Review of “The Lost Colony” by Eoin Colfer

Title: The Lost Colony
Author: Eoin Colfer
Series: Artemis Fowl #5
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 385
Published: 2006, Puffin Books
My Grade: 5 out of 5 demons

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

Ten thousand years ago, humans and fairies fought a great battle for the magical island of Ireland. When it became clear that they could not win, all of the faeries moved below ground—all except for the 8th family, the demons. Rather than surrender, they used a magical time spell to take their colony out of time and into Limbo. There they have lived for decades, planning their violent revenge on humans.

Now the time spell is unraveling, and demons are beginning to materialize without warning on Earth. If humans were to find out about them, all faeries would be exposed. To protect themselves, the faeries must predict when the next demon will materialize. But in order to do so, they will have to decipher temporal equations so complicated, even a great brain like Foaly can’t understand them. But he knows someone who can: Artemis Fowl.

So when a confused and frightened demon imp pops appears in a Sicilian theater, Artemis is there to meet him. But he is not alone. Someone else has unlocked the secrets of the fairy world and managed to solve complex mathematical problems that only a genius could. And she is only twelve years old…

MY REVIEW

Goodreads says that The Lost Colony was shorter than The Opal Deception, yet I really got the feeling that this was a longer book. Maybe because it contained so many events and so much action? The other books have so far focused on a few happenings, while this one took place in other dimensions and through time travel. Quite different as well. For once it felt like Artemis wasn’t in control the whole time and is so great to se him develop sympathy feelings and actually becoming a good guy.

As usual, Eoin Colfer is very throrough with details but for the first time I got the impression that he writes, and whenever he stumbles onto something that could be a plot hole, he gives the characters the ability to deal with it. Either the characters are extremely detailed and have a long list each of stuff they can do or have, or Colfer comes up with solutions as he goes. Although, it works and it doesn’t feel like a last resort.

The ending was great and I will start with the next one right away. The Lost Colony gets a 5!

Review of “The Opal Deception” by Eoin Colfer

Title: The Opal Deception
Author: Eoin Colfer
Series: Artemis Fowl #4
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 416
Published: 2005, Puffin Books
My Grade: 5 out of 5 probes

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

The evil pixie Opal Koboi has spent the last year in a self-induced coma, plotting her revenge on all those who foiled her attempt to destroy the LEPrecon fairy police. And Artemis Fowl is at the top of her list.

After his last run-in with the fairies, Artemis had his mind wiped of his memories of the world belowground. But they have not forgotten about him. Once again, he must stop the human and fairy worlds from colliding—only this time, Artemis faces an enemy who may have finally outsmarted him.

MY REVIEW

This was a really clever book. A  lot of thought must have been put into it. The whole thing is about Opal Koboi, the pixie who started the goblin rebellion in the second book, and her way to revenge after Artemis stopped her. It constantly looks very dark for the usual gang, but it was fun to read about another mastermind who had everything planned out and seemed to succeed. Spoiler alert! Of course she didn’t, then that would have been the end of the series and we all know that there are several more.

Because it felt so thorough, it actually gets a 5.

Review of “A Court of Frost and Starlight” by Sarah J. Maas

Title: A Court of Frost and Starlight
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #3.5
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 272
Published: 2018, Bloomsbury Publishing
My Grade: 5 out of 5 snowflakes

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

Feyre, Rhys, and their close-knit circle of friends are still busy rebuilding the Night Court and the vastly-changed world beyond. But Winter Solstice is finally near, and with it, a hard-earned reprieve. Yet even the festive atmosphere can’t keep the shadows of the past from looming. As Feyre navigates her first Winter Solstice as High Lady, she finds that those dearest to her have more wounds than she anticipated–scars that will have far-reaching impact on the future of their Court.

MY REVIEW

I have missed Feyre and co. Since the first chapter of this series, I knew I would love it, the colorful world, the deep descriptions, the realistic characters. Even if this story was “just” an in-between-story, it was long and had development, almost as much as a whole Skulduggery Pleasant book or Artemis Fowl (which are approximately the same length, if perhaps a little bit longer).

It was noticeably a short story in one way though, that it was rather uneventful in comparison to A Court of Wings and Ruin where there was a big fight and stuff happening all the time. But it was a cozy story, a nice look into the now “everyday” life inbetween the big war in Wings and Ruin and what I can only guess will happen in the next installment in this series.

I also really enjoyed the Acknowledgements section at the end. It was very beautiful.

The book/novella gets a 5 out of 5.

