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September 18, 2008 |

By Brian Prisco | Books | September 18, 2008 |

9780141383347.jpgI fell in love with this series in the midst of the Harry Potter novels, trying to quench my thirst for children’s fantasy novels and not finding it in the Jesus Kitty Litter Box of Narnia or the disappointing finale of His Dark Materials. Fantasy was my staple growing up. When I wasn’t reading Stephen King, I was reading David Eddings or the Forgotten Realms and Ravenloft books. I’ve just started with the Robert Jordan and I plan on moving on to the Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin. Fantasy can be violent without swearing or involving sexuality. It’s got all the danger and intrigue and I love starting kids on series they’ll love.

Artemis Fowl was a great find as a bookseller. It’s about an Irish master criminal who’s not quite a teenager. He makes an attempt to steal fairy gold. Only these fairies aren’t wands and wings. They’re part of a military tactical police force called LEPrecon. It’s got a fantastic cast of characters, and at one point they were dallying with a movie, which is allegedly in the works. I weep for it, because I can totally see this going the way of The Seeker, the odious attempt to do bludgeon my fond memories of The Dark is Rising series.

I’ve been pretty impressed with the shelf life of this series. I would preach the gospel of this to small children, since not only is it a cool story, but there’s actually a translatable code that runs along the bottom of the book. Each stories gotten progressively more interesting, but this is sort of turning into all series when you get five or six books, or television programs six or seven years into the making. What do you do with a criminal mastermind once you’ve sent him on missions to find his long lost father, into the center of Limbo, and pitted him against a pixie criminal genius? Well, you start in on the whole time travel.

Once someone starts talking time travel in a series, my eyes roll up into my head, and I’m done for. Just once, I’d like to see someone totally nuke the space-time continuum and have to exist in a world beyond their own understanding. I don’t want everything wrapped up nice and neat. I’m definitely going to be there when they release a new series, but I can’t get as excited about this as some of the other series I’m reading. Particularly, it’s paling in comparison to the excellent Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. It’s essentially about a young boy who discovers he’s the son of a Greek God, and half-mortal himself. So with it comes strange powers, and the discovery of a camp of other sons of immortals. And an entire series about trying to stop Kronos from destroying Mount Olympus. It’s really fun, and it plays a lot with the whole Greek myths. It’s a fun series, and it’s already up to book 4. I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in children’s lit.

This review is part of the Cannonball Read series. You can read more about it, here.

Cannonball Read / Brian Prisco

Books | September 18, 2008 |

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