I will amend this review once I have completed the book. However, at this time I would just like to note that paying $2.22 more for the digital kindle version than for the hard back version of this novel just really irks me to no end...or, more precisely, irks me to the point that I voice my complaint with the only customer feedback tool I have available to me: an Amazon review.
That said, the digital version has missing words, poorly formatted paragraphs and mis-coded punctuation. All of this I can tolerate because I feel like I'm doing a good deed for Mother Earth, getting the product immediately, and avoiding the cost of shipping. Of course, the hardback ships for free using Amazon Prime but when I calculate the carbon footprint necessary to ship a 2 lb book all the way to North Africa, I just can't bring myself to save the money. At the same time, paying a two dollar premium for a crappier version of the real book is just incredibly irritating.
As promised, I am amending this review to reflect an assessment of the novel itself.
This is a novel somewhat darker than the previous ones offered in the series. I think Mr. Colfer was reaching for a particular mood (or perhaps even a shift in the tone of the series moving forward) that is somewhat more adult and mature. Artemis' problems reflect the end of his adolescence. As his struggles (while still identifiably Colfer in their zaniness), grow more serious, so does the tone of the narrative.
I wanted to pan this novel as being too great a departure from what made this young adult series so appealing. I wanted to accuse Mr. Colfer of "just mailing it in," but I've realized that the change in tone and the violence reflected in the story are intentional. I can't fault the author for going where his characters take him. Although I think many fans will find this novel somewhat unsettling, it is still a worthy read and I look forward to catching the next installment. I just won't be reading this one to my six year old.
My criticism of the kindle version remains in place and is the primary reason for the low rank. If a book is the sum of the narrative and presentation then a perfectly fine narrative was disrupted by sloppy editing and terrible formatting. The ebook is a legitimate format that is here to stay. The big publishing houses have absolutely no excuse for doing such a terrible job formatting and then charging such a high price premium. Shame on them.
- Paperback: 346 pages
- Publisher: Disney-Hyperion; Reprint edition (8 January 2019)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1368036945
- ISBN-13: 978-1368036948
- Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 2.5 x 19.3 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 299 g
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