This time the Chinese cover wins hands down. All of the Chinese covers are amazing. You can find them on amazon.cn if you want a look.
Another book era has passed. This time Artemis Fowl is the person we get to say goodbye to. All three of us fantasy-buffs in this family followed along through Time Paradox. My oldest and I kept at it until the end. And what an ending it was. What responses to the ending there have been. I wonder what it is like being Eoin Colfer and seeing the engagement of his readers.
In the case of my oldest son and I, we enjoyed the ending. Artemis Fowl had evolved as a character throughout the series and ended up in the place where he was destined to end. His frustration, helplessness and decisiveness during the story led him to the spot he came to (with a little help from his friends). Holly, Butler and Foaly are there for him as always. Even Foaly has come to rely on Artemis finding a solution when no solution appears possible.
Two of the characters I truly loved in Last Guardian were the twins. The scene with Juliet, Myles and Beckett by the tower was hilarious. An absolute gem. I pity Juliet beeing the bodyguard to this pair. Beckett really shines as a berserker. The images this four-year old brought forth in my mind – well funny doesn’t even cover it.
Another favorite in many of the books has been Mulch Diggums. His appearance here was no less gooey or fraught with lack of self-confidence than the others stories. There is something very grosse yet fascinating about glowing spit and smelly indestructibility.
Opal Koboi has always been a bit insane. In The Last Guardian she jumps off the edge of sanity and loses any grip on the world most of the rest of the cast sees. Opal has finally found the world of Opal Koboi and she intends to stay there and bring the rest of the world into it.
I feel the need to warn readers of the Redemption trilogy. Toward the end of Final Battle there is a violent scene that could trigger those of you who have experienced abuse (sexual). It is relevant to the story. Now you are warned. In spite of my warning, my personal belief is that the story of Reza Gard and his way toward his destiny can be read by older young adults and, of course, ancients like myself.
Reza’s near-death-experience and meeting with the First Empress put him in a coma and there he remained for the next half-year. Final Battlefelt as much about Jodi Mackenzie as about Reza. She has some rough times ahead of her but does her very best to be a person who remains true to what she considers honorable.
Honor is not something one would equate with Thorella (Reza’s arch-enemy) or the new president, Borge. These two are men who are so caught up in their own vision of reality that they have lost all grip on the real world. Sadly, they are both highly intelligent and extremely wealthy and therefore able to adjust the world to fit their psychosis. That is, up to a certain point. Hicks writes insanity and greed well.
Now that I think about it, I have met people like Thorella and Borge although these people have been without Thorella and Borge’s means. It is not an experience I would recommend. I prefer people who live with gentler versions of reality.
It turns out Reza has a son, the first male child born to Kreelans in 100000 years who is able to function in society. The Kreelan history is a tragic one. Even if they brought it upon themselves through the choices of their ancestors, the tragedy is still a fact. Now there is finally hope. Yet something is amiss with the Kreelans. They seem to have lost all interest in fighting. One might even say that they are experiencing a mass-depression.
Reza is essential to the Kreelan race. All that he has gone through has honed him into a key that is capable of unlocking their next step in evolution.
I am going to end this review by saying: When I started reviewing Empire I discovered I had forgotten a couple of things. I opened up my e-book and that was it. Michael R. Hicks forced me to read the trilogy again. That is a pretty mean trick when it comes to me. After all it had not been long since I read it the first time. I imagine Hicks is going to pull the same stunt the next time I open up Empire. This trilogy is a definite keep.
For some reason I absolutely loved this cover created by ?????
Shatterboyoriginally appeared in Circada in November 2005. It is a short and wonderful science fiction story about loss and letting go. Mr. Carter manages to pack quite a punch into his 8 pages. Such a fragile tale. This is a must-read.