As you are no doubt aware, "The Supernaturalist" is the latest book by Eoin Colfer. I won't bother with a synopsis, (you can read Amazon's own above - no point in reiterating it here). Let's get right to the point. If you're an Artemis Fowl fan and haven't read it yet, then the question you'll want answering is: is it as good as the fantastic Fowl series?
The answer is not a simple yes or no. The most honest reply would be to say that it is entirely different. For a start there's absolutely no magic - it's more science fiction, (though science fantasy would probably be a more accurate description). However, like AF it's full of futuristic high-tech gadgets and is incredibly imaginative and witty. There are plenty of laughs, thrill, spills and impossible adventures to keep you turning the pages, long after midnight!
Speaking personally, I didn't find Cosmo - the main character - as compelling/unique/vibrant as Artemis - but clearly Colfer is going for an entirely different protagonist here. He's far more the hapless under-dog than the wise-cracking evil genius. Supporting characters are fun, but I failed to bond with them - though the Bartolli baby (a 28 year-old man in a 6 year-old body is an imaginitive creation and great fun). The style is very action/comic book - and as ever the dialogue is superb.
So, dear Artemis Fowl fan, should you splash out on a copy or not? The answer is an unqualified YES. A great book, well worth reading - just be sure to approach it with an open mind, knowing it's taking a different (and at times slightly more mature) tack. Don't expect another Artemis ... just enjoy it for what it is!
on 9 August 2004
I loved this book, it's as simple as that. No, it's not Artemis Fowl, but that's a good thing. I appreciated the chance to read a new Eoin Colfer book that was about something else for a change. Not that I've got anything against Artemis, he's great, but this was great too.
The story is exciting, fast paced and full of unexpected twists and turns. I challenge anyone not armed with spoilers to predict the ending, it just can't be done. I enjoy a story like that, one that isn't too predictable, but looking back or re-reading after you've finished, there are many clues that you don't pick up on first time around. Or that I didn't, anyway. I read it again almost as soon as I'd finished the first time, and I enjoyed it just as much the second time around.
The characters are all unique in their own way, although some are better than others. I personally found the main character, Cosmo Hill, much less interesting than Ditto (my favourite) and Stefan.
I don't see how anyone could not like this book, it is fast paced, funny and at the same time moving. Its version of the future is scary because sometimes it looks like the nightmare world in which it is set is where we are really headed.
I really hope there is a sequel, or even more than one, the way that it ends definitely leaves the possibility open. If there is one, I hope it will feature Ditto more heavily, he is the most interesting character not only in this book, but in any I've come across for a while. I really want to find out more about his history, and of course find out what the other creatures he mentioned are. Right now I'm hoping for more books following on from this story more than I am for another Artemis Fowl book. So, I've got my fingers crossed for a sequel, who's with me?
on 20 March 2005
Eoin Colfer is an author of childrens books, but he writes the kind of story that can be appreciated by adults too - assuming they can appreciate a light hearted fantastical tale that is. He writes this kind of tale so well that your eyes are carried along the lines without effort, and the story skids along so fast that it is quite impossible to pause for breath, and before long you are finished, and left thirsting for more.
The book is set in the future, a polluted future full of supernatural entities. A future where "no sponsors" (orphans) are used as lab rats for big corporations.
In the opening chapter we meet a few needy souls. Cosmo Hill, inmate of the Clarissa Frayne Institute for Parentally Challenged Boys, who at fourteen is having to stand down his cherished dream of being adopted. Along with the realisation that the orphanage was slowly killing him with product testing came the realisation that there were only three ways out - adoption, death or escape. With the first unlikely, the second undesirable, the only real option left was to escape. Within seconds of failure Cosmo is saved by an unlikely bunch of misfits - the supernaturalists.
I can understand why there is so much interest in this book, I can see it translating onto the big screen very well. It is a simple story, with numerous twists and turns, well told. If you enjoyed Eoin's previous works then you are just as likely to enjoy this. If you are blessed with a young imagination, and enjoy a good story well told, then give it a try, you may like it.
on 23 October 2005
Well I stand corrected because i thought that Eoin Colfer would flop without Artemis but this book is pure, total genius. It's actually really unpredictable (although there are various hints throughout as to the ending). I love the characters, there are a wide variety of personalities, from Cosmo's slightly awkward sweetness to Stefan's relentless self-loathing. The plot is just as mental as any of the Arty books, but actually i think this could just have (shock horror) slightly more potential, although Colfer seems to be making a habit of some things. I have to admit, i wasn't expecting much but this book was brilliant and i absolutely LOVED it. Bring on the sequel (you could smell it at the end) because this plot deserves one, unlike many of the books I've read recently.
on 6 October 2005
The famous Irish author Eoin Colfer has taken a break from his popular Artemis Fowl series to write a new masterpiece, "The Supernaturalist". The writing style is similar to the one in Artemis Fowl but that is also where the similarities end. The setting, protagonists, plot etc, it's like nothing you have seen before.
A thousand years into the future Cosmo Hill, a no-sponsor from Clarissa Frayne Institute for Parentally Challenged Boys whose body is near losing its battle against the poisonous experimental merchandise it has been stuffed with for the 14 painful years of its existence, decides it's time to risk everything to escape. He knows that the products the orphanage has tested on him will kill him soon unless he does, and his prayers are answered. During the drive "home" from a questioning about pop music the Institute's truck lose connection with the auto-pilot. It crashes and most of the orphans' shackles are ripped of. Cosmo and his cuff partner Ziplock make a run for it, but only Cosmo survives the flight from the maniacal Marshal Redwood, and hardly does. While lying on a rooftop, watching his best friend die he sees something else. A strange big eyed, blue creature is walking towards him. It touches him and it seems to be sucking something out of him. Cosmo's pain decreases but he also realizes that it's his life he sees flowing into the creature's finger. He is too weak to fight, but just as he is about to lose his hope a couple of strangely dressed teenagers blast it off and takes him with them.
