First Book Review of 2019: Artemis Fowl
I was looking around a resale shop for books; as I do often and I found Artemis Fowl hardback first american edition. I follow Disney and knew that they were making this book into a movie that would be released later this year. I bought it on Friday and finished reading it, this weekend.
Worth the read for the first chapter alone. It is Juvenile in both meanings of the word. I will not however be reading any of the other books in the series or watch the movie, for I don't even think that Disney magic can save this book. If you have boys 12 and under this might be a good movie.
I really wanted to like this book. The first chapter presented such promise. Disney obviously understood that as this sequence is prominent in all of their trailers.
As I read on I was more and more disappointed. The book simply fell apart. Trying to hard, with little development. Then completely fell apart with each added technology and character that joined the story.
Perhaps the sarcasm through out was too heavy handed? Maybe it was the lack of narration or that the character development and story line took a back seat. Technology and too many bad ideas took over.
Perhaps it is because we have all been spoiled by Harry Potter or the Lemony Snicket's series where intellectual children are the stars, the worlds are well developed and all of the other characters were equally developed and their to serve a purpose, other then ridiculous subplots and random characters.
I won't deny that the original premise and imagination are great ideas, it was just the execution that fell apart. As an author I understand the difficulty. Too many great ideas, and not enough filters.
My final thought on the subject worth a read, skip the series. And unfortunately, skip the movie unless your a twelve year old boy.
K. A. Petentler
Remnants Publishing would like to say that All Reviews are the opinions of our artists and writers. We are open to all discussions and opinions of our readers.
All books reviews will be shared each Monday.
The next books on our list are:
The Lost Kingdom of Bamarre By Gail Carson Levine
( the sequel to the twins of Bamarre)
Mermaid by Carolyn Turgeon
Supplemented with The Mermaid Handbook
The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi
Supplemented with Star-Touched Stories
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As a writer there are moments, that solidify ones career. This is one of mine.
Artists inspire me, they create a visual that I can only do with my words. Above is one of mine. Years Ago I wrote a version of the little match girl. However I changed it from the cold, to the massive pollution.
So why does this make me remember why I write in the genre of fairy tales. Here is the answer. folklore, fairy tales and nursery rhymes were all written about major things that affected the writers in their times. A long standing tradition among fairy tale writers. It is one of the reasons that they stand the test of time; because nothing new under the sun and all of those cliches.
I never went out of my way to write my stories this way; and I don't think they did either. We all just write what we know. What we see happening all around us. My short story Flower Girls and my Novella Unmasked both deal with pollution and climate change. Flower girls, as was little match girl, by Anderson are a bit heavy handed as is the Image by Banksy.
Unmaksed, shows the consequences of a dying ocean, sea levels and the merworld. Many of the themes throughout my stores deal with a bankrupt government, the gap between poor and the wealthy... and so many other issues plaguing the world today; without ever meaning to.
This is a gift, I am a writer and my genre epitomizes all of that.
Without further ado, here is my story:
Flower Girls by K. A. Petentler Copyright 2013.
The air was brisk. The sky above was a muted light brown, which was quickly turning dark as it spilled out thick layers of large flakes of ash. The flakes fall in sheets, covering the little factory town in dirt. Two young girls walk down the empty street of store fronts that lead towards the dark foreboding factory that seemed to pump out the smoke that formed the sky and air above. The young girls boot prints in the thick soot are the only signs of life on the street; as the soot has fallen and covered up all signs of the early bustle of activity of people heading to work.
Both girls walked beneath a large black umbrella that was full of holes and completely tattered around the edges. The Umbrella was supposed to keep the falling soot from destroying their tattered coats. The taller girl was holding the umbrella in her hand, her arm linked with the younger girls. The taller girl always made sure that the less tattered and worn side of the umbrella always covered the younger girl to protect her. In her other hand the tall girl held a bundle of five brilliantly colorful flowers, perfectly upright. The smaller girl was holding three beautiful flowers limply in her other hand as well.
The quickened their pace as they came near the store front window that held a beautiful painted beach scene, their only glimpse of a blue sky. Neither of them had ever seen anything so beautiful and always tried to have time to enjoy such beauty, and hope captured in paint before the factory bell rang and the hunt for the elusive coin would begin. Finding the treasure meant food; that would end the rumble in their stomachs if only for a little while.
