Middle Grade Books

Deny All Charges by Eoin Colfer – Book Review

This is the second book in the Fowl Twins series and I just love being back in this world.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Artemis’s little brothers Myles and Beckett borrow the Fowl jet without permission, and it ends up as a fireball over Florida. The twins plus their fairy minder, the pixie-elf hybrid Lazuli Heitz, are lucky to escape with their lives.

The Fowl parents and fairy police force decide that enough is enough and the twins are placed under house arrest. But Myles has questions, like: who was tracking the Fowl jet? Why would someone want to blow them out of the sky? These questions must infuriate someone, because Myles is abducted and spirited away from his twin.

Now Beckett and Lazuli must collaborate to find Myles and rescue him – not easy when it was Myles who was the brains of the operation. Their chase will take them across continents, deep underground, and into subaquatic super villain lairs. They will be shot at, covered in spit, and at the receiving end of some quite nasty dwarf sarcasm. But will Beckett be able to come up with a genius plan without a genius on hand…? 

The nostalgia of my childhood from reading Artemis Fowl books and then getting to see how the twins are similar and yet so different from Artemis. I love the dynamic between Myles and Beckett and how they are so different from each other but know each other so well. I love their relationship so much. They each have different strengths and they work so seamlessly together and know that each have different strengths.

The fact that Myles is the brains and Beckett is the brawn and yet in this book they were forced to swap roles made us see each of them in a new light and I loved seeing this other side of them. It increased the stakes and I was truly worried about them at some points in the story.

Eoin Colfer is great at making us second guess ourselves and what we think is happening in the story. We may think we know what’s going to happen but then it takes us completely by surprise. I just loved that so much. How no one is truly a trustworthy narrator and who are truly the “bad guys.”

These books are full of morally grey characters including Myles who’s motivations we can never truly trust and it is often Beckett who keeps him toeing the line to completely go full criminal mastermind. I really loved that about Myles that while he has ulterior motives he still has a moral compass which makes him ensure the safety of others at times putting himself in danger to save the others.

This story is action packed and full of snarky, sarcastic characters which will have you laughing out loud. I love the writing style and sassy characters especially when you see two young boys sassing adults and even fairies because they always underestimate the twins.

This book is fast paced, a great story and wonderfully interesting characters that will leave you wanting more, long after you finish the book.

Fiction Books, Middle Grade Books

The Fowl Twins by Eoin Colfer – ARC Review

I won this ARC at YALC this summer and I literally died of excitement because the Artemis Fowl series is one of my favourite childhood books and I am so happy that I was able to get an ARC!

Reading this book was such a nostalgic experience and I have absolutely missed being in this world and Artemis’ siblings are every bit as sassy and sarcastic as he was and wow I just loved this book!

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Rating: 5/5

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Criminal genius runs in the family…
Myles and Beckett are eleven-year-old twins, but the two boys are wildly different. Beckett is blonde, messy and sulks whenever he has to wear clothes. Myles is fanatically neat, he has an IQ of 170, and he wears a fresh suit every day like his older brother, Artemis Fowl.
Perhaps you have heard of the Fowl family and their adventures?
This Fowl adventure is filled with the most unusual of individuals: an immortal duke, a miniature troll, a nunterrogator and a Police Specialist that’s 42% elf. And of course, the Fowl twins – one a certified genius with a criminal leaning, and the other possessing an unusual talent that has not been fully explored… yet!
Here begins the second documented cycle of Fowl Adventures.

Well, this book had me hooked right from the beginning, I ended up reading it in 2 evenings because I just could not put it down! If you read the Artemis Fowl series you will be familiar with this world and what type of crazy mayhem to expect and this book certainly takes you on a wild ride.

Eoin’s writing is sassy and sarcastic and I really love his writing style, it sucks you into the story and keeps you reading. I especially think that young kids and teens will love this type of writing style as it will immerse them into the story because it is fun and make them laugh, this book is hilarious! It has a sarcastic humour which is totally my type of thing.

It was also a great introduction to Myles and Beckett who are twins but very different from each other. Myles is like Artemis was when we first met him, and Beckett is very different but also pretty much a mystery. So while we can imagine what Myles might do and behave, it was more difficult to try to figure out what Beckett would do. It was interesting to slowly learn more about Beckett and realise he may actually be pretty smart, more than what Myles gives him credit for. I really loved them both and the faerie we meet in this that is obviously meant to be what Holly was for Artemis.

Fowl and fairy, fairy and Fowl, friends forever

This book left me feeling so nostalgic for Artemis and missing his adventures with Holly and Butler especially as we get small glimpses of who he is now and while he isn’t actually there the scenes made feel really proud of him.

This story is action packed, with great characters and full of sarcastic, witty humour. It’s inventive and I really can’t wait for the next book! I hope we get to see some Holly, Butler and Artemis scenes in this series too!

Adult Books, Fiction Books

Highfire by Eoin Colfer – ARC Review

Thank you to netgalley and Quercus Books for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Having grown up reading the Artemis Fowl books and absolutely loving them, I just had to read Eoin’s first adult fantasy book and it did not disappoint!

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Rating: 4.5/5

Synopsis:

Squib Moreau may be swamp-wild, but his intentions are (generally) good: he really wants to be a supportive son to his hard-working momma Elodie. But sometimes life gets in the way – like when Fake Daddy walked out on them leaving a ton of debt, or when crooked Constable Regence Hooke got to thinking pretty Elodie Moreau was just the gal for him…
An apprenticeship with the local moonshine runner, servicing the bayou, looks like the only way to pay off the family debts and maybe get Squib and his momma a place in town, far from Constable Hooke’s unwanted courtship and Fake Daddy’s reputation.
Unfortunately for Squib, Hooke has his own eye on that very same stretch of bayou – and neither of them have taken into account the fire-breathing dragon hiding out in the Louisiana swamp…
For Squib Moreau, Regence Hooke and Vern, aka Lord Highfire of Highfire Eyrie, life is never going to be the same again.

