I bawled. Yes, I bawled at the conclusion of the Socket Greeny saga. I even sent the author a text stating that he had made me bawl.
Everything is a lie.
Socket, Chute and Streeter are young for the kind of lives they live. Socket has to take on more responsibilities in being a symbol for the Paladin Nation. But being seen as a super-hero isn’t that big of a deal for a teenager who would rather be with his friends. Unfortunately, being seen as a super-hero is a label Socket isn’t getting away from any time soon.
Socket’s super-hero status came from being able to distinguish reality from lies. Except, what do you do when you discover that the things you thought you knew about yourself are wrong? Everything you have been told is a lie. How do you then keep yourself transcended? With age I have discovered that most things we are told about the world and ourselves are false to one degree or another. For Socket this discovery comes abruptly and at a time when he thought life was finally looking up.
Yet, Socket keeps on going. Then serious trouble comes his way. Where does the line between human and artificial intelligence go? Could an AI become truly human? Bertauski asks this question, and it is one that researchers and laypeople have asked themselves a great many times. I find myself not really caring. Perhaps that is because autists have been and still are considered as less than human. Not that I believe for a second that autists would be more welcoming of AI’s than allistics. Not at all. But I wonder if I might?
Poor Socket Greeny. He is in for “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” and the pain that goes with that. Socket is also in for a whole lot of action and difficult choices. Not only the lies told to him by others will have to be faced but also the lies told to him by himself. Personally, I find those the most difficult ones to deal with. Somehow, being honest with myself is much more painful than being honest with others. But that honesty offers growth. Growth that aids Socket Greeny as he fights for survival against the terrifying creatures he encounters.
Definitely recommended. This is a serial, which means you will need to read the previous ones to understand The Legend of Socket Greeny.
The Breach is the first book in the trilogy about Travis Chase and Tangent.
Travis Chase is an ex-cop just out of prison. He is trying to decide whether to live close to or far from his brother. In trying to make up his mind, Travis takes a trip to the wilderness of Alaska where he feels that he will have the peace to think.
Ok, Ok! We all know that peace is not what will happen to Travis. We just know it. And of course we are correct. Travis wakes one morning and discovers a crashed airplane. When he gets down to the plane, Travis encounters dead people – all of them shot.
When he sees who the the last person he gets to is, Travis worries. This is the President of the USA’s wife, and she has been shot. On her he finds the message:
“I hope that someone from Tangent finds this. If you are anyone else, do not contact local authorities. Go to a phone as quickly as you can, dial …. Hostiles are torturing our two people for info within close range of this crash, they will not leave the area until they have broken them. (Not a guess, there is a reason they can’t leave before then.) …”
This is only part of the message, but you can probably see where the story is going. Travis is going to try to do what the note says and plenty of action will ensue. There is action galore in The Breach. Time/space questions arise and our ability to change our future will be explored in the plot of The Breach and the other two books of this trilogy.
I liked The Breach. It will never be one of my favorites, but it has appeal and I would recommend it. It has all of the ingredients a thriller needs and Lee keeps up the tempo throughout the book.
I started reading Artemis Fowl to my oldest son until he got into the whole reading thing himself. Once there, he took over and went through the books below. After I’d thoroughly brainwashed him, I set out to do the same with my youngest – first by reading to him and then through audiobooks. Audiobooks are a miracle for dyslectics. A dyslectic brain is just as brilliant as any other brain, it’s just the whole sorting letters into the right order thing that baffles them. Needless to say, I managed to convert my youngest as well. You’ve probably guessed by now that I’m a fan of Eoin Colfer’s creation of the less than legal character of Artemis.
Artemis Fowl II is the main character of Eoin Colfer’s Artemis Fowl series. Artemis is a teenage criminal mastermind on the lookout for enough gold to restore his family fortune. He considers himself fairly wicked, but as the series progresses we see that there is plenty of good deeds to balance the bad. My kids loved all of the tricks he played on both his friends and enemies. We have not read it yet, but the conclusion to the series was released in July 2012 – The Last Guardian.