Once the girls stepped up to the store front window their breath seemed to form a fog on the window. The older girl took her tattered sleeve of her coat and wiped the window pain, removing the fog and the soot sot that they could see the small painting of a beautiful ocean scene with a bright blue sky dotted with the purest white clouds either of the girls had ever seen. As the younger girl was quickly mesmerized by the image, the older girl noticed their reflections in the pain of glass.
She grimaced when she saw her soot covered face, but it was covered by her mask. She had dirty blonde hair like her little sister, hers was oily and dirty. Her sister had an old dark blue hat rimmed with white fuzz that had now turned dark brown. One of the strands had a tainted ball, the others ball was missing. Her younger girls eyes were blue, a reflection of the painting. The taller girls were a muted gray. The younger girl still had smooth cheeks that were stained a light pink blush. While the older girl’s cheeks were rough and chapped.
A tear came to taller girl as she finally focused on the painting carefully displayed in a beautifully carved wooden frame. The younger girl tugged shook the taller girls arm, pleading with her eyes as she mumbled something inaudible through the mask across her mouth. The taller girl knew immediately what she meant, every time they came and saw the painting the younger girl would ask to hear the story their mother once told them when they were babes. The older girl tugged her mouth to the side of her cheek and began to tell the story, quickly transporting the girls to the warm beach in the scene before them. “There once was a beautiful pebbled beach where the grains of sand were pure and white. The ocean would unfold and wash slowly back into the sands…”
Both of the girls would be there, on the beach standing in beautiful clean white lace dresses, and bare feet feeling the warmth of the sand in their free toes. They would run and play as their mother sat on the beach watching them play, a smile and laugh constantly lighting up her face, like when she told them about the beach. An old man would bring them beautiful clouds of pink on a stick, just as they would reach out for the sweet treats the scene changed back to dingy gray-brown all around them as the old, cranky store owner came out and shooed them away from the window with a ratty broom spraying dust and dirt in their faces.
The older girl dragged the younger girl over to a corner spot as close to the factory as they were allowed. The younger girl was shaking so much that her flower petals littered the path, bright colors sprinkling the dingy path they had just taken as they fled the mean storekeeper.
On the corner near the factory the embers were thicker, some still flaming. A strong breeze picked up. The girl’s tattered black umbrella did nothing to block the cold chill or stop the burning embers from bleaching the tops of their once dark coats. They stood huddled together, shivering on the corner. The factory puffed out more and more soot and ash, along with a stench that made them both queasy despite their masks. As they waited for the fateful bell, the single for their treasure hunt to begin what is left of their flowers; to sell to obtain their treasure had begun to wilt. The older sister looked over to the younger girl whose hands were shaking uncontrollably as petals fell around her boots, leaving her flowers sparse, and almost completely bent over.
Where her sisters coat was over long, pinned together in a line of rusty old safety pins; her coat was short, tattered and held together by a single button that was stretched on one single frayed tread. The younger girl had one patchwork pocket that she would put her hand in squishing what was left of her wilted flowers; the other had fallen off long ago. Both of the girl’s boots looked like a dog had chewed through them and the holey socks beneath looked no better, with a small toe peeking through.
The younger girls face was covered in ash, as was her hat, and shoulders of her coat despite the fact that she had the less tattered side of the umbrella protecting her. The older girl knew that she looked worse, and knew that this would not help them obtain the elusive treasure that they had gone too many days without lately. She looked down at her coat, that did not drag like the younger girls, but showed off her shredded dress and stockings that were more holes then wool.
They huddled closer together trying to block the ever growing cold as the factory bell finally rang and the streets quickly filled with large crowds of angry, grumbling and worn adults who were all slumped over. Each had black umbrellas, making it impossible to see a glimpse of the sky. It was time to try and sell some flowers while the ash no longer fell on the young girls.
After trying to wipe their faces off with their coat sleeves the older girl dragged the younger girl through the streets. They tugged on one long coat after another; with each tug and disgruntled look hope that they would finally find their treasure began to evaporate. They were bumped, pushed, shoved through the crowds and the flowers had slowly lost most of their petals, until they only had five limp stems with only one or three petals on them a piece. The younger girl had dropped hers several bumps back.
