I forget where I read it, only that it is not my own observation, but someone put my most frequent problem with fantasy and sci-fi best: the more made up words it contains, the less likely I am to enjoy the book.
This is a fairly short book that is long on nonsense.
My eyes just glazed over half the text for a lack of intelligible prose to grab on to. A continuation of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series written by Douglas Adams, it took me twice as long to read its 275 pages than an average book of its length just for re-reading. More than once I realized I’d scanned a paragraph without comprehending anything. I just opened to a random page for an example, and “wowbagger pressed a button on his wafer computer. ‘You had better not be spiraling my sinkhole'” isn’t even close to the worst offender in the book.
The most disappointing part, though? Colfer does a good enough job of inhabiting Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide voice that it’s making me question my love for the series. I’d like to think the originals were better; it’s hard to say how this book differs from the ones Adams wrote in part because it’s been so long since I’ve read them, but I maintain that Adams’ books had an ineffable quality that even a skilled mimic couldn’t capture.
Even Adams wanted to end H2G2 differently than he left the series in Mostly Harmless, but through no fault of Colfer’s (who did as good a job as anyone with an impossible task) the opportunity to do so may have died with the original author.