Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Artemis Fowl


I went about reading this series all wrong, unfortunately. I was at my podunk local library, and I found book 2 in the audiobook section, as well as book four. So I grabbed them, and listened. They were pretty good. I couldn't get a hold of book 1, but I did get book 3, so I managed to fill in the hole between book 2 and 4.

I kept trying, and still couldn't get book 1. The library had it, and it wasn't even checked out, but they couldn't locate it. So when I would try to request it, they would just cancel my holds. I did manage to get book 5 though, the further adventures. Book 1 was nowhere to be found though, and after trying a few more times, I finally gave up on ever getting that audiobook from my library.

A year and a half go by, and I find myself back in the library, and lo, and behold, there it is, just sitting there on the shelf! They've found the first Artemis Fowl audiobook, and put it back on the shelf for me. So, I grabbed it, of course.

Artemis Fowl is YA fiction. It's fantasy/scifi. And, like Harry Potter, or many other YA fiction series that have come out in recent years, it's pure fun. It's candy for someone like me who has been spending his time listening to heavy, meat and potatoes-like books like 2001: A Space Odyssey, or Neuromancer. It's really fun stuff.

But don't take my candy comment wrong. It's not like Artemis Fowl is fluff with no substance at all. Eoin Colfer put in a lot of work crafting a fine story with well-rounded characters, touching moments, a nice character arc for our main man Artemis, an extremely interesting world, and gripping plot. I think I've heard it described somewhere as a cross between James Bond and Harry Potter, and that's a pretty good description.

On top of the high quality of the book itself was the very high quality of the narrator. Nathaniel Parker, he who played our lead character in the movie adaptation of Neil Gaiman's Stardust, really impressed me with his range of voices. Each character was interesting and unique, although his American accents sounded a little lame, but they surely couldn't have sounded as bad as my English accents, so I can't fault him.

All in all, I recommend that you spend a few commutes enjoying an Artemis Fowl audiobook. Both the book and the reading won't fail to entertain you.

Next up for me? Back to the grindstone, it's time for Fahrenheit 451, the Ray Bradbury classic.

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