This week's book: Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
Overall impressions: I've been meaning to read this one for a while, and finally had the chance. I enjoyed it's mix of magic and technology, and Colfer's unique spin on the traditional fantasy creatures. While I couldn't quite get my mind around the idea that Artemis is only 12 years old (he doesn't act like any 12 year old I've met), once I allowed myself to suspend judgement on that point, I really got into the story and raced through it. I'm looking forward to Book 2.
What I liked: Artemis is a criminal. In fact, most of the characters had an unusually high number of despicable qualities. Yet Colfer found a way to make them quite likable anyway. I guess I'm used to main characters who are inherently good, and it seems that Artemis is not (though I thought I detected a hint of a spark of something good for a minute there.) That made this book feel unique and creative, and thoroughly enjoyable.
What I learned: As a (fledgling) writer, what was most interesting to me about this book was the point of view. There were moments where the narrator pulled up out of the story to talk directly to the reader, referring to the story. (As an example, in the beginning of the seventh chapter, he says, "Time to introduce another character to our otherworldly pageant." He goes on to address the entire paragraph directly to the reader in that style.) This type of commentary occurred several times throughout the book. It took me by surprise at first, but I really enjoyed it. I have no idea what the official term is for this point of view, and there probably is one, and I should probably learn it. But for now, I just had fun reading it, and it and it made me feel tempted to try it out, just for fun, in my own writing. I see a writing exercise in my near future....
Here is the Story Snoops review of Artemis Fowl.
You can find Artemis Fowl on Amazon.