Review of “The Faceless Ones” by Derek Landy

Title: The Faceless Ones
Author: Derek Landy
Series: Skulduggery Pleasant #3
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 395
Published: 2009, HarperCollins
My Grade: 4.5 out of 5 ecplises

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

The third bone-breaking, belly-busting adventure in the series that puts the “funny” back in, um, funny series. That didn’t really work, did it?

If you’ve read the previous Skulduggery books then you know what the Faceless Ones are — and if you know what the Faceless Ones are, then you can probably take a wild guess that things in this book are going to get AWFULLY sticky for our skeletal hero and his young sidekick. If you haven’t read the previous Skulduggery books then what are you doing reading this? Go and read them right now, so that you know what all that stuff in the previous paragraph was about. Done? Good. So now you’re on tenterhooks too, desperately awaiting the answers to all your questions, and instead you’re going to have to wait to read the book. Sorry about that.

MY REVIEW

I think this description from Goodreads is very good. And is totally what I feel. Writing reviews on books in a series is harder than writing a review on a stand-alone novel. I think I am fairly good at not writing any spoilers, at least I try really hard not to do it.

The only thing I can really say about it, is that it feels like Landy is getting more into this world he has built and his writing style. It feels like he has landed and found something that works. I also see kind of a pattern now after three books. The endings are true cliffhangers with something going terribly in the wrong direction right after a small victory. At first I thought that they always saved the day at the end, but not really. And I like that. The books float together and is just spiraling downwards. How will it end? I get more and more hooked after each book. I wouldn’t be surprised if I finished them all before 2019.

It was slightly sharper than the first two, therefore it gets a 4.5.

Review of “The Eternity Code” by Eoin Colfer

Title: The Eternity Code
Author: Eoin Colfer
Series: Artemis Fowl #3
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 352
Published: 2003, Viking Press
My Grade: 4 out of 5 wings

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

Artemis Fowl has constructed a supercomputer from stolen fairy technology. In the wrong hands it could be fatal for humans and fairies alike. But Artemis has a plan. He’s not going to use the computer – he’s just going to show it to an American businessman with Mafia connections. What could possibly go wrong?

MY REVIEW

I can’t remember why I didn’t finish this series exactly three years ago. Oh my, it has been three years since I read the first two?! No wonder I can’t remember them. But I am glad that I decided to continue.

Artemis Fowl has always been a child series to me. But just because the main character is a kid, doesn’t mean the book does not suit grown-ups (or young adults as I still see myself as a 27-year old).

It was not hard to pick this series up again after three years. Most authors are great at doing a short recap at the beginning of a new book in the series. Which can sometimes be annoying when you read them back to back, but in this case it was perfect. There are still some questions though, but a quick search on google cleared that up.

The language is very well-written. Easy, but sophisticated. It must be hard to manage to grown-upify a story about high technological fairies and dwarves and a kid who is overly smart. What really made me realize this was when Mulch, the dwarf was going to rearange a CCTV camera with a very concentrated fart. How is it even possible to write that without making it sound ridiculous? Colfer does it.

The Eternity Code (I can’t remember if it was the same with the first two) circulated around basically one event. And it doesn’t make it boring or less interesting because of it. First an introduction to the plot, then the master plan, Artemis then getting “caught” but it then turns out that that was planned all along. I think the other two were similarly built. It works brilliantly and never gets boring or dragged out. It is full of details and humour hidden behind the well-written language.

It’s definitely a 4.

Review of “Playing with Fire” by Derek Landy

Title: Playing with Fire
Author: Derek Landy
Series: Skulduggery Pleasant #2
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 389
Published: 2008, HarperCollins
My Grade: 4 out of 5 ecplises

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

Skulduggery and Valkyrie are facing a new enemy: Baron Vengeous, who is determined to bring back the terrifying Faceless Ones and is crafting an army of evil to help him. Added to that, Vengeous is about to enlist a new ally (if he can raise it from the dead): the horrible Grotesquery, a very unlikable monster of legend.

Once Vengeous is on the loose, dead bodies and vampires start showing up all over Ireland. Now pretty much everybody is out to kill Valkyrie, and the daring detective duo faces its biggest challenge yet.

But what if the greatest threat to Valkyrie is just a little closer to home?

MY REVIEW

The second book in the Skulduggery Pleasant series was very similar to the first one except that it didn’t need the whole introduction to the world. The action came right away because the characters were already known.

