Deep underground, the Minimoys are waiting . . . for a champion. Arthur’s grandfather disappeared four years ago. All he left behind are his notebooks full of stories about the Minimoys, a miniature people who are all less than one inch tall! But the Minimoys can’t possibly be real . . . can they? Ten-year-old Arthur is about to find out, as a hidden message catapults him on an adventure wilder than he had ever imagined. He’ll face mosquito-riding soldiers, a malevolent wizard, giant centipedes, and one very independent princess . . . and along the way he might discover that the littlest heroes can make the biggest difference.
This book has been sitting on my shelf for years. Literally. It’s in my possesion since 2006. I thought it was about time for me to finally read it. I didn’t expect much, so I was not disappointed. The whole idea is actually quite interesting and I found myself really liking the world of Minimoys. Although, it could’ve been executed a bit better. The world building itself was not very neat and I kept wondering about stuff that were quickly mentioned, but never actually explained.
At the beginning everything starts slow and I was struggling to continue on. Only halfway through the book Arthur actually gets into the world of Minimoys and from that point plot is so fast paced and just crazy. It was all a bit predictable and obvious, but since this is a children’s book, I couldn’t really expect some huge plot twists. There were few exciting scenes which made the whole adventure interesting, but nothing really big and interesting actually happened throughout the whole book. The cliffhanger at the end, however, was very good and it makes you want to read the sequel because at the end of this one, you basically know nothing except that shit’s gonna go down in the next book.
I did not like any of the characters. At all. Arthur was way too perfect and I didn’t buy all this hero and a golden kid presentation. I found him annoying and stupid at times. Yeah, I know, he’s just a kid, but he’s not a very bright kid. I couldn’t connect with him and I couldn’t make myself to like him. Nope. I also didn’t like Selenia. She was portrayed as a total bitch and I really don’t see why Arthur though she was so special. She was arrogant, mean and very annoying. At the beginning, I was actually starting to like her because she was a badass, but later it all became only annoying and she really had no reason to act like that. Beta was the only character I kind of liked. Kind of. I found him incredibly cute and I felt sorry for him when everyone else were looking down on him. That was so unfair. However, later in the book he also became a bit annoying. Not like other two main characters, but still annoying. Also, relationships between characters were way too unbelievable and strange. I did not buy this Selenia/Arthur romance. First, they are supposed to be the same age, but Selenia is portrayed much more mature than Arthur. While reading, I had a feeling like Selenia is 16 or something, and Arthur 10, even though they are both 10 or so. Weird and unrealistic. I would rather say that Beta and Arthur were the same age.
The writing style was very… interesting. It felt more like reading a screenplay rather than a book. Which is understandable since Luc Besson is actually a movie director, and not a writer. It was very movie-like, and I guess that’s one of the reasons why this book was so fast paced. The narrative was nice and neat, but action packed scenes happened way too fast and it all became confusing at times. And one thing that really bothered me was that in one line we follow Arthur’s grandma in the living room, and then, without space or any other separation, we follow Arthur in the attic in second line. Then few lines later, we’re with grandma again. I got so confused, because this is what they do in movies, but this tehnique doesn’t work well in books.
So in my opinion, Luc Besson should stick to directing and leave writing books for someone else. I’m not saying this was bad, I still had a lot of fun reading this book, but it could’ve been done way better. I would recommend this book only to very young readers, because everyone who has some reading experience is going to notice all the flaws. But it’s still enjoyable.
This book (and the entire trilogy) has been made into an animated movie, directed by Luc Besson, of course. In my opinion, movie is better than the book, but that’s just me.