Fourteen-year-old Cosmo Hill longs to escape from the Clarissa Fayne
Institute for Parentally Challenged Boys. When a rare chance to get away
comes, he grabs it, but the attempt goes fatally wrong. He can feel his life
force ebbing away, sucked out of him by a strange blue Parasite ... until a
wisecracking gang of kids burst in, blast the creature and save him.
They are the Supernaturalists, dedicated to ridding the world of these
life-sucking blue parasites. When they realise that Cosmo also has the
ability to see these blue creatures, they enlist him as one of them too.
<iframe width="300" height="300" scrolling="no" frameborder=0 src="http://rcm-uk.amazon.co.uk/e/cm?t=bookgrouponli-21&l=st1&search=The%20Supernaturalist%20-%20Eoin%20Coffer&mode=books-uk&p=12&o=2&f=ifr&bg1=C6E7DE<1=_blank"> <table border='0' cellpadding='0' cellspacing='0' width='300' height='300'><tr><td><A HREF='http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/redirect-home/bookgrouponli-21' target=_blank><img src="http://images-eu.amazon.com/images/G/02/associates/recommends/default_300x300.gif" width=300 height=300 border="0" access=regular></a></td></tr></table></iframe>
Eoin Colfer's new offering is distinctly different from anything he has written before.
Colfer's letter to his readers at the front of my copy explain that, as a child, Colfer would look over to the Saltee Islands and imagine their past. This is the book he always wanted to write.
Set in the late 1800's, this is historical fiction for young people at its best. Colfer has taken techniques from classic novels and tales from legends and woven them together to create a book that will appeal to boys (sword fights and inventing, anyone) and girls (there is a little love interest in the island's Princess).
There is none of the humour found in the Artemis Fowl books, but Conor has a certain wit that makes the reader chuckle. There is none of the slightly unbelievable Science Fiction found in The Supernaturalist (and even Artemis), although as this is a time before flight for man exists, there is an element of inventions "wow factor".
Despite the seeming loss of these things, this is a "swashbuckling adventure" that will keep you gripped. It is fast-paced and action packed, with the moral that brains are more important than brawn.
As The Times* says:
*If you prefer The Guardian, click here!
Recommended to anyone 11 or over, and one to watch in 2008.
I have just listened to this as an audiobook, it was not at all what I was expecting! Artemis is a teenage genius criminal. He hates sunlight so he looks pale and creepy. He's living in some sort of manor house (Fowl Manor, ha ha) with his Miss Havisham-esque crazed mother and a creepy Butler. In this world, fairies are real as are dwarves, leprecons...but fairies are actually a sort of secret kick-ass police force...and Artemis steals one of them to try to get their gold as a ransom. The narrator of the audiobook is Adrian Dunbar but he sounds just like James Nesbitt i.e. very menacing indeed! So although there is no swearing, Artemis is convincingly mad and bad. The fairies side of the story is a bit Terry Pratchett, the odd bit of humour is thrown in there, and some gross bits (for the boy audience? Dwarves with bum flaps and explosive farts?!). The plot works OK - if you can suspend your disbelief enough. I was also impressed that there isn't an over-simplification of the characters being bad/good etc. Although Artemis is wicked, you find out a bit about why, and also he has moments of changing his mind/questioning things, also the fairies are not all goody-goody either. I'd imagine it goes down well with inquisitive minded 11/12/13 year old boys.