They are the Supernaturalists, a group of three youngsters and now Cosmo, fighting the life-sucking Parasites every night and the corrupt Myishi government in daytime. He must help them find a way to destroy the rapidly multiplying Parasites and save Satellite City's citizens.
Enjoy the twisted plot and vivid descriptions in Colfer's new award winner of Golden Duck Award and Eleanor Cameron Award for Middle Grades. You will most definitely be surprised and amused by his view of a possible future for humanity and the shocking turn towards the end will not allow you to put the book down.
If you liked Artemis Fowl then this is a must- have for you and a should-have if you have not.
on 6 June 2004
The first book I read of Eoin Colfer was Artemis Fowl, which was a great and original read. Since then I have read all his other books and this one is no exception from that originality. The story is a lot darker than in preveous books, set in a future where man has destroyed the enviroment and countries are run more or less by corporations. It's plain to see that Colfer has very strong views on the enviroment
The characters, whilst lacking in depth, are quite suited to such a fast pased comic-strip-like story. Colfer's inventivness at creating fictional technology in a way that is totally believable is stronger than ever here, but it isn't quite as funny as the Artemis series. The greatest thing I can say about this book is that it brilliantly realizes a fictional world. I must have for anyone who enjoys children's fantasy or is looking for nice engrossing book that will utterly absorb them.
on 3 January 2006
As an unwanted child, Fourteen-year old Cosmo Hill is determined to be free from the forbidding Clarissa Frayne Institute for Parentally Challenged Boys. The orphans are treated like lab rats and the average life expectancy at the institute is just fifteen years. Cosmo knows he must escape. But in the dark streets of Satellite City, in a time not too far from now, greater dangers await him in the outside world…
A ghost-like blue creature lands on Cosmo’s chest and starts to feed on his life force. In the nick of time a curious gang of kids turn up and rescue him. They are the Supernaturalists: dedicated to ridding the world of these life-sucking blue parasites. The gang adopt Cosmo and in this unlikely new ‘family’ he must learn fast; on each death-defying mission, using Bond-type technology, to help the Supernaturalists destroy the creatures. The missions lead Cosmo into a world of high-level corruption where the gang must avoid the authorities, especially the Lawyers and Paralegals, who act like present-day Police. Paralegals are a ‘three-way cross between lawyers, paratroopers and pit bulls’. The adults of the Supercity, however, should not underestimate the Supernaturalists, as they prove themselves a force to be reckoned with and certainly not a bunch of ‘naturists running around with no clothes on’.
This is fantastic, non-stop action for the older reader. Colfer’s use of technology – from texting to nitrous injection drag racing – enriches his futuristic tale. The soulless Satellite City, full of gangs and garbage, may paint a somewhat bleak future but this is mainly a story about extreme heroism and friendship. It is an excellent adventure from the bestselling author of the ‘Artemis Fowl’ series.
on 18 October 2006
Cosmo Hill wants to be a normal fourteen-year-old. He lives Satellite City, a city powered entirely by a huge Satellite in Space. He is an orphan, or 'no sponsor' - someone whose parents cannot be traced. He lives in The Clarissa Frayne Institute for Parentally Challenged Boys and longs to be free. One day, her escapes; but it almost costs Cosmo his life.
He is laying badly wounded on a rooftop when strange, spooky blue parasites attempt to suck his life force away... But then three youths save him - the supernaturalists. They offer him a new life, destroying supernatural creatures - the parasites. But there are shocking secrets around the Parasites... And Cosmo's new life. Is this what he really wants?
A refreshing and 'Supernaturally Fantastic' new novel... Let's hope to see a sequel on the shelves soon!
on 4 July 2005
At first I was put off from reading this as it seemed to have a more of a 'children's book' image and also because I thought nothing could top the Artemis Fowl books..However do not be put off if you are a slightly older kid and looking for a really exciting, futuristic fantasy book, because this is such a fun and involving read!! Colfer has this gift of making his readers really identify with the characters he has created, so it's no wonder that so many people want him to write a sequel. The Supernaturalist is so unique, it's perfect for a holiday read so buy it quick ready for your hols, and it's a good change from all the heavy-going adult fiction that doesn't really appeal to me at the mo. You won't be disappointed, The Supernaturalist is perfect for adults and kids alike. :)
I just read this book a few months ago. No. Wait. That was "Shade's Children" by Garth Nix. Young boy escapes from a cruel youth prison in some unspecified dystopian future. Saved by a motley crew of fellow escapees. Fights a guerilla war against distant overlords. Sort of a crush on the girl rebel. Conflicted leader of said rag-tag band. Sound familiar?
Now, I think there's plenty of room for all of the tales, even if they are similar. Colfer's is much more tech oriented. It has a lot of details and plot points that certainly distinguish it from Nix's book. And anyway, there are only so many story frames out there, and at least this isn't a quest fantasy or a "you will develop magical talents when you are twelve..." fantasy.
But here's the thing. Nix's book is true to itself, and maintains a consistent, earnest tone and plotline that respects the reader. If you are willing to enter his world and his story, then he will take it seriously too. But in Colfer's book, he can't resist adding dopey and childish touches for his own amusement. Well-armed militant lawyers? Para-legal assault forces? Ridiculously over-the-top corporate bad guys? Funny-stupid villains? Every chapter has some angle that reminds you that you are reading a silly story about a phony world that the author has created. Every chapter reminds you that not only is this children's literature, but it is also in some way childish. That isn't a fatal flaw, and of course some readers like that approach, but for me, I think it detracts from the reading experience.