Author: Eoin Colfer
Reading Level: 5th – 6th
Edition: Hardcover, 2003 (2000)
Eoin Colfer has not quite redeemed himself in my view, via this book, either. I have to go back and re-enter the world of Artemis Fowl series to see if he is a brilliant writer, as so many of my young readers seem to believe. This book has a great premise, an explosive and grabbing beginning, some very witty commentary on the human nature, and many moments of cool actions. However, plenty of stylish flaws can be spotted. When the narrative is taken over by Meg Finn, the teenager who died and couldn’t enter Hell or Heaven, she does not sound anything like herself as a character — she sounds just like the 3rd person narrator that we presume as Eoin Colfer, the author. Page 200: “A semi-inebraited mind sinks all th emore readily into the mire of satellite stations”; “Franco saw himself in the tragic hero mold.”
I know Colfer probably didn’t set out to write a profound book, and he did not produce one, for sure. But it seems a bit of a waste when I sense so much potential based on what he has already achieved. This could have been both an action-packed, imaginative, humorous story AND a book that leaves the readers ponder about life, after-life, and the actions we take when we are living our lives. Instead, it’s just an amusing read.