Eoin Colfer begins our journey into the world of Artemis Fowl II in the novel Artemis Fowl. Some of the characters we meet will appear in all of the novels while some of them we’ll only see in a few of them. His faithful bodyguard, Butler is one of the characters that will appear again and again.
Artemis is 12 years old. His father is an Irish crime lord, Artemis Fowl, who has disappeared. Through research Artemis thinks he can prove the existence of faeries and when he tracks down The Book of the People he has his proof.
Artemis decodes the book – only natural for someone of his genius – and travels the world looking for locations for a magic-restoring ritual. They discover and capture Captain Holly Short who is out restoring her magic. Holly is then brought to Fowl mansions. The faeries are not pleased with Artemis and sends a crack team (LEP) to recover her.
A graphic novel adaptation was released in 2007. A film adaptation was reported to be in the writing stage in mid-2008, with Jim Sheridan directing.
W. H. Smith Book Award
British Book Award
Whitbread Book of the Year Award: Shortlist
Lancashire County Library Children’s Book Award: Shortlist
Bisto Book of the Year: Shortlist
New York Times Best-Selling Series
Massachusetts Children’s Book Award Master List (2003)
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books Blue Ribbon Award (2001)
In The Arctic Incident, Artemis is a year older (13). We once again meet Butler, Captain Holly Short and Commander Julius Root.
Artemis is set up to take the blame for supplying contraband to goblins. When Artemis and Butler defeat the real baddy, the LEP decides to help Artemis recover his father from the Russian mafia. The rescue group is ambushed by goblins.
It becomes apparent that Opal Koboi of Koboi laboratories is involved somehow, leaving it to Artemis and Holly to figure out how to save the day – both for Artemis’ father and the LEP.
The story in Eternity Code happens shortly after the Arctic Incident. While Artemis has changed somewhat since the first book, he still loves to scheme and steal from the fairies. Artemis has created a supercomputer which he calls the “C-Cube”. It gets stolen and in the process Butler is killed. However, Artemis comes to rescue – along with a bit of fairy magic.
Artemis convinces the fairies to help him recover the Cube and they agree – but with one condition. Artemis is to be left with no memory of the fairy world.
Our lovely Opal Koboi (from The Arctic Incident) has gotten away from the asylum where she was being held by the LEP.
She then sets out to revenge herself on Commander Root, Captain Short, Artemis and Butler.
Holly is desperate for help and turns to Artemis – against the wishes of the LEP. The only problem is that Artemis is left with no memory of the fairy world.
While Artemis likes to think of himself as someone who chooses to do bad, it turns out he is a softy after all. He is still full of trouble and deviousness, but it is difficult to come out of reading the book and not liking Artemis. Mulch provides all the laughs a kid could need.
Artemis and Butler are demonhunting. He is somehow able to predict when a demon materializes. This comes to the attention of our trusted Foaly. This brings Holly and Mulch (who now have their own PI business) into the story.
In the meantime, there is trouble on Hybras (demon island where time is nonexistent). However, it seems that the spell holding Hybras in stasis is fraying and an answer to the problem is needed. Bullying is a favorite pastime, and No1 is one of the victims. He is convinced to come to the human world.
Right now, its glaringly obvious that everyone is going to meet – probably with a huge bang somewhere. The Artemis series does have a habit of loads of action and humor. Thankfully Colfer is keeping up the good work.
When Artemis’ mom contracts a fatal disease, Artemis turns to the fairies for help. Unfortunately the only cure to the disease is through the silky sefaka lemur of Madagascar. It is extinct. The last specimen was killed 8 years ago with the help of Artemis. Talk about the past coming back to haunt you.
Through lies and deception, Artemis gets the fairies to help him time travel. The goal is to save the lemur – hopefully for good. Holly and Artemis go back in time and need to avoid their younger selves.
