Yes, I know just about everyone knows Eoin Colfer, but I've been reading mostly series for a while - this is the only stand-alone I feel like reviewing.
Meg Finn is too bad for Heaven and too good for Hell. That pretty much sums up The Wish List. During an attempted heist on an elderly man's house, Meg and her partner-in-crime Belch blow up a gas tank, which kills them both. Because of a random act of goodness, though, Meg finds herself perfectly balanced between Heaven and Hell. So, to tip the scales, Meg is sent back to Earth as a ghost, to assist the man she and Belch assaulted before they were killed.
If you've read any of the Artemis Fowl series, you know what you'll get from Eoin Colfer - witty dialogue, sharp action, and lots of twists and turns. One of the characters instantly reminded me of Foaly, with his technological doublespeak. All fairy references aside, however, Wish List stands on its own.
Meg isn't overly endearing unless she's bantering with Lowrie, the old gentleman she has to help. Lowrie is more likable, even if a little cliché, as a crusty old guy with lost dreams he wants to fulfill before he too kicks the can. The supporting cast, of course, is typical of Colfer's style.
Also predictable is his loose regard to morals and lawbreaking. To fulfill one of Lowrie's wishlist items, they have to break into a football stadium. The next item has to do with getting revenge on a childhood bully; though he doesn't actually follow through, Meg herself gets her revenge on her stepfather through Lowrie. It annoyed me a little; but if you don't mind that kind of thing, you'll be fine.
Lawless antics aside, The Wish List was a fun, short read for people who have exhausted Artemis Fowl. Colfer's fairies are better, but his ghosts aren't half bad either.