08 March 2009

Review: The Supernaturalist by Eoin Colfer

When I start reading a series I usually feel compelled to finish it, even if I don't like it all that much. Might get better, right? That was the case with Eoin Colfer's Artemis Fowl series. I didn't really like it, but kept on picking up, reading, and being disappointed by the books. (I think I've maybe managed to break the cycle – there are at least two available now that I haven't read.) In any case, you'd think not liking that series would put me off buying more of Colfer's books. You'd be wrong. Thing is, I found The Supernaturalist in a bargain bin at a grocery store for five dollars and I don't really think Artemis Fowl is worth five dollars, but some other Colfer book might be. Right?

Opening paragraph:
SATELLITE CITY: THE CITY OF THE FUTURE, proclaimed the billboards. A metropolis completely controlled by the Myishi 9 Satellite hovering overhead like a floating man-of-war. An entire city custom constructed for the third millennium. Everything the body wanted, and nothing the soul needed. Three hundred square miles of gray steel and automobiles.
The Supernaturalist tells the story of four kids on the fringes of society who are battling a supernatural phenomenon they refer to as parasites. The parasites, invisible to most people, are blue spectral creatures that suck energy out of injured and dying humans. The group is in danger always of being captured at work by the paralegals and lawyers of the corporations that run Satellite City or being injured and sucked dry by the creatures, until one day they're forced to confront a bigger problem: they might just have it all wrong.

On the whole, I enjoyed the book. It was plagued by the same problems that put me off Artemis Fowl - the snotty author's tone that resembles nothing so much as a snarky teenager who think he's vastly more clever, worldly, and funny than he really is, the often transparent plot-lines, the shallowly constructed characters (especially the villains) – but somehow it was easier to take in this story. Maybe it's just that the main character, Cosmo Hill, is a lot easier to swallow than Artemis. Less irritating, less unlikely, less of a Gary Stu*.

I'll probably never read this book again, but I don't mind having spent the time reading it. It could have been worse, and I'm glad it wasn't. (I really need to step away from the Colfer books though. Just Say No and all that.)

*In fanfiction terms, a Gary Stu or Mary Sue is a character who is too perfect to be anything but a stand-in for who the author wishes he or she could be.

Eoin Colfer has written several books, which include 6 in the Artemis Fowl series and several one-shots. You can read more about him and his books at his website.

Colfer, Eoin. The Supernaturalist. New York: Hyperion, 2004.
Finished: 08 March 2009
Rating: 3 of 5 robotix head plates
This was my 1st book in March and my 9th in 2009.

*Psst... my ratings are numbered 1-5, meaning something like 1=sucky, 2=meh, 3=okay, 4=good, 5=great.

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