Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer is the first of 7 books in the Artemis Fowl series and aimed at a younger audience. Artemis is a fantastic character and in his first book, we get to know him as a villainous 12 year old who is a criminal mastermind. His plan this time is to capture a fairy, only this fairy turns out to be Holly Short of LEPrecon, a fantastic, feisty heroine who accompanies Artemis on his adventures through the series. So you have an evil mastermind with a conscience, who should not be underestimated, a strong heroine from a magical world and a number of other memorable characters all mixed together with plenty of plot to make these books a good read for anyone of any age.
The War of Don Emmanuel’s Nether Parts by Louis de Berniere is the first book in a trilogy written by Louis de Berniere before he wrote his bestselling and well know novel Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. Simon told me to read The War of Don Emmanuel’s Nether Parts and I met Simon in 1999, so it had been available for 8 years. I was instantly hooked. It was THE best piece of advice Simon ever gave me, or more likely, the only one I ever listened too. The genre is magic realism and this book delivers that en force. Set somewhere in the South American jungle, the characters and plot are exquisitely portrayed and developed; stupidity, magic, love and passion abound. Louis’ writing is superb, poetic at times, yet he also fearlessly visits those crueller and cringingly inevitable places. You will laugh but you will cry too. Not for the fainthearted.