Posts Tagged ‘stories’

Normally I like to start out with the first book in a series, and then move on to another series just to keep things fresh. At a later time, I often revisit the second book, but in this case I made an exception. Why? Simple. I couldn’t wait. I wanted to see what happened next.

In the previous story of Artemis Fowl, we have a boy with a sick mother and a lost (presumed dead) father. The family happens to have a history of thievery, and Artemis takes advantage of his position in the most peculiar way: by going after Irish myths, which just so happen to contain a certain amount of truth. One of which is the existence of elves and “LEPrecon” gold. Things didn’t go the way he had hoped, but in the end, Artemis was victorious.

Story overview:

Artemis is a year older and a little wiser. In fact, for a thirteen-year-old, his IQ has no equal, but he is still a child and the desire to find his father continues to burn. One day, while frustrating the school’s psychologist, Artemis receives a call from Butler, his faithful body guard and closest friend. Artemis learns that his father was captured by the Russian Mafia and is being held for ransom.

Thankfully for Artemis, several leagues underground, the LEPrecon is experiencing troubles of their own when goblins show up with outlawed weapons. Captain Holly Short suspects Artemis as their supplier, but soon discovers his innocence. The situation puts Artemis in a good position to offer aid to the LEPrecon in return for their help with his father.

Things go from bad to worse as the true minds behind the attacks are discovered by Foaly—the intelligent centaur in charge of technology—but a little too late, as Foaly is setup to take the blame for the incident. With help from the dwarf, Mulch Diggums; Artemis; Commander Julius Root; and Butler, put away their differences to try and save the Lower Elements and Artemis’s father.

My thoughts:

I was surprised that I actually liked this book better than the first one. The story took on an entirely different plot scheme from the last novel, and was even more exciting. Both are page turners and worthy of a good mention. I will for sure be putting the third novel on my list of must reads. As of now, a seventh book is scheduled to be released on July 20, 2010, so I have some catching up to do.

Things to consider:

There is very little I would consider questionable in this book. Safely share this with your twelve-year-old, teens, and even your peers. Enjoyable for all ages.

Opportunities for discussion:

“R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what that means to me.” The old 1967 song by Aretha Franklin touches upon an important theme in this book. Artemis happens to be a genius, and because of this, he finds it difficult to look up to anyone as his equal. Later in the novel, Artemis discovers that he has the utmost respect for Butler, who is able to perform tasks that Artemis can only dream about. This is a great time to ask your children who they respect and why. You may be surprised.

Past reviews in this series:

1) Artemis Fowl (Artemis Fowl, Book 1) by Eoin Colfer

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MagicA common question I hear from Christians is whether or not it’s “evil” to use magic in stories.

To quote a fellow writer: “I think a lack of understanding and the continual problem of confusing fantasy magic and myth with the real world continues to plague many Christians. Pretty much every fantasy book I’ve read deals with a fantastic sort of magic that absolutely has no real world component.”

I look at fantasy magic as just another tool. If I pick up a rock I have a decision to make: Do I drop it; do I keep it for decoration; do I throw it at someone walking by? The rock itself is just a rock, a tool. How I use it is based on my “will to use it”. As the rock leaves my hand and cracks the skull of my victim, what becomes evil is my will to throw it.

Magic’s appeal is that it provides a more powerful tool for exercising one’s will, and in a fantasy setting, it adds depth to the story. The main difference between using fantasy magic and a rock is the source of its power. One can throw a rock by their physical body; flexing their muscles and tendons. How one manipulates fantasy magic is really left up to the author. In my Wizard story, I intend to demonstrate the power behind magic from two different sources: evil and good. In doing so the character may find that the power of evil is easier to tap into, but it corrupts, contorts and darkens the individual’s soul. But in the end, the character will discovery that it’s all about doing the will of God, not their own.

It is the responsibility of each and every parent to inform their child/children of the difference between real-world and make-believe situations. Stories teach our kids important lessons in life, and they have the great advantage of being able to use elements unnatural to our world. Christ told stories—parables—so that people could understand the ways of God in a format they would relate to. So let’s stop looking for the next “witch hunt”, where we point fingers and say, “it’s evil, it’s evil! It uses magic!!”, and start to use these opportunities to expand important lessons in our Childrens lives.