Friday, December 9, 2016

Review: The Arctic Incident

The Arctic Incident by Eoin Colfer
Artemis Fowl #2
Published June 6th 2002 by Hyperion

The World's Youngest Criminal Mastermind is Back

Artemis is at boarding school in Ireland when he receives an urgent e-mail from Russia. In it is a plea from a man who has been kidnapped by the Russian Mafiya: his father. As Artemis rushes to his rescue, he is stopped by a familiar nemesis, Captain Holly Short of the LEPrecon fairy police. But this time, instead of battling the fairies, he is going to have to join forces with them if he wants to save one of the few people in the world he loves.
The Arctic Incident is the sequel to Artemis Fowl and takes place around a year after the events of the first book - I'm guessing, since Artemis was 12 in the first book and is now 13.  The story opens up with events that took place three years prior and led to Artemis' father going missing and presumed dead.  Once the story switches back to the present day, we find young Artemis receiving video proof that his father is alive -   curtesy of the Russian Mafia - along with a ransom demand. In typical Artemis Fowl fashion, the boy and his manservant/bodyguard Butler devise a plan to locate and rescue Artemis Senior.

Artemis Fowl and Butler set out for Russia but their mission takes a detour when the Lower Elements Police (LEPrecon, a.k.a. Leprechaun) of the Fairy Realm, namely Holly Short and Commander Root stop them in their tracks. Having met Holly and Root in the first book, I was happy to see them return - I wasn't sure if they'd even be back. Their return wasn't for fun and games though because the Fairy Realm is in trouble all their own. Someone is dealing human arms to fairies, more specifically: Goblins.  The LEP inistially suspect Artemis but before long things become much more serious than anyone could have anticipated and the two sides are forced to work together to figure out exactly who's to blame - and how to stop them.

The Arctic Incident started off slower than the first book in the series and to be honest, I wasn't sure what to expect.  Once the ball got rolling though, I found this story to be equally matched to it's predecessor in terms of the action, humor, character development and the plot itself. Once you get past the initial setup there is no sequel slump to be found here^^ Instead, I was surprised by how quickly the stakes rose this time around - in terms of plot and for our host of characters - especially for the second book in an 8-book series!  It kind of makes me nervous for what's in store for the subsequent books...

In terms of action, there's plenty to be had: the unlikely allies face down both a clever ploy from a mystery enemy and the Russian Mafia all at once. All of our heroes are tested in ways they've admittedly never been before: Artemis is forced into the thick of the action when he's used to being more of a behind-the-scenes mastermind, safely behind his computer.  Butler is forced to come to terms with not being able to protect Artemis all of them time, from everything. Holly is forced to work with humans, something fairies like her are loathe to do. Root must come to terms with not being able to control every eventuality and Foaly is betrayed by the very technology he's dedicated his life's work to developing.  All in all, there's impressive character growth for our ragtag group.

The humor in the Artemis Fowl Series thus far is both in your face and subtle, depending on the character delivering it. I have to say that there's a fair share of comic relief in these books. Mulch Diggums the dwarf has more of a crude, juvenile humor that works really well for him. Holly and Butler have more of a serious sense of humor that's mostly sarcastic.  Foaly the Centaur is king of snark in this series and his quips never fail to entertain.  Commander Root is less intentionally funny, his humor comes from basically amusing the reader when he loses his patience...and he does, regularly. Artemis himself is quietly sassy in a way I've never encountered before. He has a way of zinging another individual so cooly and cleverly that it could almost go unnoticed. It's as respectful as snark can get while being devastatingly effective and Artemis delivers like a pro.  I think that the audiobook narrator Gerry O'Brien does an excellent job of subtly emphasising that aspect of our protagonist's personality.

The story in The Arctic Incident unravels at a steady and consistent pace, building on what was newly introduced to the reader in the first book, all while taking the story in unexpected directions. If you had asked me while I was reading the first book where I thought the over-arching storyline for the series was going, I would have ventured a guess and I'm pleased to say that I would have been wrong. This might be a MG/YA series but it doesn't insult the reader's intelligence. I'm still surprised by how clever and mature the story is. Again I'm reminded of how I compared the first book to an adult action movie, exept with a YA protagonist. And fairies!  All things considered, I'm having a blast with this series so far and I can't wait to see what's in store for me in the next book!

My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Previously:

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Harry Potter Moment #171

Harry Potter Moment of the Week 

Harry Potter Moment of the Week is a  meme created by Leah @ Uncorked Thoughts  and hosted here @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews. The idea is to share a favorite moment, magical item, character, spell, quote, object from the books, films or J.K.Rowling herself!  How to join up &  upcoming topics here.

Hello friends!  I hope everyone's week is going smoothly? I'm getting ready to head off to work but before I do, we have a pressing Potter-question to get to:

Besides running a joke store, what occupation would you see George being good at?


No! Nope.Nope.Nope. I will not answer this^^ Because that would mean that I accept that Fred died and that George was never ok again. And I don't. I soooo don't. I adore both of the twins but I think George is my favorite...and thinking of him being in pain like that for the rest of his life is too much to bear. So. I want him running Weasley Wizard Wheezes. With Fred. Until they're both old and gray and pass it on to their children and godchildren.  That is all.


