HarperCollins
My Grade: 3 out of 5 flowers

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

In a galaxy powered by the current, everyone has a gift.

Cyra is the sister of the brutal tyrant who rules the Shotet people. Cyra’s currentgift gives her pain and power — something her brother exploits, using her to torture his enemies. But Cyra is much more than just a blade in her brother’s hand: she is resilient, quick on her feet, and smarter than he knows.

Akos is the son of a farmer and an oracle from the frozen nation-planet of Thuvhe. Protected by his unusual currentgift, Akos is generous in spirit, and his loyalty to his family is limitless. Once Akos and his brother are captured by enemy Shotet soldiers, Akos is desperate to get this brother out alive — no matter what the cost.
The Akos is thrust into Cyra’s world, and the enmity between their countries and families seems insurmountable. Will they help each other to survive, or will they destroy one another?

MY REVIEW

I just recently heard about this book and imediatly felt that I had to read it and decided to take this one on before continuing on my priority-to-read list. I have to say that I kind of regret that decision. It feels wrong to compare this new book by Roth with Divergent, but since it was on the cover it was inevitable. Divergent was one of the best series I have read, this one was just: meh. The introduction was interesting and captivating but the story lost its charm after a while. It was a young adult book written in an unneccesarily complicated  and also confusing way. I had a hard time understanding time and how much of it passed during this story.

I really liked the characters though and the story in itself was very good. Both Cyra and Akos felt real and it was a good mix of them both.

There is no real point in putting a genre label on it, but I really couldn’t tell if it would be classified as more of a sci-fi or fantasy book which was great. I love both genres so it was good that this book held the standard of both.

Even if the story felt original, the characters real, I still don’t feel that this book deserves more than a 3. Mostly because the way it was written. But also because the environment felt a little bit flat. Everything in this world was made up by Roth and probably because she didn’t want to use to many things which might confuse the reader even more, there were not many things in the world so it got a little boring when reading about the same type of plants or animals. Or maybe the ice planet doesn’t have that much life?

To sum up, I didn’t feel this book while reading it and it doesn’t feel fair to give it a 3, but I do. Perhaps the 2nd and final book will be better.

Review of “Stay out of the Basement” by R. L. Stine

Title: Stay Out of the Basement
Author: R. L. Stine
Series: Goosebumps #2
Genre: Horror
Pages: 144
Published: 1992, Scholastic
My Grade: 3 out of 5 sylvari

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

Dr. Brewer is doing a little plant-testing in his basement. Nothing to worry about. Harmless, he says. But Margaret and Casey Brewer are worried about their father. Especially when they… meet… some of the plants he is growing down there. Then they notice that their father is developing plant like tendencies.

MY REVIEW

Such a short and easy read, but still very much enjoyable. It is scary, but not too scary that I will get nightmares as a 26-year old. I might have had them when I was younger. I don’t think I haev green thumbs, but I have always loved plants and planting stuff and I have always preferred green plants to flowers, so this was a fun book.

The best thing about these books? (I assume all of them end similarly, that’s how I remember it anyways) The last page of each book is a goosebump-y cliffhanger. It is awesome! This is not a book I want everyone to read, so therefore I don’t give it a 4, but these 2-3 hours was time definitely not wasted.

Review of “Welcome to Dead House” by R. L. Stine

Title: Welcome to Dead House
Author: R. L. Stine
Series: Goosebumps #1
Genre: Horror
Pages: 126
Published: 1992, Scholastic
My Grade: 3 out of 5 ghosts

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

Amanda and Josh think the old house they have just moved into is weird. Spooky. Possibly haunted. And the town of Dark Falls is pretty strange, too. — But their parents don’t believe them. You’ll get used to it, they say. Go out and make some new friends. — So Amanda and Josh do. But these creepy new friends are not exactly what their parents had in mind.

Because they want to be friends…

… Forever.

MY REVIEW

When I was a kid, I loved Stine’s Goosebumps. I read a few books, watched the TV series every now and then when visiting a friend who had the right TV channel. I loved horror back then. I enjoyed horror movies and Stephen King eventually became my newest favorite author. But that was many years ago, and now when I am reading a big hardcover book (Illuminae by Amie Kaufman) which I unfortunately can’t bring everywhere, I am for the first time ever, reading two books at the same time. I decided that I would read easy books on the side so I wouldn’t get confused or don’t understand as well. So far everything’s good. But I will try to stick to one book again after I am done with Gemina (the second book in the Illuminae Files series which is also a hardcover). But for now, I will read a few Goosebumps on the side.

So, I have to say that even though I hate horror now as an adult, and don’t find this book particuarly scary, it truly must have been for a ten year old kid! It is kind of gory. But also very well-written. Easy language to understand for a young one, but still very well written that an adult could enjoy it.

I give it a 3 because it was enjoyable and short and easy to read.