Okay, first up, a confession: I’m heartily sick of time travel tales. They’re just silly (as my Mum says, “If we were ever going to invent time travel, we’d know about it”) and there are too many of them. This has three things in its favour: 1. It’s magic (which actually makes it far less silly – technobabble is unwanted and mercifully unnecessary). 2. It’s a story pitting Artemis against Artemis, which is cool. 3. It’s Eoin Colfer, and I trust him to spin a good yarn. Which he does.
I can’t say much without spoilers, but it is another good book, and those following the increasing closeness between Artemis and [someone I won't name because spoilers] don’t want to miss this one. Also, The Extinctionists are both fun and truly eeeeevvvviiiillll.
We see an old villain (not young Artemis; another one) again to great effect, and there’s some great foreshadowing (observe the “It’s not a monkey” repetition, and the throwaway comment by Artemis that turns out to be vital when he faces the big bad at the end). The major difficulty of the next book is foreshadowed as well – Colfer, I tip my hat to you.
Rating: G/PG some violence.
Sample (which shows how magic and technology mesh): [Holly] adjusted her fingers, and the sensors in her armoured gloves translated the movements to commands for the mechanical wings on her back, sending her spiraling down towards the small island of Uunisaari, half a mile from the port.
“The body sensors are nice,” she said. “Very intuitive.”
“It’s as close as it gets to being a bird,” said Foaly. “Unless you want to integrate?”
“No thank you,” said Holly vehemently. She loved flying, but not enough to have [a] surgeon sew a few implants into her cerebellum.