Saturday, April 10, 2010

Supernatural Saturday: Review of The Supernaturalist

In the future, in a place called Satellite City, fourteen-year-old Cosmo Hill enters the world, unwanted by his parents. He's sent to the Clarissa Frayne Institute for Parentally Challenged Boys, Freight class. At Clarissa Frayne, the boys are put to work by the state, testing highly dangerous products. At the end of most days, they are covered with burns, bruises, and sores. Cosmo realizes that if he doesn't escape, he will die at this so-called orphanage. 
When the moment finally comes, Cosmo seizes his chance and breaks out with the help of the Supernaturalists, a motley crew of kids who all have the same special ability as Cosmo-they can see supernatural Parasites, creatures that feed on the life force of humans. The Supernaturalists patrol the city at night, hunting the Parasites in hopes of saving what's left of humanity in Satellite City. Or so they think. 
The Supernaturalists soon find themselves caught in a web far more complicated than they'd imagined, when they discover a horrifying secret that will force them to question everything they believe in. Eoin Colfer has created an eerie and captivating world-part Blade Runner, part futuristic Dickens-replete with non-stop actio.
[from Goodreads]
Rating: 2 out of 5 boxes
Target Audience:  MG readers
High point: New story idea
Low point:  Predictable, too young
Reader maturity: 10+

The Supernaturalist is a novel by the author of Artemis Fowl. Unfamiliar with his work, I decided to give this book, sitting lonely on a clearance shelf, a chance.

The Supernaturalist was okay, but that's about as enthusiastic as I can get. It isn't bad; it just isn't my kind of book. It reminded me of a few that I checked out from the library in middle school that I liked but never really got into. There's a lot of high-tech mixed in with some light dystopian and a few cruel corporate overlords for dramatic effect.

The band of kids that can see the glowing orbs are called Supernaturalists. They fight them, only to discover that what they thought was right...was wrong. And then they find themselves to be wrong yet again. I never really got into the action or conflict because I kept guessing what was going to happen next. The characters were somewhere between 2D and 3D, as far as depth is concerned. They weren't flat, but they weren't roundly-developed either. That might be an MG thing; I don't remember, and I don't read much MG anymore.

I would recommend The Supernaturalist for MG readers, especially the guys, but it wasn't a great book for me.

Title:  The Supernaturalist
Author:  Eoin Colfer
Genre:  Teen Fiction, Science Fiction

Year:  2005
Book Source:  Purchased


  1. Wow, when I started reading the description I thought "Not for me." By the end I was convinced I had to read this book! And now after reading your review, I'm not sure again. Luckily, there are libraries for that. ;) If nothing else, hopefully it's a great adventure for the younger set.

  2. I have never been one for futuristic fiction but of late I have been thinking of trying out a few. I don't know if I will read this one but can you suggest some?