Recently, my brother picked up the latest Artemis Fowl novel from the library; ‘The Last Guardian’. I wasn’t feeling to great, so I decided to set a day aside for reading it, as something not too heavy, and adequately amusing. Now, I’ve read all of the Fowl books (including the Fowl Files, excluding the Graphical Novels, for anybody interested). Now, the original book, ‘Artemis Fowl’ was first published in 2001; I would have been five years old. Obviously, I didn’t read it at the age of five, but I guess I would have read it at about eight or nine.
That’s probably at the younger end of Colfer’s target audience, but as I loved reading, my ‘reading age’ was advanced. At that age, I thought it was great. The silly jokes and bluffs, the textbook heroes and villains and the amazing rescues. Now though, quite a few years on; the things I like to read are clearly a bit more advanced. However, when a book is released of a series that I’ve been enjoying the past godknowshowmany years, do I want to read it? Of course I do!
I can’t help but be disappointed though, and I’m sure this is the case with many others. The jokes on Mulch’s arse no longer appeal to my sense of humour, nor is the plot complex enough to keep me totally focused. Is the book still a success? Yes. It’ll still appeal to those ten year olds like it appealed to me.
So, just in case you’re considering reading something like this; the latest in a previous favourite set of books: be wary (Alex Rider has the same sort of issue). Keep in mind that it might not be aimed at the age you are now, so just try and enjoy it for what it is. Should you still buy it? Maybe. You can always get it from the library if you don’t want to pay for it (*1).
Note: Some series are designed to grow with their reader base. Rowling’s Harry Potter, for example. The first book is light and funny, ad obviously there’s an issue the book is based around, but it isn’t too heavy. I loved it when I read it as a child. The last book is rich with emotion and loss, and rather adult themes like that. I still enjoy that now, as Rowling’s books have grow at relatively the same pace as her audience: Harry and Co. have grown up with us.
(*1) I’m always going on about libraries, I know. They’re great places. Books to read for free. Need I say more?