However. In this reality where both of them are alive, I can say that I could see them being comedians, radio-personalities (like they did in Deathly Hallows during the dark days with Potter-watch) or some type of entertainers. I think both of them would really be good at that kind of stuff....but they NEED to be doing it together. Forever. Ok? Ok.


Sunday, December 4, 2016

Fandom Mashup #82

Fandom Mashups
Fandom Mashups is an original feature here at Lunar Rainbows Reviews.  Every week, I propose a unique fictional scenario and then we build our own personal dream team of five fictional characters from five different fandoms to complete the task!  Anyone is welcome to join up - all I ask is that you link back to me somewhere in your post :)

Happy Sunday fanboys and fangirls! How is everyone? We're being treated to some fluffy snow this morning for the first Sunday of December!  I'll be heading out soon to play around in it...that is...if I can get myself out of a dangerous situation beforehand:

You've been framed by the highest levels of a secret government organization and now you're forced to go dark in the hopes of clearing your name before you get caught. Who's going to help you out of this one? 

Artemis Fowl

If  anyone can help me evade law officials, it's billionaire criminal mastermind, Artemis Fowl!  His assets and genius would help me stay under police radar...and if I get into trouble, Butler will be there to help me out. Meanwhile, Artemis and Foaley will work on any leads to clear me.

Jason Bourne

Jason Bourne can do it all: he can show me how to fly under the radar, save me from capture AND help me clear my name. Although, being with him might get me into more trouble....he's more than capable of getting me out of said trouble too!

James Bond

Bond has important and capable government connections to give me the inside track and get this whole mess under-control. Plus his unique skill set certainly make him an ideal ally too. Imagine: Bond and Bourne together - what an unstoppable combo!

Felicity Smoak

Felicity isn't just one of my girl-crushes: she's a skilled and brilliant hacker. I'm going to need her brilliance and her 'resources' to get me out of this mess for sure! And in her capable hands, she ought to be able to clear my name in a heartbeat.

Robert Langdon

Langdon has been wrongfully accused of stuff more times than I can count.  Surviving the way he keeps doing takes skill and I need those skills at my disposal. And if ever my frame-up has puzzles, riddles and the like, he'll get me through it easily.

Who would you pick to help you out of this scenario?

Stacking the Shelves *56*

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly feature hosted by Tynga's Reviews showcasing new books we've gotten a hold of (bought/given/gifted/trade/for review).

I'm posting this a day late - I work on Saturdays and yesterday was so busy I never even got a chance to log in and post!  So this is me trying to stay on top of my StS posts! Here's my recent book loot:



GEMINA by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (The Illuminae Files #2) The Golem's Eye by Jonathan Stroud (Bartimaeus Sequence #2), The Arctic Incident by Eoin Colfer (Artemis Fowl #2) and The Reader by Traci Chee + The Reader tote-bag - which I won in a giveaway hosted by Sarcasm and Lemons - Thank You!!

Lots of sequels and lots of blue/blue-ish covers to be had around here LOL!  Sequels can be hit or miss for me but the two I'm currently reading: The Golem's Eye and The Arctic Incident, are delivering very nicely! They're at least as good as their predecessors :D I'm soooo happy I got into both of those series!  As for Gemina, I'm hoping to read it by year's end so we'll see if the sequel trend continues...

What books have you gotten recently?
Also: have you read any of these?^^ Thoughts?

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Harry Potter Moment #170

Harry Potter Moment of the Week 

Harry Potter Moment of the Week was created by Leah @ Uncorked Thoughts  and is hosted here @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews. The idea is to share a favorite moment, magical item, character, spell, quote or memory  from the books, films or J.K.Rowling herself!  How to join up &  upcoming topics here.

Hello Potterheads!  How is everyone this week?  I just saw Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Tuesday Night so if anyone wants to chat about the movie, feel free to DM me on Twitter :) Needless to say it felt wonderful to be back in the Wizarding World ♥ Even though nothing will ever compare to the original story, Fantastic Beasts was wholly satisfying with enough magic to fill my heart and leave me wanting more!  Speaking of the original story though...

If you could change one thing in the fourth film, what would it be?


Hmmm, I could say an awful lot about the fourth film. I love the book but I have quite a few issues with the movie adaptation.  Here are the major ones:

The Director. I wish this instalment had another director because it seems like this guy didn't have much of a clue about the Wizarding World.  Like for example: When Sirius' face appears in the Gryffindor fire? It's like his face is coming out of the coals - or like the embers are coming alive, instead of his face being IN the flames like it should. What even?!


...and then there's the Hungarian Horntail Harry faces in the Triwizard Tournament. It has to be the stupidest dragon ever. Like instead of flying AT Harry, it tries to scale the Castle. What kind of a dragon would do that?!  And THEN proceed to fly straight INTO a bridge o.O




Harry's, Ron's and the Twin's hair. This is a minor complaint but their hair is ridiculous to me.  Harry, Ron, Fred or George are never mentioned as having grown their hair out. Like ever. They look like hippies in this instalment and honestly it doesn't suit their characters - but maybe it's just me?



