Tag: artemis fowl

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.

January Bookshelf: A Glimpse of Jesus, Artemis Fowl Series, The God of All Comfort

I decided that I want to be more intentional about reading more books this year. I guess you could call it a New Year’s resolution but that just seems like setting myself up to fail once you start calling it that. So don’t and I won’t either. I should note that some of these were “read” as audiobooks. I do quite a bit of commuting to work and audiobooks help keep me awake and alive.

A Glimpse of Jesus by Brennan Manning, Rating: 5/5. This was the first book I finished this month but I didn’t start it this January. Actually I started it in January of last year after my wife had purchased it for me for Christmas. Taking a year to read such a short book seems a bit ridiculous but I feel like theological and self-improvement books are best consumed slowly. So you can savor the words and let them impact you over an extended period of time. After all if you were attempting to learn how to play the guitar you wouldn’t go through an entire instruction book in one day and expect to know how to play the guitar would you? The same is true of books that deal in matters of faith and just better living in general .

But about the book itself…I had never heard of Brennan Manning until he passed away on April 12th, 2013 when a couple of my Facebook friends posted some thoughts on how he had impacted their lives. That led me on a search to figure out who Manning was and when I read a couple paragraphs from A Glimpse of Jesus on Amazon, I knew that it was a book that I needed to read. I was not disappointed either, Brennan Manning had such a simple and effective way of explaining Gospel truth and God’s love for His people.

The God of All Comfort by Dee Brestin, Rating: 1/5. Due to some tragic circumstances within my family I decided to seek out a book about dealing with personal tragedy from a Christian world view. Unfortunately this book didn’t connect with me at all. It is more of an autobiography with excerpts from Dee Brestin’s journal that jumps back and forth in time as she attempts to adapt the journal into a product with commercial viability. I don’t often give up on books but after forcing myself to stick with it 3/4 of the way through, I finally gave up. Perhaps others could find value in it but it wasn’t for me.

Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer, Rating: 5/5. I also read 3 books from the Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer. The books are aimed at young adults but are a good enough read for adults to enjoy as well.  Specifically I read The Eternity Code, The Opal Deception, and The Lost Colony. The books follow the adventures of Artemis Fowl, an Irish teenager with suspect morals whose life becomes entangled in the affairs of elves, dwarfs and other mythical creatures. I highly recommend these books as a fun quick read.

The Maze Runner by James Dashner, Rating 4/5. I had never heard of this book until seeing the movie title at a Redbox and decided to check out the book first. I enjoyed The Maze Runner but have to acknowledge that the subject matter of the book definitely stretches the limits of what my mind is willing to accept as a plausible scenario for the characters to be in. Still, it is enjoyable and I look forward to watching the movie and reading the other books in the series.

Wow 6 books in one month! I can’t imagine that I will continue that pace all year but it is a good start anyway. I’m not sure what books will be in February yet other than the first couple that I am getting a jump start on.