Fowl Twins by Eoin Colfer

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Fowl Twins by Eoin Colfer

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Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Linda Lawlor
Reviewed by Linda Lawlor
Summary: Funny and fast-paced with edge-of-your-seat perils, vicious villains, deadly weapons and, believe it or not, fairies – what's not to like?
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 432 Date: November 2019
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0008324810

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Relax, everyone – our old friend Artemis may be off planet, but the baddies aren't getting away with skulduggery any time soon because they now have not one but two members of the Fowl family to contend with. Those cute little twins are now eleven (and, frankly, cute no longer) and in this, their first independent adventure, they meet a troll and without even trying manage to make two deadly enemies: a nobleman obsessed with immortality whatever the cost (to other people), and an unusual interrogator-nun. The boys are chased, kidnapped, arrested and even killed (though not for long), all with the help of one trainee fairy.

If you've not met the Fowl family before (have you been living on a desert island, then?) in the person of Artemis, you may be confused by the reference to fairies. Well, you can forget all that sparkly stuff – these guys are the police force for the world below ours where all magical creatures live, and there's not a twinkle or a cute flower-shaped dress to be seen. They're tough, well-trained, and loaded with high-tech gizmos and gadgets, so villains had better beware. Sharp-shooting Lazuli Heitz, a hybrid pixie-elf, is on training manoeuvres over the Fowl family's private island when trouble erupts, and though it takes her some time to decide if this is all something dreamed up by her tutors to test her reactions or the real deal, she soon rolls up her sleeves and gets on with the job of rescuing everybody. Until, that is, she discovers that the twins are pretty good at the rescuing lark themselves.

The boys are in no way identical. Myles is astronomically intelligent – more so even than Artemis, he insists – but rather formal in his manners and dress, and inclined to give long lectures on science and other such high-brow things unless his twin manages to distract him. Beckett, on the other hand, is a bit of a mystery. He bounds around the place like a feral creature (getting him to wear any clothes apart from a necktie is a major battle in itself) but as the story progresses and the companions get deeper and deeper into trouble his gifts begin to reveal themselves. Luckily, word on the web is that there's to be a sequel, because there's plenty more to explore in these two characters and their fairy friend.

Even more a trademark of the Fowl stories than the high-tech gadgetry, magic and wide array of creatures and villains is the humour. Mr Colfer's tongue lives permanently in his cheek, and you really need to read his books twice – once for the sheer fun of the whole crazy adventure, and then again to pick up on all those jokes and puns you missed first time round. Groan-worthy names, jokey asides at even the tensest of moments, and a wry, dry tone which is an absolute pleasure make the book a great read for anyone from eight to, well, at least eighty. Seriously, don't miss this!

Big brother Artemis isn't actually around in this story – though he does pop up now and then – but he is often mentioned by the twins, and of course the whole set-up is dictated by his earlier adventures, so it's well worth going right back and reading all his adventures too. You won't regret it – they're sidesplittingly excellent. Bookbag especially enjoyed Artemis Fowl and the Lost Colony and Artemis Fowl and the Time Paradox, but they're all brilliant.

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