I had no idea what to expect when I started reading this book but I ended up loving it! It will take you on a wild ride! There’s a dragon who is sarcastic and witty. A teenage boy who has gotten himself into a situation that’s way over his head and a corrupt police officer that will do whatever it takes to get what he wants.

It starts off at a slower pace where we are introduced to the characters and get a sense of the type of people, or dragon, they are. Vern is grumpy and has no patience for the humans who keep making his life difficult when he just wants to watch cable and drink his vodka in peace. His quiet life becomes very chaotic when Squib crash lands into it and he has to deal with all that Squib brings with him.

Squib loves his mama and just wants to help her get out of debt, he’s smart but has no focus and no real male role models in his life. He becomes a little desperate when Hooke tries to date his mama and doesn’t take no for an answer so he does everything he can to enable them moving from where they live.

Hooke is other main character in this and we get to see things from his point of view too so we can truly see how driven he is in his greed for wealth and power. We see how truly psychotic he is and how he will kill anyone who gets in his way and one day that happens to be Squib.

There is also a host of other characters we get to see including Waxman who is Vern’s only real friend. I really loved seeing all the different characters interact with each other and how all their separate lives become intertwined. Each character is complex and there is more to them than we first think. They’re all morally grey characters though Hooke is most definitely not a good guy in any way.

I loved Vern, he is struggling with the fact that he is the only dragon left alive. He used to be a Lord and now he spends his days living in a swamp. He suffers from depression and has suicidal thoughts which I think was handled really well.

I actually saw lots of parallels between society today in the story from immigration and a sense of belonging to corruption in law enforcement. It dealt with how being different can make you isolated and lonely. How everyone wants to belong in a society. It was really interesting to see how these were all written into the story.

This book is dark, brutal and violent at times, but also filled with hope and finding where you belong. Obviously I loved how dragons were included as it’s such a unique take and it made it so fresh and interesting! It is a more character driven story but it does get a lot more fast paced in the second half leading to an explosive ending! I really hope we get more in this world because I really want to know what happens to Vern.

Book Recommendations

Books I Love By Authors In The UK – Part 2

This is the second part to discussing books that are written by UK authors. I think that they deserve all the love so go read these books!

You can read part 1 here

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1 Reasons to Stay Alive & Notes on a Nervous Planet by Matt Haig – I absolutely love his work and how open he is about mental health. I highly recommend reading his books.

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2 No Big Deal by Bethany Rutter – I loved the body positivity in her book so much! Everyone should read this! You can read my review here

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3 The Loneliest Girl in the Universe & The Quiet at the End of the World by Lauren James – I love all her books but my favourite is definitely Loneliest Girl and Quiet at the End of the World. You can read my review for Quiet here

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4 The Hormone Diaries by Hannah Witton – I love the work she does and her book was so insightful and I definitely recommend it!

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5 Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer – One of my childhood favourite books! I absolutely adore this series and I am so excited for the spinoff. I also read his new adult fantasy book and I loved that too! You can read my review for Artemis Fowl here

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6 The Extinction Trials by S.M. Wilson – A book with dinosaurs! Obviously I would love this trilogy! It is fast paced and action packed and if you love dinosaurs then you need to read these!

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7 The State of Sorrow by Melinda Salisbury – This book was one that came in a book box and took me by surprise! I really loved it!

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8 It’s All in your Head by Rae Earl – A book about mental health written specially for the youth. It covers topics that are relevant to the youth so this one I definitely recommend reading.

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9 Are We All Lemmings and Snowflakes by Holly Bourne – Holly has so many books but this one is my favourite! Another book that has wonderful complex mental health rep and I especially loved how she wrote about being kind to each other and yourself. You can read my review here

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10 Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz – Another childhood book that I loved and so excited to see the series is being continued.

So I will probably be writing a part 3 soon! Please do let me know any authors from the UK that you love!

Friday Favourites

Friday Favourites – Movie or TV Adaptations

This is hosted by Something of the Book who created this tag out of a love for lists. There are different topics for us all to be able to take part and you can find the prompts here.

There isn’t a specific number of favourites so it’s entirely up to you how many you share. You can share your most or least favourites too!

For this post I thought I would share books that I would love to see being made into a film or tv show and ones that I am looking forward to seeing that are already being made!

I am always nervous about seeing my favourite shows be adapted as it can go really well or horribly wrong! But if I didn’t need to worry about that then these are the ones I would love to see!

1 Red Rising – Can we please make this into a tv show already?! It could be so epic!

2 The City of Brass – As long as they cast Alizayd properly I would fangirl so hard if this was made into a tv show. PoC and Muslim characters in a fantasy world, on tv? It would be amazing!

3 Ayesha at Last – Pride and Prejudice with Muslim characters that I already need to see made into a film. I need all the witty banter and the second hand embarrassment!

4 This Savage Song – I adore this duology and it would be pretty cool to see this as a film or tv show

5 Illuminae – Another book that would make an epic show!

6 Percy Jackson – Lets just pretend that the films don’t exist and make a great tv show from these books instead.

These adaptations are already being produced and I am hoping that they do the books justice!

1 His Dark Materials – The film was…not great…but I have high hopes for the show being produced!

2 Grishaverse – I am hoping that as Leigh Bardugo herself is part of the team that this amazing universe will be treated with the justice it deserves!

3 Artemis Fowl – Disney have made this into a film and I’m quite nervous about it as just from the trailers I can see they’ve changed things. I just hope it’s a good film.

So there you have it! What books would you want made into tv shows or films?