I think the level of sarcasm was a little bit lower than the first? It felt more serious. Not necessarily a bad thing, but the thing that sold me to this story, was the sarcasm and witty dialogue. So that was a small bummer.

On the upside though, the story is very much alive and I was extra surprised in the second half when I actually realized that Landy doesn’t write about details. Like for instance, Valkyrie wears a dress, but there is not a single descriptive word about it. Yet, he totally makes it realistic and visible somehow. Very good job, Landy!

This sums up to a grade of 4.

There was also this short story Gold, Babies and the Brothers Muldoon. Refreshing short story of 26 pages with lots of funny dialogue. I guess it is easier to make a short story incredible with 85% sarcasm. In a whole novel, it shoulnd’t take over. What good would a book be if it was only great because it was funny? There has to be a great story to be told as well. But in a short story, it wors perfectly.

Review of “Skulduggery Pleasant” by Derek Landy

Title: Skulduggery Pleasant
Author: Derek Landy
Series: Skulduggery Pleasant #1
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 392
Published: 2007, HarperCollins
My Grade: 4 out of 5 scepters

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

Meet Skulduggery Pleasant

Ace Detective
Snappy Dresser
Razor–tongued Wit
Crackerjack Sorcerer
and
Walking, Talking,
Fire-throwing Skeleton

—as well as ally, protector, and mentor of Stephanie Edgley, a very unusual and darkly talented twelve-year-old.

These two alone must defeat an all-consuming ancient evil.

The end of the world?

Over his dead body.

MY REVIEW

A friend of mine told me about this book series probably four years ago when we started working at Liseberg together. It has been on my to-read list since then. I am stubborn and very selective when it comes to books. Four years is a long time to read something that someone told me I had to read because she/he loved it. I can give three clear examples of book recommendations that I eventually picked up. First we have Throne of Glass, it probably took me two years, but it turned out to be my absolute favorite series (well, one of the many, but it is truly amazing). So that was a good recommendation. The second one was Illuminae and it might have taken me a little less than a year to pick it up? She who told me about it appraised it so much. It was good, but not that good. And now this. Skulduggery Pleasant, the skeleton detective. So weird. And perhaps a bit childish? Four years was definitely too long to wait, but I did read it when I really felt like it, instead of forcing myself to read it when I had tons of other books I felt that I really had to read. I am not disappointed, it was really great!

First of all, I did not get the childish impression of it as it had first given me from the description on Goodreads. Sure, the main character is 12, but that seems to be a good start for characters in a long series. Compare it to Harry Potter.

It is also comparable to Percy Jackson in the way it is written. The whole book is basically 83% sarcasm and witty dialogue and I love it! It makes it fun to read. It makes it easy to read and the pages just flew by. That’s how I like it, easy to read without unnecessary poetic descriptions and metaphors in every other sentece to describe something as simple as breathing in spring air for example. A book should be entertaining yet relaxing to read. If I wanted to learn stuff, I would have read something else than fiction.

At the end of the book was #1.5 in this series, The Lost Art of World Domination. Only a couple dozen or so pages of just one scene where Skulduggery had been captured by a sorcerer who wanted to take over the world. And the way Skulduggery completely defeat that man psychologically was hilarious all the way through! Don’t skip out on it!!

A very enjoyable book, and I honestly can’t really say why I only give it a 4. It just doesn’t feel like it belongs on the shelves where all my fives are. Maybe it should be a 4.5? Eh, doesn’t really matter. A reall good book and I suggest you read it if you agree with what I wrote in the review.

Review of “Once Upon a Time in the North” by Philip Pullman

Title: Once Upon a Time in the North
Author: Philip Pullman
Series: His Dark Materials #0.5
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 104
Published: 2008, Alfred A. Knopf
My Grade: 4 out of 5 arctic rabbits

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

In this prequel episode from Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials universe, Lee Scoresby — Texan aeronaut and future friend to Lyra Belacqua — is 24 years old. The story reveals the origins of Scoresby’s friendship with Iorek Byrnison as well as Scoresby’s aeronautical career.

After winning his hot-air balloon in a poker game, Scoresby finds himself floating north. On the Arctic island of Novy Odense, Scoresby and his dæmon Hester become involved in a deadly plot involving an oil magnate, a corrupt mayoral candidate, and a hired killer who is Lee’s longtime nemesis from the Dakota Country. Forming an alliance with one of the island’s reviled armored bears, Scoresby fights to break up the conspiracy.