Details on Barty Crouch Jr. past.  It's all in the book but the details that are absent in the movie end up undercutting Crouch Jr's motivation...which makes his whole character less impactful that he should have been. And I swear I'm not just saying that because I wanted more David Tennant. Although I did and I do want more. I always want more ♥



Gambon's Performance as Dumbledore. This is my biggest pet-peeve in the entire series but Gambon's performance as Dumbledore is at the lowest point here. He actually comes off as crazy - screaming and spitting his way through the scenes. When he shrieks and shakes Harry I just want to send a few well aimed Stunning Spells his way *grumbles*


Sigh. And that's it for me. What would you change about the Goblet of Fire movie?


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday #60

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish which features a variety of bookish top ten lists!

Ten Books to Gift the Fantasy Lover in Your Life




Sabriel - My newest fantasy obsession - I can't believe I waited until last year to finally experience The Old Kingdom with it's inherent magic and darkness. Classic fantasy readers of all ages should enjoy this one!

The Amulet of Samarkand - I might have only gotten into these books this year, but I know a quality fantasy story when I see it. The Bartimaeus Sequence features a unique and elaborate fantasy world paired with an eclectic mix of shades-of-gray characters.

The Way of Kings -  Epic high-fantasy at it's finest but this one is mostly for mature readers, because of the page-count and the complex world-building and character development. Beyond that though, The Stormlight Archive is my favorite Sanderson story to date.

Harry Potter - Obviously. If you know a fantasy-reader that has yet to meet Harry Potter (seriously? WTF.), please do me a favor and push the series on them until they cave in and read it. And then send them my way so I can tell them: You're welcome.

Throne of Glass - This is a more mature fantasy series due to violent and sexy content - also because it might just irrevocably destroy more innocent souls. Nevertheless, fantasy readers need the Throne of Glass Series in their lives.



Alcatraz VS The Evil Librarians - We're talking fantasy so there will be multiple Sanderson references from this girl - did you expect anything less?  Alcatraz is a middle-grade series that could double as YA. It's also clever like anything Sanderson writes while being irreverent and snarky!

A Darker Shade of Magic - Any fantasy reader should read some Schwab but Shades of Magic is her most overtly-fantasy offering.  Her world-building is mesmerizing, the characters are memorable but most of all: elemental magic and a magic coat!

Artemis Fowl - This is a MG/YA series that reads like an adult action movie. If adult action movies had fairies, leprechauns, centaurs and teenaged criminal masterminds. I might be new to the series but I know what I like and I like Artemis Fowl.

Mistborn: The Final Empire - My last Sanderson rec, I swear. Mistborn is where I recommend Sanderson-newbies start. It's a quick read. It's dark AF. It's an adult fantasy that has YA-crossover appeal. It's epic fights, war, revolution and feels.

Cinder - I know that The Lunar Chronicles is sci-fi BUT it's also fairytale. And the futuristic world-building, ships (the romantic kind) and kick-ass characters are sure to please most fantasy readers, provided they don't hate sci-fi or fairytales LOL!

What other books would you gift a fantasy reader?

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Fandom Mashup #81

Fandom Mashups
Fandom Mashups is an original feature here at Lunar Rainbows Reviews.  Every week, I propose a unique fictional scenario and then we build our own personal dream team of five fictional characters from five different fandoms to complete the task!  Anyone is welcome to join up - all I ask is that you link back to me somewhere in your post :)

Hello all and happy Sunday funday! I hope that you're all well?  I've been working hard this past month so I'm feeling especially lazy when my days off roll around - but that won't stop me from going out adventuring:

In your frequent time travels - you know, the usual - you've miscalculated and ended up in prehistoric times. Who do you think would be best suited to help you adapt and survive? 

The Doctor

You all read it: ''time travels'' and you all know that requires a Doctor! Now usually, I automatically go with the Tenth Doctor (because ♥) even though I love all his incarnations but today I have to go with Twelve because of one simple fact:

LOL! We have a winner!


Kaladin Stormblessed

Kaladin's world might be magical af, but it has the craziest prehistoric beasts you never even dreamed of. I'd feel safer with Kaladin by my side here, not just for his powers but for his experience. He'd definitely keep his head on straight in this situation and that is saying something!

Rubeus Hagrid

This man-giant thinks dragons are cute and misunderstood!  I feel like that kind of behavior would usually be dangerous, but in prehistoric times it might be the key to everyone's survival. I just hope that Hagrid doesn't get eaten by a dinosaur in the first 5-minutes...


Spock

Spock's logical mind might be annoying sometimes but in this kind of environment, it'd be worth it. Spock is as clever as The Doctor but he's much less emotional about it - I need his cool head to survive in this kind of reality. 

Obi Wan Kenobi

None. Obi Wan has zero fucks to give.  And that's way I want him on my team. Obi Wan not only keeps in cool in a crisis, he has a way of looking at any crisis with humor and lots of chill. Plus with the creatures he's faced, dinosaurs shouldn't be a problem!