February Bookshelf: The Rise of Nine, UnPHILtered, More Artemis Fowl

In my continuing effort to read more books this year, I give you my February Bookshelf post (a few days late). February didn’t feature anything that I felt was as profound as January and there is less here to recommend unfortunately but they can’t all be winners.

The Rise of Nine – Rating 2/5. This is the third book in the Lorien Legacies series that was made popular by the first book I Am Number Four which was made into a major motion picture a couple years back.  The Rise of Nine was an okay read but with each installment of the series, the writing just gets a bit more ridiculous. If you aren’t familiar with this series from Pittacus Lore (a pseudonym of the two authors who write the books), the basic premise is that a bunch of teenage aliens from another planet are here on Earth trying to fight off some bad guy aliens who are from a different planet from them.

The problem with The Rise of Nine is that it just felt like every time the main characters got into a jam they would miraculously at that moment develop a new Legacy (super-power) to contend with whatever the situation is. The action sequences in the books are also starting to get rather repetitive and I feel at this point that I might not continuing reading the Lorien Legacy series unless I am truly desperate for something new.

unPHILtered: The Way I See It – Rating: 3/5. The latest book from Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson is UnPHILtered. I would not normally pickup a book that is from a celebrity but from what I have watched of the Duck Dynasty show, Phil Robertson’s nuggets of wisdom are my favorite part. The unscripted antics of his boys can get a little old after awhile but Phil usually has something worth listening to. So with that in mind, I decided to give UnPHILtered a shot.

While Phil’s straightforward commonsense world view is present throughout the book, much of it felt like preaching to the choir. I have no doubt that some readers will gain a new perspective on some subjects by reading UnPHILtered but I just didn’t feel challenged by anything in it. I read books to be entertained or to grow as a person. It is hard to do the latter when you already agree with much of what is being said.

Perhaps my biggest gripe with this book is a chapter in which Phil discusses what he would do if he were president. The chapter reads like the wishlist of a child who has no understanding of the workings of government. It would be more aptly titled “What I would do if I were dicator,” because that would be the only scenario where his wishlist would become a reality. Which feels very much like what our current president is actually doing.

The Time Paradox and The Atlantis Complex – Rating: 4/5 for both. I continued my consumption this month of the Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer. The series is an ongoing tale of main character Artemis Fowl, a mastermind Irish teenage boy who has entangled his life with elves and dwarves and other thought-to-be mythical creatures. The Time Paradox and The Atlantis Complex are books 6 and 7 respectively in the series and both books in their own way deal with Artemis working through the consequences of some of his past actions and battling old foes. There is a bit of a sense of treading over old territory in these
books, especially in The Atlantis Complex, but Colfer is as always an excellent story teller. He does unfortunately ratchet up his “humans are terrible and destroying the planet” rhetoric in these books which is present to some degree in all of his books but to a larger degree here. Even so, it isn’t enough of a distraction to not recommend the Artemis Fowl books as they are an excellent read and I am almost sorry that I have just one book left in the series to read.

That was it for February. I’m hoping that my March book report of sorts will be a more positive report. I’m starting The Road To Serfdom tomorrow.