Hopefully this is the first in a long-running series where I write about novels that have shaped my reading habits and helped me to love reading as much as I do. I’ve not been reading as much recently as I should’ve, but I want to write about books, so here we go!
I wasn’t a particularly popular kid during secondary school – I used to spend a lot of time in the library, because books are awesome. I used to ‘work’ at the library – sorting out books to go back onto the shelves, and checking books out for the younger students. I enjoyed it, although it did let me get away with the worst thing I’ve ever done at school – keeping a book that belonged to the library!
I had borrowed Artemis Fowl: The Eternity Code from school, despite having only read the second book – The Arctic Incident. I read, and re-read the book over, and over, before being reminded that it was due in at the library. That’s all well and good, but I had lost the dust cover! (Sidenote: I hate dust covers). I didn’t want to get fired from my job as a librarian, and I didn’t want to pay for a replacement book, so I changed the due date on the computer and said I’d already handed it back. I am the worst human, I know!
Anyway, ever since then, The Eternity Code has been one of my favourite books. I’ve probably read it over one hundred times. It also helps that the Artemis Fowl series is one of my favourite series. The Eternity Code is probably the first time the Artemis Fowl books get serious. For those of you who don’t know, the books are about a boy genius criminal, the eponymous Artemis Fowl, and his adventures with the ‘fairy’ world that exists under the earth’s ground. (As a side note, I reviewed the last book here). The first two books are somewhat enjoyable fantasy yarns about Artemis and his adventures, but Eternity Code opens with Artemis’ bodyguard, Butler, being shot. By a real gun. It carries on in a similar vein, and ultimately ends with Artemis Fowl losing his memory.
The reason why it’s one of the books I use from my childhood is because it’s one that I know inside out. I used to read it at night time when I would struggle to sleep, and it would help me to relax. I still cycle through the first four Artemis Fowl books to help me sleep – they are stories that I enjoy and they are stories that are still, in my opinion, well-written. If you haven’t ever read them – child or adult, I would still highly recommend them.
I like any book which can drag me in with a compelling story, as well as one with likeable characters – from Artemis himself, to the flatulent dwarf Mulch Diggums, to the angry LEP Commander, Julius Root, and the villains of Opal Koboi and Jon Spiro. They’re all interesting, and my quibbles with the series don’t really start until books five onwards, hence why I only re-read the first four! It was a toss up between choosing The Arctic Incident or The Eternity Code as the one for this list, but I ultimately went for The Eternity Code due to the way the story goes. It’s more serious and therefore more suited to all kinds of readers, rather than just children.