I had the AMAZING, INCREDIBLE, AWE-INSPIRING privilege to meet Eoin Colfer at ALA this summer! I was beyond starstruck. I don’t think I’ll ever meet anyone more famous than him. I wish I had photographic evidence to back this up, but this was the ALA in which my phone was stolen…so yeah. But my book is signed and I will remember meeting him forever. What a fantastic man.
Title: The Fowl Twins
Author: Eoin Colfer
Publisher: Disney Book Group
Release Date: November 5, 2019
Genres: MG Fantasy, Action
I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
One week after their eleventh birthday, the Fowl twins–scientist Myles, and Beckett, the force of nature–are left in the care of house security (NANNI) for a single night. In that time they befriend a troll who has clawed his way through the earth’s crust to the surface. Unfortunately for the troll, he is being chased by a nefarious nobleman and an interrogating nun, who both need the magical creature for their own gain, as well as a fairy-in-training who has been assigned to protect him. The boys and their new troll best friend escape and go on the run. Along the way they get shot at, kidnapped, buried, arrested, threatened, killed (temporarily), and discover that the strongest bond in the world is not the one forged by covalent electrons in adjacent atoms, but the one that exists between a pair of twins.
Myles and Beckett Fowl are, of course, the stars of the show. Of course they had to show up Artemis by having their first fairy encounter at age 11, instead of age 12—and that really goes to show you what the twins, or at least Myles, is bent on doing during the entirety of this book.
Myles is like a mini Artemis. He’s worn suits all his life, lectures excessively (though apparently not nearly as long as Artemis), and comes up with genius plans out the wazoo. There were times I felt Myles was pretty obnoxious, but I think that made the moments his humanity showed through a lot better.
Beckett is the complete opposite of Myles. Blond curly hair, hates wearing clothes (except a fish tie), constantly makes noises at animals, and is the brawn to Myles’ brain. I seriously did not think I could like this kid, but he really brings the brunt of the humor to the book. He’s hilarious in all his antics.
I found it interesting that Myles got more on-page thoughts than Beckett. Maybe because he’s more like Artemis? And Beckett is almost animalistic in his thoughts. Despite this imbalance, I felt I got to know both the twins really well. One thing I absolutely adored was their relationship with each other. I LOVE family relationships, and this one was so sweet sometimes. That was something I loved about Artemis in the last two books in the series, that brotherly relationship and protectiveness, so I’m glad that came through in this book as well.
We have a handful of characters other than our two main heroes. Lazuli Heitz is a pixel (pixie-elf hybrid), but despite her physical dissimilarities from Holly Short, I felt their thought processes were too similar for Lazuli to stand on her own as a character. She was a good side kick, but not my favorite. The two villains (a nun and a 150-year-old duke) are both insane fanatics in their own ways. They didn’t stand out to me other than what their combined weirdness added to the story.
This book is literally one adventure after another. And it is non-stop. Our main characters are immediately thrown into a fray that isn’t entirely their fault, but they must fight to save the lives of their fairy companions and each other.
At times, the story felt formulaic. The twins were in trouble -> Myles would come up with a plan -> plan worked/failed -> repeat. I mean, technically that’s the plot of every book…but it was to the point of me feeling like the stakes weren’t as high because I could trust Myles and Beckett to get out of there scot free. In the end, this formula IS defied, which I really appreciated. It connected well with the twins’ individual growth in this story.
I don’t have much to say about the world-building. The twins go from place to place so quickly that there isn’t much room for details. Colfer does go into extreme specifics at times about certain gadgets and crime facilities—how the heck does he come up with so many crazy ideas? It’s amazing!
I feel so conflicted about this book. On one hand, it made me laugh and I was glad that I finished reading the book. I enjoyed Beckett and Myles’ shenanigans, and I loved being a part of this world once again. On the other hand, I felt this book lacked some of the depth that the Artemis Fowl series was so full of. Artemis was such a fascinating character because he was the villain of his story (at least in the beginning—and then seeing his growth is utterly magnificent).
But I also have to remind myself that this book is for children, not necessarily for the grown adults who grew up reading Artemis Fowl. I know kids will love this book. There’s so much humor and quirkiness that it will be difficult to resist. I did like the book enough to be curious about the next books, however. I really cannot resist Colfer’s writing.
My final verdict is that I would absolutely recommend this book to any kid who is into hilarious, strange, weird, half-fantasy half-contemporary books.