So in case you haven't noticed, there's six books that I read this past summer that I did not have the opportunity to review. In order to effectively rank them from best to worst, I wanted to introduce the novels properly. Yes, I've taken valuable time away from my Christmas just for you guys! (That's okay, though, I needed a break from stuffing my face with food anyway!)
I decided to do mini-reviews for two books at a time, starting with two science-fiction young adult novels: A Wizard of Mars by Diane Duane and Artemis Fowl: The Atlantis Complex by Eoin Colfer.
A Wizard of Mars (Rating: 3.5 out of 5)
This ninth installment in Duane's Young Wizard series, published in 2010, takes teenage wizards Nita and Kit back to Mars to learn about the planet's alien species. Unfortunately, they're caught up in a galactic conflict which could destroy Earth in the process. Although it seemed like Duane did her research on the red planet extremely well, I'm getting tired of this series. I've been reading it since middle school, but it began in 1983, and many of the novels seem to take the form of "filler" stories. Duane herself has admitted that she sees no end in sight, and writes as she goes. So what started out as magical has become stale and without purpose. However, I still love these characters and hope that Nita and Kit get a real romance going soon. Maybe a bit of outlining on the author's part will give this series the structure it so desperately needs and will maintain my attention span for a few more years.
Artemis Fowl: The Atlantis Complex (Rating: 3 out of 5)
This seventh and penultimate novel in Eoin Colfer's series, also published in 2010, hit a new low. I have loved this tale of boy genius Artemis Fowl, but now this boy is a teenager suffering from "the Atlantis Complex," a psychological fairy syndrome with symptoms such as OCD and split personalities. He creates an alter ego called "Orion," who is a flamboyant, obnoxious character with Don Quixote-esque delusions of adventure and romance. Meanwhile, Butler and Juliet fight luchadores in Mexico, and Turnball Root concocts a scheme to save his aging human wife Leonor. Overall, this novel suffers from the same staleness as A Wizard of Mars, but thankfully the final book--The Last Guardian--will be released sometime next year. I wish Colfer would ditch his overly moral storyline on global warming and return to us the mischievous Artemis we all fell in love with, but I highly doubt that'll happen.
So these two science-fiction novels, although drastically different in subject matter and writing style, fell victim to the same weakness of becoming tiring after so many years into their respective sagas. But if you've been a fan of Duane or Colfer, I trust you'll be following them to the very end.