Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
TOTAL RATING: 3.8 STARS
What happens when a super evil genius comes up with a plan to extort the largest amount of gold possible from an underground fairy species?
Welcome to the premise of ARTEMIS FOWL.
When 12 year old Artemis Fowl puts his mind to something, he commits to it. Super intelligent and cunning, he uses his gifts to come up with a plan to restore his family fortunes. When his father, a powerful crime lord goes missing, Artemis finds his home life spiral downwards. His mother goes into a psychosis built on hallucinations where she mistakes Artemis for his actual father (What?) and she lives a dream life in her madness in her room. This gives Artemis free reign of his home, the luxurious Fowl Manor.
With his bodyguard, Butler, in tow, Artemis heads to South East Asia in the hunt for a mystical creature that shares with him a very special book. A book needed to decrypt and expose once and for all the existence of fairies.
When his plans run into Holly Short, a member of the fairy’s version of a S.W.A.T team, known a LEPrecon… (Get it…) it brings the human world and fairy world on collision course with one another.
So, is Artemis Fowl any good?
Well, it’s become a children’s classic in the last two decade or so. Not quite hitting the Harry Potter highs, but with a strong following and eight novels, a couple short stories and comic book variants and a movie TBC, it’s safe to say that it’s doing rather well for itself.
The character’s all have a dose of personality without being one-dimensional, though some get dangerously close. There’s a ton of action and the plot ticks along a constant beat without feeling too rushed or thin. The ending delivers a pay off that makes your glad that you stuck about to the final pages and with the interest to consider reading the next.
The strength of this novel has to be Artemis and his ability to stay ahead of the game. While he is the named character of the book, it’s difficult to call him the hero or Protagonist. If anything his motivations are selfish and reckless. His opinion of himself highly toted and this makes him only a hair’s breath from arrogant, but it works. Throughout Eoin Colfer makes you want Artemis to pull off this most audacious of heists. Artemis becomes a champion of mischief.
The only draw back to the book is the narrow expansion you get as we’re dealing with fairies and creatures of a magical world found deep beneath ours but we see it for about six pages and a good 85% of the book takes place in Fowl Manor. With such possibilities as exploring Haven City or getting to grips with a new society, you find yourself trapped in one location thanks to the nature of the plot. It’s not a deal breaker and I believe the other books get a little more expansive in setting but it’s a little shame it’s so lacking in this first edition.
All in all, Artemis Fowl sits firmly on the Middle Grade fiction shelf. A must read for kids, with the ability to explore the darker side of protagonists and the idea that the good guys don’t always win, but that doesn’t mean they lose also.
A must read.
Final thought: You’ll consume this book quicker than a dwarf does dirt. (Without the flatulence I hope)