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Here's a great book! It really kept me giggling all the way through. It's a fairy tale for our times - so, fairies might grant you your dearest wish, but they might just as easily blast you off the planet with a bio bomb if they don't like what you just did to them.
Captain Holly Short of the LEPrecon, an elite branch of the Lower Elements Police, is busy getting on with ordinary fairy business. Having spent her magical energies helping the Retrieval Squad to round up a rampaging troll above ground, where it was interfering with human activities, she sets out to Ireland to carry out the ritual which will rejuvenate her powers.
That's where she meets Artemis Fowl. Actually, he kidnaps her. His plan is to hold her to ransom. He's heard all about the Hostage Fund of fairy gold, and he needs to get hold of some gold to help support the dwindling family estates. Well, no, he isn't a very moral person. That's because he is the latest in a long line of arch-criminals.
Captain Holly Short felt as though a sucker slug was drawing her brain out through her earhole. She tried to figure out what could possibly have caused such agony, but her faculties didn't stretch to memory just yet. Breathing and lying down were about all she could manage.

Time to attempt a word. Something short and pertinent. Help, she decided, would be the one to go for. She took a trembling breath and opened her mouth.

'Mummlp,' said her treacherous lips. No good. Incomprehensible even by a drunken gnome's standards.
Over to you! I don't think the plot will lose you.
You might notice there's a string of mumbo jumbo along the bottom of every page of the book. It's a message in code, and yes, it is possible to break it because I managed to. You can decide for yourself whether it's actually a worthwhile activity, but only after you've done the work. I'll tell you this though, just to prove that I really did do it myself - the message is repeated, and the author is merciful enough to tell you when to stop.
I just loved this book and I think you will too:
'Confidence is ignorance,' advised the centaur. 'If you're feeling cocky, it's because there's something you don't know.'

The Lightning Thief
"A clever concept drives Riordan's highly charged children's book debut (the first in a series): the Greek Gods still rule, though now from a Mt. Olympus on the 600th floor of the Empire State Building, and their offspring, demigods, live among human beings. Narrator Percy Jackson thinks he's just another troubled 12-year-old, until he vaporizes his math teacher, learns his best friend, Grover, is a satyr and narrowly escapes a minotaur to arrive at Camp Half-Blood. After a humorous stint at camp, Percy learns he's the son of Poseidon and embarks on a quest to the Underworld with Grover and Annabeth (a daughter of Athena) to resolve a battle between Zeus and Poseidon over Zeus's stolen 'master' lightning bolt. Without sacrificing plot or pacing, Riordan integrates a great deal of mythology into the tale and believably places mythical characters into modern times, often with hilarious results (such as Hades ranting about the problem of 'sprawl,' or population explosion). However, on emotional notes the novel proves less strong (for example, Percy's grief for his mother rings hollow; readers will likely spot the 'friend' who betrays the hero, as foretold by the Oracle of Delphi, before Percy does) and their ultimate confrontation proves a bit anticlimactic. Still, this swift and humorous adventure will leave many readers eager for the next installment. Ages 10-up. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)