Thursday, 8 September 2016

Get the Flags Out! It's a Dystopian I Don't 100% Hate! (The Supernaturalist by Eoin Colfer)

“In comic books, people with gifts became superheroes; in real life they became outcasts.” - Eoin Colfer, The Supernaturalist

I feel really conflicted about this one. I don't usually like the idea that the future is a terrible place, partly because it's depressing and partly because dystopian fiction couldn't exist without it, but I thought that it was done well in The Supernaturalist. The world-building was incredible. I loved the paralegals, who were somewhere between horrific and hilarious. "There are waivers to be signed," indeed. I also liked the idea of Clarissa Frayne and Cosmo's need to escape from it.

Unfortunately, I liked the whole escape-from-Clarissa-Frayne plot a whole lot better than I liked the fight-supernatural-creatures plot. At first, Stefan's group knew everything. Then they knew nothing.

As for the other characters, I liked Stefan. He was a bit like an older brother to Cosmo and Mona, which was nice. I liked Mona too, but I felt that the romance subplot between her and Cosmo was a bit rushed. Cosmo himself had little personality, but he didn't come across as boring because he was defined by his actions and by how much he wanted to fit in. I felt like his backstory justified both his lack of definitive personality traits and his goals. Ditto was a unique character, and I was reguarly amused by his sarcasm. At the same time, I felt like a certain twist involving him was a bit unbelievable. He's known Stefan for three years and Stefan never caught on? I also didn't like how Faustino was presented as all-knowing. It made things a bit convenient.

By the end of this book my excitement for it had waned considerably, but I think that middle grade readers who were particuarly fond of sci-fi and dystopia would enjoy it. As I said before, the world-building is flawless, and it is pretty fast-paced if you fancy a quick read.

Do you like dystopian fiction?