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Eoin Colfer – The Supernaturalist

August 17, 2008

100. The Supernaturalist by Eoin Colfer (2004)

Read By: Chiwetel Ejiofor
Length: 6h 41m (267 pages)

Genre: Young Adult; Science Fiction

Started: 14 August 2008
Finished: 16 August 2008

Summary: In Satellite City, a huge metropolis controlled by the Myishi Corp. satellite hovering overhead, private teams of rapid-response lawyers arrive at crime scenes before the city police, suspects are tagged with guns that shoot immobilizing cellophane wrap, and all manner of horrible substances are product-tested on the city’s “no-sponsor” orphans. Cosmo Hill is a 14-year old orphans, until the day when a malfunction of the satellite causes an accident, allowing him to escape from his sadistic keepers. Unfortunately, his escape attempt goes wrong, and he has to be rescued by The Supernaturalists – a rag-tag group including an ex-gang member mechanic, a 28-year-old stuck in the body of a 6-year-old due to genetic manipulation, and a moody obsessive ex-police cadet. Their mission is to hunt and destroy the parasites: blue creatures only they – and Cosmo – can see, that suck the life force from injured people… and are multiplying out of control.

Review: This is the second Eoin Colfer book I’ve read (the other is Half-Moon Investigations), and although I haven’t read the Artemis Fowl books for which he’s most famous, what’s impressed me the most so far is his ability to write relatively gender-neutral young adult books that are slick, intelligent, funny, believable, and most importantly, don’t talk down to their audience. The Supernaturalist is not a whiz-bang stand-out, but I liked the characters, thought the world-building was creative and self-consistent, laughed more than once, and got absorbed enough in the plot that I barely noticed the time passing (important when on a long-distance drive!). Parts of the ending I predicted almost from the outset, but there were still enough twists and turns to keep me surprised and interested. Also, I thought Chiwetel Ejiofor (yes, the actor) did a very nice job with the narration, doing a good job making the characters distinguishable and giving the book a bit of gravitas it might not have had on its own. 4 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: I didn’t love this book, but I definitely enjoyed it, and sometimes that’s all you really need. Not an “oh-my-god-you-must-read-this-NOW” recommendation, but if you’re in the mood for a dose of quick-reading young-adult sci-fi escapism, Eoin Colfer’s The Supernaturalist is definitely a name to keep in mind.

This Review on LibraryThing | This Book on LibraryThing | This Book on Amazon

Other Reviews: BookMoot, Through the Looking Glass, Traci’s Book Bag, Book Review Now

First Line: Satellite City: The City of the Future, proclaimed the billboards.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Anna permalink
    August 19, 2008 1:14 am

    definitely try ‘Artemis Fowl’. ‘The Supernaturalist’ has a lot of elements in common with it but ‘Artemis Fowl’ has a much more interesting main character and just had me glued to the page in a way ‘The Supernaturalist’ couldn’t manage. Considering you like ‘The Supernaturalist’ reasonably well I think you’ll find that ‘Artemis Fowl’ has the whiz-bang stand-out factor you’re looking for.

  2. August 19, 2008 11:13 am

    I didn’t much like the Artemis Fowl books, I read the first two and was sort of done with Coifer. I don’t read much Y/A fiction though, so maybe I was just being hypercritical.

  3. August 20, 2008 12:19 pm

    I’ll have to try the Artemis Fowl books – they’ve certainly been on my mental list for a while, but I was a little leery about starting a series, so instead I’ve been picking of Colfer’s stand-alones.

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