Everything has a price, so too Artemis’ lies to Holly. Colfer portrays this rather well. He also brings up the issue of the cost of abusing our environment. I find myself wanting to preach here, but The Time Paradox does a much better job of illustrating the issue.
One of the consequences of The Time Paradox is that Artemis is left with a clearer sense of responsibility toward the environment.
When Artemis unveils the Ice Cube – an invention to stop global warming – the fairies discover that Artemis has developed something called Atlantis Complex (including OCD, paranoia and split personality). Artemis has a break-down during the presentation. Holly and Mulch are left taking care of things, while Artemis is dealing with his episode.
In the meantime, Butler is on an adventure in Mexico. Artemis tricked into travelling to help Butler’s sister. Turns out it was a good thing after all.
Rincewind is one of the funnest and funniest characters of the Discworld. In spite of the
Rincewind is a self-acknowledged coward whose running abilities fit with his cowardice.
He was not the brightest student at the Unseen University. In fact the other wizards claimed that Rincewind is “the magical equivalent to the number zero”. He does have one magical formula in his head – one of the Eight Great Spells. Unfortunately, the formula must never be used.
Rincewind is both the luckiest and unluckiest of characters. Lady Luck is kind of on his side, and Rincewind’s ability to frustrate all of Death’s plans are next to none. In fact, Rincewind’s hourglass of life is the only one that is not hourglass shaped.
Rincewind’s constant companion is the Luggage, a pearwood chest that walks and acts as Rincewind’s bodyguard. During his many unexpected trips to fairly unusual places, Rincewind has great need of this protection.
The first of the Discworld books is The Colour of Magic. In it Terry Pratchett set out to make fun of the many cliches in fantasy and science fiction. When I first started reading The Colour of Magic, I hadn’t gotten that part of it. But when I went back to it with this necessary knowledge, I laughed (well, giggled) a whole lot.
“In a distant and second-hand set of dimensions, in an astral plane that was never meant to fly, the curling star-mists waver and part …”
Right off the tone is set. I must have been terribly dense not to have seen the humour my first time through, but there you are – once an airhead always an airhead.
And so we get our first look at A’Tuin, upon whom the Discworld rests. Now that Pratchett has shown us the glory of his world, it is time for him to give us the story of Rincewind – one of many.
Rincewind meets Twoflower in the Broken Drum. Twoflower is a tourist from the Counterweight Continent. Noticing the stranger’s language problem, Rincewind helps the man and is hired as Twoflower’s guide. Recognizing potential trouble, Rincewind tries to flee the city, but is caught by the Patrician who orders him to protect Twoflower.
Through a series of mishaps, Rincewind and Twoflower end up having to flee Ankh-Morpork. From there their journey takes them into and out of the embrace of Death time and again. They are hunted by trolls, bears, demons, dragons and believers.
A graphic novel, illustrated by Steven Ross and adapted by Scott Rockwell, was published by Corgi in 1992.
The Mob Film Company and Sky One have produced a two-part adaptation, combining both The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic broadcast over Easter 2008.
In 1986 Piranha Games published The Colour of Magic as a text adventure game developed by Delta 4.
A video game titled Discworld: The Colour of Magic was released on mobile phones in 2006.
The Light Fantastic begins where The Colour of Magic left off. Rincewind and Twoflower are once again trying to survive one of their stunts.
Back at the Unseen University in Ankh-Morpork something really strange is happening. One of the extremely dangerous magic books is beginning to leak and the wizards are terrified of the consequences. When the leakage causes the UU to be flooded they realise something has to be done.
The book with the Eight Great Spells decides to take matters into its own pages, and rescues Rincewind and Twoflower from their predicament. That does not mean that Rincewind, Twoflower and the Luggage are out of trouble. Indeed, druids, mercenaries, Cohen the Barbarian, Death, the Four Horsemen, trolls, crazed villagers, a magical shop, Things all have to be encountered before they can go home.
