A very pleasing Christmas book haul lies stacked neatly underneath the framed hockey cards in my living room. The reading stack has grown by 18 books to a height of nearly four feet. It makes a reader feel contented to see so many anticipated tomes just sitting there to be opened and read.
Still, I found myself busy with other things and only managed to get one book done in time for the turn of the year. Artemis Fowl and the Lost Colony is the fifth book in the series starring the delinquent genius by British author Eoin Colfer.
I've said it before and it bears repeating. This Young Adult series rises to the levels of the second-best of the Harry Potter books and has never dipped in quality. The book is slightly longer than its predecessors and does introduce Minerva as a future love interest for Artemis, but it's pretty well written and deserves the length.
More or less, it's actually the kick-off to adding Minerva AND No. 1 as new characters to the enchanted world inhabited by Holly Short, ex-captain of the LEPrecon Patrol and her detective partner, Mulch Diggums, the perennial on-the-run burglar. No. 1 is an imp awaiting transformation into a demon. He doesn't get along with his mates at all. And when a chance to get back to Earth comes, he jumps at it. Literally. That's where he intersects with Artemis and a stranded Holly, caught upside, when Commander Sool cuts off contact with the Mud People. Minerva inserts herself into the process and the hormones and hilarities kick in, while a true sense of adventure moves the pace along quite nicely. Familiar folk die for the second book in a row, and the books ends with people older, much older, and maybe not any wiser.
Recommended for teen and adult alike, as long as said adult still has a kid inside of their heart.