21 February 2011


Reading Diary: The Supernaturalist by Eoin Colfer

Ditto spread his arms wide. "We, Cosmo Hill, are the world's only Supernaturalists."

Cosmo grinned weakly. "What? You don't like clothes?"

Stefan couldn't help smiling. "That's
naturists, Cosmo. And nobody does that anymore, not with the ozone layer spread thinner than cellophane. We call ourselves Supernaturalists because we hunt supernatural creatures."

"Not me," interrupted Ditto. "I'm a medic. I try to heal people, that's all. I leave the hunting to Stefan. He's the one with police academy training . . ."

One "reading resolution" I made for myself at the start of the year was to write something about every book I read this year. It wouldn't have to be a blog post. It could be an e-mail to someone, or even a private journal entry for my eyes only. (Not that I have a private journal any longer. These days, I let it all hang out online.) I've known for a long time that I don't really understand something until I've written about it somewhere.

But note that what follows isn't a review. (There's something about Eoin Colfer's novels that keeps me from reviewing them properly: see Reading Diary: Artemis Fowl for the earliest example.) It's part of a chat I had with a friend a few days after I finished the novel--and yes, it counts as writing about a book after reading it.

Me: Do you like Eoin Colfer?
Friend: hard to say...
Me: Funny. I'd answer the same way.
Friend: in my case the difficulty is practical
Me: You haven't read much by him?
Friend: I hadn't heard of him till just now.
Me: The one who wrote Artemis Fowl.
Friend: oh! I've heard of that
still don't mean much to me
I don't think much of Niall's music
Me: Niall?
Friend: some relative of Eoin's it seems
they have the same family name
well, as far as it goes . . .
Me: Interesting.
I found one of Colfer's books going for nearly nothing.
Pennies, practically.
So I bought it.
Friend: nice!
well worth it, I'm sure, at least for the notepaper
Me: And found out why it was going for nearly nothing! LOL!
Friend: oh?
Me: It's not one of his best. =P
Friend: ah
Me: Still, when the average price of a YA/MG book is 250 . . .
Friend: ah, well . . .
they say Mozart didn't write any really good music before his 20s
Me: This one was going for 20!!!
From P250 to P20!!!
Friend: quite a discount
Me: And there was a whole stack of them.
The store must have been desperate to get rid of them.
And the odd thing is that Colfer is relatively well-known.
Perhaps even his Artemis Fowl fans couldn't stand this other book?
Friend: maybe
Me: The sad part is that it sets a sequel up at the end.
That was over six years ago.
Colfer never wrote a sequel. =(
Not enough demand?
Friend: maybe, eh?
publishing is a risk venture.
(Note: I learned, after this chat was concluded, that Colfer is currently working on the next Supernaturalist novel!)
Me: I think you might find one twist interesting.
(I assume I may tell you since you're not planning to read it?)
Friend: it's a safe bet ;-)
Me: Well, the characters are dedicated to destroying "Predators": little blue creatures that only certain people can see,
who show up at the scenes of big accidents to suck the life force out of people.
One character watched them drain his mother after a car crash and has hated them ever since.
Well, it turns out that the "Predators" do not suck life from people, but pain.
They are nature's own anaesthetic, here to help us, not to hurt us.
Friend: oh my!
Me: But the character who hates them doesn't learn the truth until after he has helped the villain disable and capture them.
Friend: oh dear!
Me: He manages to free them again, but they are very weak and he himself has been fatally wounded by the attempt.
So he draws one of them to him and lets it drain the pain from his body right before he dies.
And it gives the creature new strength--which it easily passes along to the thousands of other little creatures.
Friend: awww!
Me: From the "fuel" of one death, the creatures acquired enough energy to ease the pain of the rest of the world.
Friend: oooh!
Me: Very Christ-like, aye?
Friend: somewhat.
Me: His last word is "Mother."
Friend: almost sounds like a tear-jerker...
Me: LOL! Not quite.
Colfer doesn't write that way.

As soon as I was done with the chat, I realised I didn't also have to write a post. I had articulated what I found most worthwhile about The Supernaturalist, and now it has a comfortable cubbyhole in the "librarinth" of all my book-related memories.

On the other hand, now that I've written a post, anyway, I think I should write a formal line about the assumption that goes unsaid in the spoilerish part of the chat. Here it is, safe to read:

One does not expect to find such an obvious example of Christ imagery
in a Dystopian novel painted in such fizzy, garish hues.

Image Source: The Supernaturalist by Eoin Colfer


Owen said...

Oh my goodness, honey, quick, come here.

- What is it?


- Something about cheese?

It's a blog by a faithful Catholic that isn't about Catholicism. No one is arguing about mantillas or missals or CiNO funerals or -


Honey? Oh God.


*Ambulance, Fire or Police?*

Uh, ambulance I guess.

Enbrethiliel said...


Are you sure you wouldn't rather call the police? LOL!

To be completely forthright, I admit that there's at least one mantilla post (Okay, I just checked, and there are two) in my archives. =P

Owen said...

Others have no doubt already called the metaphoric cops. Being not God, I try not to look to far into a person's past.

Belfry Bat said...

I don't think my blog is about Catholicism either. O.T.O.H, I *do* refer to *issues* more frequently...

Enbrethiliel said...


And I don't?! =O