The smaller girl’s eyes had drooped and at some point she had lost her mask, her lips blue and chapped trembling as the tears fell streaking her soot covered face. The older girl’s shoulders slumped in defeat as the streets began to clear and the soot came down in thick sheets. The older girl took her mask off and placed it on the younger girl, before they slowly trudged through the soot and ash to the alley that held once held their makeshift shelter. They huddled next to each other near a vent that released warm air through out the night. They had one last quarter slice of bread. The older sister gave it to the younger girl, and then helped her replace the mask on her face. The smaller girl laid her head on the older girls lap as the older girl told the story of the warm beach with blue skies and beautiful pure white fluffy clouds.
The brown billowing clouds began to sink lower, until it formed a fog so thick that the older girl could not see her own hands or the younger girl on her lap. She covered her mouth with her gloved hand with the tips of her fingers sticking out, slightly shaking; until she too joined her sister in sleep. The next day as the wind slowly lifter the fog the two girls were discovered in the alley. They were surrounded by bright colored petals slightly sticking through the deep ash that covered them and half of their bodies, covering them like a blanket. Both girls’ lips were completely blue and chapped. The younger girls mask hung, flapping in the breeze. Yet both had a peaceful expression on their faces, like they had somehow found a way to ride away on white fluffy clouds to the beach where the sky was blue.
I hope you enjoyed this short story. I hope that in the New Year and all the years to come we can remember the stories of old and new; and learn to take care of our world for the generations to come.
Signing out for 2018
As we celebrate the holidays with family and new friends we’re reminded of the importance of such a grand holiday. Thanksgiving and Christmas are times for reflection, forgiveness, renewal and remembrance. The oldest of traditions that glue us together. The hearth that we gather around with the old and the new. This time of year it is all easily forgotten within all the bustle and presents and hubabalu.
All of those things that separate us each year, become forgiven regrets and forgotten fears…as we all draw nearer to each other. And though it might not last long, it’s the times we remember, the memories we share that can’t ever be forgotten. A tradition of long ago, that makes my Christmas spirit shine.
One memory never to be forgot: The Christmas Kings
The song goes, “we three kings of orient are, bearing gifts we travel so far, field and fountain, moor and mountain, following yonder stars. Oh star of wonder star so bright, westward leading still proceeding guide us with thy perfect light.”
Father would play with us, never letting us know when we would get to open presents on Christmas Eve. Yes all the presents would be opened sometime during the day or night of the eve, to forgo the stereotypical tale of Santa Claus.
(As Santa was a made up characters that ‘Satan’ had created to make us forget what Christmas is all about. They went so far as to say that legends and kids lore such as Santa Claus and the Easter bunny were evil.)
Now back to the beauty of this tradition (no matter what its origin).
For as children we never cared about the reasons. Father would make it a game you see. None of us knowing if he would wake us really early or wait for the Christmas lights showing. It was part of the mystery and part of the fun. But on that my father smiled more than the rest of the year combined.
So the spirit of Christmas was full of cheer, teasing and waiting and the growing wonder. But once the door closed to their room you knew Christmas presents were mysteriously appearing on the bed to which each of us would share. Father and mother would come out all smile, for taking a nap made them so happy. Humming the song they would sit by each other and open the bible.
The story of Jesus and his arrival, from Matthew, Mark, Luke and finally John. As the stories reminded us all why we were all gathered together. Then the oldest three children would sing the song, walking to the bedroom and singing louder as they reappeared and presented gifts to the others waiting in their chairs. Again and again until each person had three. A prayer. And singing carols as we played with our toys. Together in cheer, being so gay.
As we grew older and our family got larger, we continued this tradition of reading the bible and how we all got our gifts. Until it just stopped. But no matter what each holiday season brings, I’ll always remember those three kings. The ones wrapped in blankets as capes, singing loud and out of tune while they disappeared out of the room. It was something so fun and fantastic that being a king was just as fantastic as accepting the gift brought by the others. All kings for a day, and never to be forgotten.
I hope that you will remember to relax and have fun this holiday season, for that is what memories are made of. I can not name you any of the presents, because a toy or an item does not make memories, but the time you share and the things you do for fun will belong in your hearts all year long.
So drop your traditions, share them here or just within your own family. For those treasured moments are worth more than any money spent during the holidays.
From Remnants Publishing to you; I hope your holiday is full of wonderful memories and cheer and we will see you in the New year with books that we hope will make even more amazing memories and shared moments as well.
K. A. Petentler @ Remnants Publishing