Wednesday, January 25, 2006

This seems to be the week for fantasy-series-I-should-have-already-read. I finished Pierce's The Immortals, and last night I read the first Artemis Fowl book. Let's see - what are my reasons for not reading this one before now? It's one that I've had in both libraries I've worked in, yet never read. And I love fairies, and books set in Ireland. However, I knew this wasn't your traditional fairy tale, or your usual fantasy novel with fairies. More in line with Terry Pratchett, I thought (and I was close). And while I like that kind of thing, I have to be in just the right mood...
Anyway, I read it and I liked it. Not enough to rush out and read the others right away, but enough that I'll probably read them eventually - when the mood is right again. I do enjoy books like this that take something from traditional tales - fairies, leprechauns, gnomes, etc. - and give them a totally new twist (the LEPCon stuff is great - who knew?). And Artemis is such a fun character. It seems to me that it's always risky creating a main character who is a villain; often it's hard for readers to sympathize. I think, though, that Colfer injects Artemis with just enough vulnerability to give him some appeal, and, of course, Captain Holly Short balances Artemis's villainy well.
I was prompted to (finally) read the first Artemis book when I read Fowl Experience, an article written by the author for Inis, the magazine for Children's Books of Ireland. He shares, with great humor, how he got an agent and published the first Artemis book - and was able to finally begin making a living as a writer.


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