If you’ve read a bit of English litterature from the pre-1986 era, you’ll probably recognize the references made in The Light Fantastic. But even without that knowledge, it’s easy to see that Pratchett makes fun of religion, philosophy, insurance and myths.
A graphic novel illustrated by Steven Ross and Joe Bennet, was published by Corgi in 1993.
The books are full of references. If you go to L-Space you’ll find annotations, quotations, essays and all sorts of goodies on all of the Discworld books.
A sourcerer is the eight son of an eight son of an eight son. A wizard squared. A source of magic.
Isplore (father of the sourceror) refuses to go with Death when it comes. Instead he decides to steer his son’s destiny by imbuing his wizard’s staff with his spirit. Poor little Coin. His future has already been decided for him by his father.
Back at the Unseen University a new Archchancellor is to be “elected”. Rincewind and the Librarian are working with the books in the library. The books and shelves are restless. As he leaves the library, he notices a couple of other disturbing event. Ravens are cawing and all the vermin is leaving the Unseen University. Rincewind tries to warn the bursar, who unsurprisingly does not believe him.
When he is unable to get the administration to believe that something is afoot, Rincewind does his usual desperate disappearing act. He and the librarian withdraw to the Mended Drum (used to be the Broken Drum).
Parents! What can you do about parents? No matter how much you fight them, somehow they find a way to impose their will. In Sourcery, you’ll see quite a bit of Ipsilore trying to do just that to Coin. Holding all that power is quite a challenge for a boy trying to find his way in the world. His choices will make or break the Discworld.
“Death fancied that he heard, very briefly, the sound of running feet and a voice saying, no a voice thinking oshitoshitoshit, I’m gonna die I’m gonna die I’m gonna DIE!” When he focuses his gaze, all he says is: “OH, … IT’S HIM”. Yes, you’ve guessed it. Death’s favorite non-dier – in fact the only one – Rincewind.
In Ankh-Morpork, something invisible is running through the town, yelling at the top of its voice. The wizards try the Rite of AshkEnte (calling on Death) to find an answer. He tells them that Rincewind is caught in the Dungeon Dimensions, trying to get back home. The likelihood of that happening is a million to one. Hello! This is Rincewind we’re talking about.
What happens then. Well, Rincewind wakes up in a regular human sort of room caught in a magic circle. In fact, he is caught by a pimply teen-aged boy with a fake beard. This kid wants to have mastery of the kingdoms of the world, meet the most beautiful woman who has ever lived and wants to live forever.
He is about to get all wishes fulfilled, but not in the way he expected and both Eric and Rincewind may end up regretting that the conjurations was performed. What Eric Thursley will end up knowing all too much about is deception, bureaucracy and stupidity.
As the gods are playing games, with Fate winning as usual, the Lady turns up. She wants to play Mighty Empires with Fate, letting the dice roll deciding whether fate of luck will rule this time.
Mustrum Ridcully, Archchancellor of UU is called to see the Patrician of Ankh-Morpork. A Pointless Albatross has turned up with a message from the mysterious Agatean Empire, requesting the “Great Wizzard”. Vetinari wants Ridicully to send the Great Wizzard to the Counterweight Continent by tea-time, leaving the Archchancellor six hours to figure out who this wizzard is and get him on his way. Oh dear.
We all know who this “Great Wizzard” is, and Rincewind ends up in the Agatean Empire. Unfortunately Rincewind’s wizardly talents seem to have grown in the telling and he seems sadly wanting for the role Agatean people want him to fill. He is supposed to step in as a leader of the revolution. Well, the Agatean people are in for a surprise and so is Rincewind. Of all the people Rincewind should meet on the Counterweight Continent, Cohen the Barbarian and his compatriots turn up.
It’s winter and cold season in Ankh-Morpork. At the Unseen University the Librarian has caught a bug. Each time he sneezes, he changes shape – into anything. The wizards are at a loss, and the only one who has been able to communicate effectively with the Librarian is, you guessed it, Rincewind.
