Monday, January 21, 2013

The Supernaturalist-Eoin Colfer

The Supernaturalist-Eoin Colfer

the facts
satisfaction: up/side
pages: 291
gender: M
nationality: Ireland
year: 2004
YA Novel

In a future dystopia, cities have become for-profit businesses. Orphanages are not exempt from the struggle to make money, and at the Clarissa Frayne Institute for Parentally Challenged Boys, kids are forced to endure product testing and frequently end up injured as a result. With orphans facing an average life expectancy of 15, 14-year-old Cosmo Hill knows that he is on borrowed time. Unfortunately, his escape attempt nearly proves fatal. While he's lying there dying, a small, hairless blue creature lands on his chest and begins to feed. He is rescued by the Supernaturalists, a motley crew of young people who have dedicated their lives to destroying the Parasites, which feed on the essence of the living. Cosmo joins the group as a Spotter, someone who can actually see the creatures and thus destroy them. However, facts soon emerge that cause the Supernaturalists to question everything they believe in. Is it possible that the Parasites don't feed off of the energy of dying people, but remove pain?


I started out the Supernaturalist feeling enthused about it. I liked Cosmo Hill, felt bad for the orphan/non-sponsors in their absolutely capitalistic ‘orphanage’ and was really rooting for them. The build up was enjoyable and the world building was good. There was action and character development and all that good stuff.

And then it all went away. It just all stopped being as fun. I expect my YA characters to keep on developing as the book goes on and that didn’t happen. With the focus being entirely on action, that bit started to seem contrived and then the villain showed up and was immediately vanquished. It was like, oh here’s the villain we’ve been preparing to fight for most of the book and we meet and vanquish him in a chapter’s time. What? So soon? Without a good villain, it’s hard to develop characters so I see Colfer’s problem there. 

I don’t know, I thought it started with so much promise but there wasn’t enough follow through and so it all fizzed out.

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