MY REVIEW

When I read His Dark Materials, Once Upon a Time in the North had just gotten out and I hadn’t gotten my hands on it. Then I continued to not have it and therefore not read it. Until now. And I feel more than ever that I really have to reread the original series. I can’t even remember who Lee Scoresby is and what his role is. The bear, Iorek, I do remember bits and pieces of, but no big details.

It was a short story, very enjoyable. But it might have been more enjoyable if I didn’t read it “before” the original series. Hard to remember after 10 years. But it gets a 4. Maybe I will give it a higher grade after I finish rereading His Dark Materials.

 

Review of “La Belle Sauvage” by Philip Pullman

Title: La Belle Sauvage
Author: Philip Pullman
Series: The Book of Dust #1
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 464
Published: 2017, Alfred A. Knopf
My Grade: 4 out of 5 souls

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

Malcolm Polstead is the kind of boy who notices everything but is not much noticed himself. And so perhaps it was inevitable that he would become a spy…
Malcolm’s father runs an inn called the Trout, on the banks of the river Thames, and all of Oxford passes through its doors. Malcolm and his dæmon, Asta, routinely overhear news and gossip, and the occasional scandal, but during a winter of unceasing rain, Malcolm catches wind of something new: intrigue.
He finds a secret message inquiring about a dangerous substance called Dust–and the spy it was intended for finds him.
When she asks Malcolm to keep his eyes open, Malcolm sees suspicious characters everywhere; Lord Asriel, clearly on the run; enforcement agents from the Magisterium; a gyptian named Coram with warnings just for Malcolm; and a beautiful woman with an evil monkey for a dæmon. All are asking about the same thing: a girl–just a baby–named Lyra.
Lyra is the kind of person who draws people in like magnets. And Malcolm will brave any danger, and make chocking sacrifices, to bring her safely through the storm.

 

MY REVIEW

I guess that most people have read His Dark Materials, or have had a parent read it to them when they were kids? Or at least heard of it? The Golden Compass? I read the series in 2008 (as a 17 year old) for the first time and I absolutely loved them! The Book of Dust have been planned for a long time and I have patiently waited, until I honestly forgot about it.

I’ve been meaning to reread the original series but frankly been afraid that if I reread them, my idea of them being incredibly amazing would shatter. But after finishing La Belle Sauvage, I feel ready to reread them, and I feel confident that I won’t be disappointed and have an even clearer view of why they are amazing. Because ten years later, I can’t remember a single detail about them, just that they were good.

But anyway, La Belle Sauvage lived up to my expectations. It followed the same style as His Dark Materials and it was easy to see Pullmans version of England while reading.

The story is perhaps a little bit slow until the end when a lot of spaced out stuff happens. But even if not many things happen, it was hard to put it down. He has a very smooth way of writing if that explains anything? I find his writing very appealing and easy to read. And yes, smooth.

I give La Belle Sauvage a four and I hope that I will enjoy His Dark Materials once again!

Review of “Tower of Dawn” by Sarah J. Maas

Title: Tower of Dawn
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass #6
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 664
Published: 2017, Bloomsbury Publishing
My Grade: 5 out of 5 spiders

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

Chaol Westfall has always defined himself by his unwavering loyalty, his strength, and his position as the Captain of the Guard. But all of that has changed since the glass castle shattered, since his men were slaughtered, since the King of Adarlan spared him from a killing blow, but left his body broken.

His only shot at recovery lies with the legendary healers of the Torre Cesme in Antica—the stronghold of the southern continent’s mighty empire. And with war looming over Dorian and Aelin back home, their survival might lie with Chaol and Nesryn convincing its rulers to ally with them.

But what they discover in Antica will change them both—and be more vital to saving Erilea than they could have imagined.

 

MY REVIEW

I have been waiting for a year to find out what happened to Aelin and was very dissapointed when I learned that the next installment in the series would not be about her, but a longer version of the short story Maas had originally planned, about Chaol. Not dissapointed now though. This book was fantastic! But the cliffhanger from Empire of Storms is still very much  applicable though with both of these ending at approximately the same time.

She is a bit predictable though and as soon as Chaol and Nesryn were separated, you could tell what would happen with that couple. For example. But there was also some plot twists that I did not see coming that will make the next book even more interesting.

Do I really have to write any more? If you have read anything by Sarah J. Maas, then you know her type of writing, and this is exactly her writing. If her name was not on the cover, you would pretty fast guess that is was her. Definitely not a bad thing but you kinda know how the story will go from the start.

Sarah J. Maas is one of my favorite authors and my biggest inspiration to my own book so a 5 is a given!