Rincewind, however, is somewhere else. At the moment he is digging a hole – more or less looking for opals. The other opal miners know him as Strewth. When Strewth uncovers something that looks like a giant opal, the other opal-miners cheer. Then the opal cracks open and lots of little feet appear.
Back at the Unseen University the wizards are their usual bumbling selves looking for Rincewind. Searching has uncovered a window to somewhere delightful. A beach with clear blue water and lies behind a window in the room of the Egregious Professor of Cruel and Unusual Geography. Since they are wizards they climb through. When Mrs. Whitlow arrives with sandwiches, she closes the window and they are all stuck. Now they have to find their way back, somehow, back to the future.
Rincewind/Strewth and the luggage are off on their adventures. One of the funniest ones is a shearing episode with our talented Rincewind. There is also a delightful one that reminds me an incredibly of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.
The last installment in the Rincewind series is The Last Hero. My copy has been illustrated by Paul Kidby and is beautiful in a Discworldian manner. Vetinari receives a message from the Agatean Empire.
Cohen the Barbarian has set out on a quest with the Silver Horde. “Fingers” Mazda stole fire from the gods and gave it to mankind, and was chained to a rock to be torn open daily by a giant eagle as punishment. As the last heroes remaining on the Disc, the Silver Horde seek to return fire to the gods with interest, in the form of a large sled packed with explosive Agatean Thunder Clay. They plan to blow up the gods at their mountain home, Cori Celesti.
Vetinari organises an effort to stop the Horde and Leonard of Quirm (Vetinari’s tame inventor) to design the Discworld’s second known spacecraft to slingshot under the Discworld and back around the top, landing on Cori Celesti. Rincewind, Carrot and the Librarian are slung off to save the world.
While the third and final book in the Nulapeiron Sequence, “Resolution” lacks the brilliance of “Context“, “Resolution” is certainly a well-crafted book. Meaney’s work is moving, engaging and interesting. He manages to braid his thoughts on time and space into the text in a manner that fits in with the rest of the book. This is quite a feat.
Tom Corcorigan leads a complicated life. He’s on top or he’s at the bottom of the social ladder. His life is never the same from moment to moment. Love, friendship and home can change in an instant. I’m glad I’m not he. As in the previous books, we also get a look into the lives of the pilots.
In “Context” the Blight was defeated. But Tom is certain the war has not been won. He is worried that the Anomaly, the mother of the Blights, is on its way to Nulapeiron. There is no-one else that will believe him when he tries to convince them of the seriousness of the situation. Losing his demesne has made life a bit more challenging for him and Elva, but when his friend Corduven dies that all changes. Now they finally have the chance to influence matters. And what do you know, the Anomaly appears. From there on the action is non-stop.
The Nulapeiron is an intense series. The reader is drawn into Meaney’s world and kept there by the force of his words. His science fiction is fun and weird.
Wow. This book is gold. “Context” is book no. 2 of the “Nulapeiron Sequence”. As such it is the continuation of the story about Tom Corcorigan. This story keeps getting better and better. Meaney blends philosophy with action and obsession beautifully. In Context he manages to keep the text flowing in a manner above and beyond most authors. What a gift.
Tom is healed from devastating injury. His security chief, Elva comes along. Unfortunately, she is killed on that trip. This becomes a defining moment for Tom. He realises his love/passion/obsession with Elva. When it turns out that somehow Elva has survived, but that her mind has been transferred to the body of her twin sister. Tom goes off hunting Elva. In the process he becomes one of the most important tools in the fight against the Blight.
Of course, there are many stages of learning for Tom. One does not blithely meet with something as powerful as the Blight. One of the many tools aiding Tom is the mu-space crystal that he got hold off in “Paradox“. From it we learn more about Ro and her role in the whole mystery.
Hard-core science fiction has seldom been more fun. Please, please read this trilogy if you have the chance.