Title: The Fowl Twins
Author: Eoin Colfer
Publication date: 2019
Synopsis: Myles and Beckett are eleven-year-old twins, but the two boys are wildly different. Beckett is
blonde, messy and sulks whenever he has to wear clothes. Myles is fanatically neat, he has an IQ of 170, and he wears a fresh suit every day like his older brother, Artemis Fowl.
Perhaps you have heard of the Fowl family and their adventures?
This Fowl adventure is filled with the most unusual of individuals: an immortal duke, a miniature troll, a nunterrogator and a Police Specialist that's 42% elf. And of course, the Fowl twins - one a certified genius with a criminal leaning, and the other possessing an unusual talent that has not been fully explored... yet!
Here begins the second documented cycle of Fowl Adventures.
If you also grew up with Artemis Fowl's books, you might have felt the same way as me (joyful and sceptical) when you heard about the new spin-off series starring twin brothers Myles and Beckett Fowl.
First of all, if you are longing to see Artemis Fowl coming into play, let me tell you that Colfer made sure this couldn’t happen. He sent his character straight into outer space (that’s right!) on his way to explore Mars. It's a drastic decision, but quite fair if Beckett and Myles are the ones to shine this time. In addition, their parents (who turned out to be fierce environmentalists) will also be conveniently away. Therefore, both twins are left to their own devices (and that can be very dangerous…)
But don’t worry! At least the book contains a few references to previous books (I can't tell you much else!). Of course, if you buy the special edition (as I did) you will find a short story narrated by Artemis, starring many old characters. It takes place right before our book starts, but you should read it like an epilogue. (I just have one question... where is Juliet Butler??? It looks like an artificial intelligence machine has supplanted her as a babysitter)
But let’s get down to business… What can I say about the book? On one hand, this new saga clearly inherits Colfer's fantastic world and sense of humour. But, on the other hand, it seems to be far more exaggerated and less coherent than the first series. Expect plenty of one-in-a-million chances, thousands of coincidences, lots of puns and even more cutting edge technology.
In this first adventure, the twins will face two enemies: a noble English mastermind criminal and a secret agent nun from Bilbao, Spain. Despite being caricatures of what they represent, the nun definitely didn't do the trick. The weird mix of Spanglish she spoke didn’t make sense sometimes, and there was nothing that made me think she was actually basque.
Luckily, I loved our main characters! Myles and Beckett form an extraordinary team despite their differences. And yes, I declare myself an absolute Beckett’s fan. Don't be fooled by his birdbrain appearance! He is nothing like his brother Myles (who is a little genius in a suit). Beckett is just... Beckett!
At the same time, I must say Myles drove me nuts! He undoubtedly surpasses his older brother Artemis in arrogance and mischievousness (and that's saying something!). However, at the end of the book we’ll see a bit of character development: Myles will learn from his mistakes, and Beckett… will keep on being Becket!!
That being said, I didn’t quite like the fact that both twins are conveniently smart or fallible throughout the plot. If they are the most intelligent human beings on Earth, why do they keep falling into all sorts of traps? But never mind, we readers just want to bite our nails and hope they will come up with a brilliant plan to save the day.
Last but not least, Colfer’s writing style is quite funny. He plays with different points of view, going back and forth in time. At first it’s quite original, but ends up being repetitive and slowing down the plot (as he rewinds every action scene).
As for the ending, I must admit it was pretty emotional... but don't be fooled by the Fowl Twins! They might be cute little boys, but criminal mastermind runs in the family.