IR Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox by Eoin Colfer

I LOVE Artemis Fowl. I may even love him better than Harry Potter. MAYBE. I can’t believe I just typed that, but it MAY be true. Maybe. At any rate, I’m always happy to see a new Artemis Fowl book come out – especially after the fiasco that was Colfer’s Airman (I got about halfway through, decided that it was a kid’s version of The Count of Monte Cristo, and got very disheartened when I saw how much more I had to read.) – and this one does not disappoint.

In this, Artemis’ sixth book, there is much to love – it’s very heavy on Artemis and Holly, who are my two favorite characters and there are some (welcome) developments in their relationship along with very exciting action and gadgetry, as always. Artemis is oddly uncertain in this book – I don’t know if it’s puberty or what, but it was a little unnerving to see him doubting his decisions and a little bit off his game when faced with his most treacherous enemy so far, himself (and someone else, but I don’t want to give it away). But when it matters, he is the same old sure, unflappable Artemis that we all know and love.

Yes, there is time traveling and Colfer (and Artemis) handle the paradoxes quite well and cleverly. There is also only a little bit of Mulch Diggums (my least favorite character due to his heavy reliance on bodily functions for humor) and THANKFULLY, there is no sign of what’s-her-name from the last book. Thank you, Eoin, for jetisonning (how do you spell that – the spell-checker won’t leave it alone, no matter what I try – it’s a word, right?!) that little bimbo. And, although he’s still in good-guy mode here, it looks like Artemis will be turning to a bit of Robin Hooding in the future – I’m glad to see him planning to make a return to crime – it suits him better – but I’m a little bit disappointed that Colfer felt he needed to qualify it (those of you who know me will know why that disappoints me).

My rating: A

It’s not only sweets ’round here…

At the same time that I noticed I had three lemons roaming about the fridge, I realised I had a half-full carton of ricotta cheese that desperately needed to be used (I may have had to scoop out a few bits that were a funny color…but the rest of it was fine!). Although a Google search for ‘lemon ricotta’ turned up about five pages of recipes for lemon ricotta pancakes, I stumbled across one for Pan-Fried Lemon Ricotta Gnocchi.

Very tasty – I mean, it’s basically fried chese, so how can you go wrong? Last night I had it just with a bit of basil and lemon zest, but for lunch I added some homemade pesto and it was just as good.

Fiction: Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Victory of Eagles by Naomi Novik

This is the fifth Temeraire book and a welcome return to the more action-packed adventures of the first two books. Not that the others weren’t fun and enjoyable, by any means, but I did sort of feel like they had a tendency to get a bit bogged down in politico-speak and I’d keep thinking ‘Oh, just get to the part where Temeraire kicks some Napoleon ass!’

I think when I reviewed the fourth book, I said it felt more like setup for the fifth book and it totally pays off. There is drama and intrigue and a few rather intimidating pitched battles and some new dragons (I adore Perscitia!) and Temeraire is fantastic and Laurence is angsty and England herself is at risk!

Very, very good – I don’t want to give away the ending at all, but I’m very intrigued to see what happens in book 6 (I’m assuming there’ll be one…) because unless it’s going to focus more on Temeraire fighting for dragons’ rights (and I’m not sure that’s going to matter much where they’re off to), I can’t figure out what the overarching conflict is going to be.

My rating: A

Book nerd note: Not only did they switch Temeraire over to hardcover, they changed the cover art so they match the earlier books even less! Lame!

Better than the orange cake!

I discovered three lemons in the fridge yesterday and, since I didn’t know how long they’d been there, decided the best plan of action was to use them immediately. So I made this Lemon Frosted Lemon Cake – oh, so very tasty! Apparently it’s a poundcake, but it’s a little bit lighter, I think – and certainly more moist than the orange cake was (though that may have been that I didn’t end up doubling the baking time on this one).

The lovely lemon cake

The lovely lemon cake

(Ooh, look at the new, fancy caption option – or has it always been there and I’ve only just noticed it?)